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Lemony Chicken & Quinoa Soup (gluten-free)

When I put on a big pot of soup to cook it's because I want to eat something warm, hearty and comforting. I'm one of those rare people who enjoys eating soup year round, even in the middle of summer. Weather is in great flux this time of year and Chicago is experiencing days of spring-like weather and then drops in temp, so I want soup that's comforting, but a little on the lighter side. The lemon + chicken + Italian seasoning in the soup remind me of the flavors you'd find in traditional lemon Greek chicken.

With a healthy dose of fresh lemon juice, the Lemony Chicken & Quinoa Soup will perk up your taste buds. Lemons are an absolute staple in our household. We use them for dressing, sauces, marinades and more!


Why do I love lemons?

Lemons, like other citrus fruit, are loaded with Vitamin C - one of the most important antioxidants and immune supporters.

Adding lemon juice or zest (from the peel) adds balance, brightness and a punch of flavor to any dish.

Lemons can stay fresh on your counter for up to a week, but be sure to keep them away from sunlight.


Chunky vegetables, quinoa, chicken broth, and chicken simmer together to make a hearty meal. To elevate the soup and cut through the acidity of the lemon, I add little pat of butter right at the end.


Lemony Chicken & Quinoa Soup

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes


1 tsp olive oil

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 large carrots, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 box chicken broth

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4-1/2 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

1/3 cup dry quinoa

2 lemons

1 pat of butter


  1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper.

  2. Once the pot is hot, add 1 teaspoon olive oil followed by the chicken thighs. Brown chicken on each side for about 3-4 minutes.

  3. While the chicken thighs are cooking, dice the carrots, celery, and onion and mince the garlic.

  4. Remove browned chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. The chicken thighs do not need to be fully cooked. They will be added back to the soup to finish cooking at a later step.

  5. To the same pot add onion, celery and carrot, and let the veggies "sweat" for about 4 minutes, stirring the veggies occasionally. Then add the minced garlic and saute for one additional minute.

  6. Nestle the chicken thighs back in the pot on top of the veggies.

  7. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Add the box of broth.

  8. Cover with the lid and bring soup to a boil. Once boiling turn down and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

  9. Remove the lid and use tongs or the back of a wooden spoon to break apart the chicken thighs into chunks. The chicken should fall apart relatively easily.

  10. Turn off the heat and squeeze in lemon juice.

  11. Stir in the pat of butter and serve!


About the Blog

Welcome to the Well Fed Nutrition Blog. I'm Jessica, a dietitian nutritionist sharing recipes, kitchen tips and advice for life well-fed. 

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