Instant Pot Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup (with Rotisserie Chicken). Greek Avgolemono soup, with homemade broth and shredded meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

It’s time to make one of my Greek restaurant favorites, avgolemono soup. (In Greece, this is pronounced Av-o-le-mow-no, with a silent G. In America, we use the G – Av-go-le-mow-no). It’s a rice soup with chicken broth, with a bright lemon flavor, with a thick, creamy texture from the rice starch and eggs mixed in at the last minute.

A bowl of rotisserie chicken lemon and rice soup, with a sprig of dill on top
Instant Pot Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup (with Rotisserie Chicken)
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This recipe is inspired by this one from Michael Symon: Avgolemono Recipe.

The key to great homemade soup is homemade chicken broth. I use my usual broth shortcut, Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken Broth, as I do in a lot of my soups, like Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup and Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken Tortilla soup.

🥫Ingredients

  • Rotisserie chicken (from the store)
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Bay Leaf
  • Fine sea salt
  • Arborio rice (or another short-grained rice)
  • Corn starch
  • Eggs
  • Lemons
  • Fresh dill (optional)

See the recipe card for details

How to make Instant Pot Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup (with Rotisserie Chicken) – Avgolemono

  1. Make the broth: Remove the breast meat from the rotisserie chicken and set it aside for later. Put the rotisserie chicken carcass, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, fine sea salt, and 8 cups of water into an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. Lock the lid and pressure cook for 60 minutes with a natural pressure release. Strain all the solids out of the broth, discard the solids, and set the broth aside.
  2. Shred the breast meat from the rotisserie chicken. Put the rice, broth, shredded chicken, and 1 teaspoon of salt in the Instant Pot, lock the lid, and pressure cook for 5 minutes with a Quick pressure release. Remove the pot from the cooker and let the soup cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs, lemon juice, and corn starch, then slowly whisk in 1 cup of the soup broth into the egg mix to temper them. Whisk the tempered egg mix into the soup, top with minced dill, and enjoy.

What kind of rice should I use in Avgolemono?

I use starchy short-grain rice like I would in risotto. Arborio is the most common in my local grocery stores. Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, sushi rice, or other short-grain white rice varieties will also work. You can use long-grain or medium-grain rice in this recipe, but it won’t come out quite as thick.

🥘 Substitutions

What if I don’t have a Rotisserie Chicken?

If you already have chicken broth (like from my Instant Pot Chicken Back Broth), you can make the recipe without the rotisserie chicken. Substitute shredded leftover chicken for the rotisserie chicken breasts, or just skip the chicken meat in the soup.

Homemade Rotisserie Chicken

If you have a rotisserie attachment for your grill, you can make your own rotisserie chicken. (Did I mention I wrote a book on Rotisserie Chicken Grilling? I started making Rotisserie Chicken soups to use up the leftovers while I tested the recipes.)

Vegetarian Avgolemono

To make this recipe vegetarian: Use vegetable broth (like my Pressure Cooker Vegetable Broth) and skip the chicken breasts. Skip the egg, double the corn starch, and whisk the corn starch and lemon juice to make a slurry before slowly whisking it into the soup.

Kid-friendly

Avgolemono is a very lemon-forward soup. (it’s right there in the name, “lemono”.) But my kids preferred it with less (or no) lemon. And, chicken and rice soup is great, even without the lemon, so I can’t fault them. (I still prefer the lots of lemon version myself.)

Why use cornstarch in this soup?

To give the soup the ultra-thick mouthfeel it has at local Greek restaurants. The natural starch in the short-grain rice, and the egg, thicken this soup. . It is optional, though. Or, if you have it, you can substitute rice starch for cornstarch.

Do I have to make homemade chicken broth?

You really should try pressure cooking your own chicken broth, at least once, and you’ll see why I insist on it. It’s easy to make in an Instant Pot and freezes well. It’s one of the secret ingredients that make restaurant food taste so good. Homemade broth was one of the things that converted me to pressure cooking; once I tried a soup made with homemade chicken broth, I couldn’t go back.

That said…

If homemade broth is a bridge too far, go ahead and buy 64 ounces of store-bought broth. If you use store-bought broth, unless it is salt-free, skip the teaspoon of fine sea salt I add to the pot with the broth.

🛠 Equipment

  • A 6-quart pressure cooker
  • A fine mesh strainer
  • A second inner pot for your Instant Pot (makes it easy to strain the broth, from one pot to the other.)

📏Scaling

This recipe can be doubled in an 8-quart pressure cooker. If you want to halve the recipe for a 3-quart pressure cooker, you can, but you’ll have to find half a rotisserie chicken. (Or chop a whole rotisserie chicken in half and save the other half for another recipe.) The cooking time does not change; it takes the same amount of time to make the broth and cook the rice.

☃️ Storage

You can make the broth ahead of time – refrigerate it and the shredded chicken breasts until you are ready to make the soup. It will last for a couple of days in the refrigerator, or for up to 6 months in the freezer, separated into 2-cup storage containers.

This soup can be made ahead, but the egg may separate when reheating. I store leftover soup in 2-cup containers and refrigerate it for a couple of days, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

💡Tips and Tricks

  • Tempering the eggs: Tempering eggs means slowly heating the eggs, so they don’t scramble. I temper the eggs by letting the soup cool for a little bit. Then I slowly whisk a cup of the warm soup liquid into the eggs, gently bringing them up to temperature. Tempering is the same cooking technique used in custards and pastry creams, where the eggs are heated enough to work as a thickener, but not so much that they curdle or scramble. If the eggs are dropped straight into the hot soup, we get a Greek-style egg drop soup. (Which still tastes good, but is not what we’re looking for.)

What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup

Soup and salad may be a cliché, but it’s a cliché I can get behind. I lean into the Greek aspect of this soup and serve it with a Greek Salad and pita bread. It’s also a good match for Eastern Mediterranean dishes, like Pressure Cooker Hummus or Grilled Beef Kabobs.

Print

🔪Recipe

A bowl of rotisserie chicken lemon and rice soup, with a sprig of dill on top

Instant Pot Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup (with Rotisserie Chicken) – Avgolemono


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups of soup

Description

Instant Pot Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup (with Rotisserie Chicken). Greek Avgolemono soup, with homemade broth and shredded meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.


Ingredients

Rotisserie Chicken Broth

  • 1 (2- to 4-pound) rotisserie chicken, breast meat removed and saved for later
  • Juices from the rotisserie chicken container
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and broken in half (or 4oz baby carrots)
  • 1 stalk celery, broken in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 cups water

Rotisserie Chicken, Rice, and Lemon Soup (Avgolemono)

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 8 cups Rotisserie Chicken Broth (from above)
  • Breast meat from the rotisserie chicken, shredded (2 to 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 eggs
  • Juice from 3 lemons
  • Minced fresh dill, for garnish


Instructions

  1. Pressure cook the rotisserie chicken broth for 60 minutes with a Natural Release: (Detailed broth recipe is here.) Cut the chicken breast meat off of the rotisserie chicken and set it aside for later. Add the rotisserie chicken carcass, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and salt to an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker, then pour in the 8 cups of water. (It should just cover the rotisserie chicken – it’s OK if the knobs of the drumsticks are poking up.) Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 60 minutes with a natural pressure release in an Instant Pot or other electric PC (Manual or Pressure Cook mode in an Instant Pot) or 50 minutes in a stovetop PC. The natural pressure release will take 30 to 40 minutes minutes. (It takes a long time for all that water to cool off. If you’re in a hurry, let the pressure come down for at least 20 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.) Scoop the chicken carcass and vegetables out of the pot with a slotted spoon and discard; they’ve given their all to the broth. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, and set it aside for later. Wipe out the pressure cooker pot liner, then put it back in the pressure cooker base.
  2. Rice, Broth, and Chicken in the pot: Pour the rice into the pot, then stir in the chicken broth, shredded breast meat, and 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt. Lock the lid on the cooker.
  3. Pressure cook the soup for 5 minutes with a Quick Release: Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes in an Instant Pot, electric pressure cooker, or stovetop pressure cooker. (Use Manual Mode or Pressure Cook for an Instant Pot). Quick-release the pressure, then carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam.
  4. Temper the eggs, then stir into the pot: Lift the inner pot full of soup out of the Instant Pot, set it on a trivet or other heat-proof surface, and let it cool down for 5 minutes, uncovered. Whisk the corn starch, eggs, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Measure out 1 cup of broth from the pot, and slowly whisk the broth into the egg and lemon juice, about ¼ cup at a time. (Did I mention going slowly? We don’t want to cook the eggs, and adding the hot broth a little at a time brings the eggs up to temperature without cooking them.) Whisk the tempered eggs back into the pot of soup. Serve, sprinkling each bowl with minced fresh dill. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: Instant Pot Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup (with Rotisserie Chicken), Pressure Cooker Chicken Lemon and Rice Soup

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Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken Jalapeno Popper Soup
Rotisserie Chicken with Spanish Smoked Paprika Rub
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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