Chicken soup may be good for the soul, but Grain Free Avgolemono Soup is also excellent for your taste buds and your new year diet resolutions. Our Whole30 and Keto version of this healthy lemon chicken soup relies on tender shredded chicken, a tangy lemon-egg avgolemono base, and cauliflower rice for gluten free bulk. Good soup!
If you’re a connoisseur of Greek cuisine – be it in a diner or a yacht in the Aegean Sea – chances are you’ve indulged in the delicacy known as Avgolemono. Be it in soup or sauce form, it’s a savory, lemon-y delight. (Think of it as hollandaise without the butter. Which, I realize, after I typed it, doesn’t sound nearly as appealing, but just trust me…)
Avgolemono Soup uses the emulsified mixture of egg and lemon to create an indulgently creamy – but not heavy – soup base that traditionally accompanies rice or small pasta (like orzo) and meatballs; or, as is more commonly found in Greek restaurants that pepper the East Coast, chicken.
Our version of this healthy Greek chicken soup is pretty darn good for you and is a welcome break from the norm during cold months. We really like this Whole30 and keto version because it pumps up the protein by using breast meat, bone broth, and egg. That’s chicken three ways!
Why Make Avgolemono Soup Grain Free?
F*** around and find out, right? Sometimes I just like to mess with classic recipes for the internet drama… Just kidding!
This variation on the classic Greek chicken soup seemed like a perfect fit for creating a grain free option. It’s not always easy to come by a satisfying soup without that extra oomph from noodles or rice.
Cauliflower rice adds bulk and texture while keeping this healthy version of avgolemono soup compliant for a variety of diets – it’s gluten free, Whole30, paleo and keto.
How to Make Avgolemono Soup
A grain free spin on this Mediterranean classic makes Avgolemono Soup compliant while keeping it soup-er satisfying with tender chicken, a tangy lemon-egg emulsion, and riced cauliflower. This recipe is pretty straightforward, but calls for tempering the eggs so be sure read the instructions and tips first!
- PREP. Saute onion, celery, and carrots in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat until tender.
- COOK. Add bone broth, plus salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add in raw chicken breasts; cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken, shred, and set aside for a minute while you temper the eggs.
- TEMPER. Temper the eggs by vigorously whisking them together with lemon juice in large bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in ½ cup of hot broth directly from the pot. Continue whisking, slowly adding three more half-cup portions of broth, until mixture is smooth and has cooled to room temp.
- FINISH. Return shredded chicken to the pot and add the cauliflower rice. Simmer 3 minutes, until both are warmed through and the rice is completely defrosted.
- MIX. Remove from heat, then pour the tempered egg mixture into into soup and stir until well combined. At this time, adjust the seasoning and lemon juice to taste and remove the bay leaf.
- SERVE. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, dill, and/or lemon zest. Enjoy!
- We prefer frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe – it cooks quickly to a perfect “al dente” texture, and is generally a bit coarser than homemade cauliflower rice. It’s the perfect easy and healthy shortcut.
- Feel free to shave off some cooking time by using shredded rotisserie chicken. Just make sure the veggies are tender after sautéing.
- If you decide to make your own bone broth, consider preparing a whole bird so you’ve already got the meat you need for the soup and the carcass you’ll need for the broth.
- Fresh lemon juice substantially improves the flavor of avgolemono soup. Plus, you’ll have a fresh lemon to zest for even more added flavor! We use a microplane for zesting.
Tempering the Eggs
Yeah. It’s true. This soup has an extra step. And it’s vital – not just for the texture of the finished soup. Under no circumstances should you just crack the eggs into the soup. We are not making an egg drop soup, here. If you don’t temper the eggs, it’s not Avgolemono Soup.
If tempering the eggs is not a gauntlet you’re willing to run, I have a quick fix for that, and it’s called Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (skip the orzo if needed and sub with cauliflower rice!).
Bone Broth, Baby!
Bone broth is rich in flavor, minerals, and fats. If you make your own (*hint hint* feel free to use my easy Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe), it’s hard to calculate precise macros, but rest assured you’ll get a range of nutrients like:
- Calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and other minerals
- Glucosamine and chondroitin
- Vitamins A and K
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- And, of course, protein from collagen
Combined, all these properties of bone broth suggest that it will help maintain a healthy digestive tract, reduce inflammation, and support healthy joints.
It’s also a high-protein staple for keto, Whole30, and paleo diets that’s perfect for this recipe!
Chicken Soups for Every Mood
- Creamy Chicken Meatball Soup
- Chicken Zoodle Soup
- Nourishing Turmeric Chicken Soup
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Spicy Chicken Taco Soup
Did you make this avgolemono soup? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Avgolemono Soup (Whole30, Keto, Grain Free)Print Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 8 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 tsp kosher salt, more or less to taste, depending on broth used
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ – ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice, from 2-3 lemons
- 2 cups frozen cauliflower rice, about 5 oz.
- fresh dill or parsley, chopped, to taste
- fresh lemon zest, to taste
- Heat a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and toss to coat in the fat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrot and celery soften, 7-8 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth, then season with the salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the bay leaf, then bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the chicken breasts, cover the pot, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through to at least 165°F, 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Remove the chicken and shred.
- Temper the eggs. Whisk the eggs and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl or 4-cup measuring cup. While vigorously whisking the lemon and egg mixture, slowly pour in ½ cup of hot broth directly from the pot. Continue whisking and slowly adding three more ½-cup additions of broth, until the mixture is very smooth and has cooled to room temperature.
- Return the shredded chicken to the pot, along with the cauliflower rice. Simmer 3 minutes, or until the cauliflower rice is warmed through and completely defrosted.
- Turn off the burner and remove from heat. Pour the tempered egg mixture into the soup, then stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Remove the bay leaf.
- Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh parsley or dill and lemon zest if desired. Enjoy!