Why Put Lemon Juice In Chicken Soup?

You know how the chicken soup is like a warm hug when you’re feeling down? Well, what if we told you there was a way to make it even better? Just add some lemon juice and bam! But you may wonder, why put lemon juice in chicken soup at all? Could this tangy and citrusy element ruin this classic comfort food?

Prepare to have your taste buds tantalized as we embark on a quest to demystify the enchanting combination of lemon juice and chicken soup.

In this article, I will delve into the transformative power of lemon juice and the proper methods of using it. I’ll also address frequently posed queries to help you swiftly become an expert in crafting zesty chicken soup.

So, Why Put Lemon Juice In Chicken Soup?

squeezing some lemon juice in chicken soup

Below I would like to offer you some compelling reasons to add lemon juice to your chicken soup.

1. It Upgrades The Flavor Profile

In my opinion, the marriage of lemon juice and chicken soup is a match made in culinary heaven. There’s something about the tangy and citrusy nature of lemon juice that perfectly complements the comforting flavors of a hearty chicken soup.

Incorporating some lemon juice into your chicken soup adds a vibrant twist and dept to the soup that wakes up your taste buds and brings a refreshing brightness to the rich, savory broth. The acidity of the lemon cuts through the richness, creating a well-balanced flavor profile that keeps me coming back for more.

Trust me, once you try this combination, you’ll understand why I think lemon juice and chicken soup are meant to be together.

2. It Powers Up with Vitamins

Chicken soup has long been hailed as a go-to remedy for when you’re feeling under the weather. Adding lemon juice to your soup can give the soup an extra boost precisely when you need it the most, providing a refreshing and immune-supporting punch to your comforting bowl of nourishment.

So, adding lemon juice to your chicken soup doesn’t just make it taste amazing – it makes it even healthier, too!

3. It Brightens Leftover Soup

Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to a leftover chicken soup can help revive its flavors and give it a fresh, revitalized taste, making it a fantastic option for breathing new life into your leftovers.

4. Helps Whit Digestion And Detoxification

When it comes to optimizing your chicken soup for digestive health and detoxification, look no further than the humble lemon juice. Adding this citrus elixir to your soup can offer a range of benefits, from aiding digestion to supporting your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Discover more detoxifying delights! Check out my other article here on 13 Detox Soup Recipes For Weight Loss, featuring delicious recipes that nourish your body and support your wellness goals.

5. Adds A Touch of Tenderness

While lemon juice may not work miracles on tough chicken during the simmering process, it can still lend a helping hand. You see, the natural acidity in lemon juice has the potential to work its magic and break down proteins ever so slightly, resulting in chicken that’s just a touch more tender.

So, even though it won’t turn your chicken into a melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece, adding lemon juice to your soup can add a subtle tenderness that adds to the overall enjoyment of each savory spoonful.

6. Unleashes Culinary Creativity

Lemon juice is a versatile ingredient that can complement a wide range of other flavors and ingredients in your chicken soup. From herbs and spices to vegetables and grains, the addition of lemon juice can harmonize and elevate the taste of various components, creating a well-rounded and satisfying soup experience.

Optimal Amount of Lemon Juice for Flavorful Chicken Soup?

measuring lemon juice for a chicken soup

Want to know how much lemon juice to add to your chicken soup? To answer your question, it’s all about personal taste and preferences. A good rule of thumb is to start with half a lemon’s worth of juice (1 tablespoon) for every four cups of soup. You can always squeeze in more later if you want an extra zesty kick.

Also, it’s best to taste your soup as you add the lemon juice and adjust it to your liking. Remember that it’s much easier to add something than remove it, so start small and work your way up.

When To Add Lemon Juice to Chicken Soup?

seasoning chicken soup

Timing is everything. To get the most out of your lemon juice, add it to your chicken soup towards the end of the cooking session. This keeps the lemon’s fresh, zesty flavor and retains all the healthy nutrients.

Adding lemon juice too early can make your chicken tough, and the citrus flavor could fade. So, wait until the last 10-15 minutes of cooking before you give your soup that final lemony twist.

Storage and Reheating Tips:

storing homemade chicken soup

So you’ve made lemon chicken soup and want to enjoy it for more than one meal, right? No worries; here is how to store and reheat that delish creation of yours.

Storing Your Lemony Chicken Soup

For proper storage of your chicken soup, first, let it cool to room temperature. Following this, transfer it into a tightly sealed container. With this method, you can safely refrigerate the soup for a duration of four days. However, if you wish to keep it longer, I suggest you freeze it.

If you want to freeze it, divide your soup into smaller portions in freezer-safe containers, resealable freezer bags, or one cup-size silicon tray like the one below (make sure to leave some room for expansion, though).

Souper Cubes 1-Cup Extra-Large Silicone Freezing Tray With Lid - Freeze Food Soup Broth Sauce In Perfect 1-Cup Portions, 2-Pack, Aqua Color


Don’t forget to label them with the date and what’s inside—trust me, it’ll save you some guesswork later. 

Your zesty lemon chicken soup can chill in the freezer for 2-3 months while still maintaining its taste and quality.

Reheating Your Chicken Soup

Got leftover lemon chicken soup in your fridge or freezer? Wondering how to heat it up so it still tastes great? Here is how to bring your soup back to its best, full of that zesty flavor you love.

  1. Thawing in the Refrigerator: If your chicken soup has been frozen, the first step is to thaw it. Place the frozen soup in the refrigerator, allowing it to gradually thaw overnight. This method ensures an even temperature distribution, setting the stage for the most effective reheating.
  2. Stovetop Reheating: Once your soup has been thawed (or if it was simply refrigerated), the stovetop method is an excellent way to reheat it. This approach gives you better control over the heat and is great for enhancing flavors. Pour the soup into a saucepan or a pot and gently warm it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking and to ensure the heat is evenly distributed. Don’t forget to taste your soup as it heats, adjusting the seasoning as necessary. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can do wonders to invigorate the soup’s zesty profile.
  3. Microwave Reheating: The microwave is your best friend if you’re in a hurry or need a quick reheating solution. This method is also used for reheating thawed or refrigerated soup. Transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a lid or plate to retain moisture and promote even heating. Heat the soup in 1-2 minute intervals, stirring in between to distribute the heat evenly.

Should you need to reheat your soup directly from the freezer, you could partially thaw it in the microwave until it’s pourable, then proceed with the stovetop or microwave reheating. Alternatively, you can follow the refrigerator thawing method and then reheat the soup when it’s sufficiently thawed.

Read Also: Lemon Juice From Concentrate vs. Fresh Squeezed — What Is The BIGGEST Difference?

Frequently Asked Questions

chicken soup with a slice of citrus

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice?

Absolutely, you can use bottled lemon juice in chicken soup as a substitute for fresh lemon juice. However, keep in mind that bottled lemon juice may not have the same bright, fresh flavor as that of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Also, bottled juice can sometimes contain preservatives and other additives which might slightly alter the flavor. In a pinch, it’s a great option, but if you have fresh lemons available, they are usually the best choice for the most vibrant flavor.

Can I add lemon zest to my chicken soup?

For sure! Lemon zest brings that extra citrus kick without making things too tangy. Simply use a fine zester or grater to shred the lemon’s outer yellow portion to get the zest. Don’t grate the white part, though; it’s lowkey bitter. Add the zest when you put in the lemon juice or sprinkle it on individual servings for a burst of freshness. 

Can I use lime instead of lemon juice in my chicken soup?

Totally! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use lime as an alternative to lemon juice in your chicken soup. Lime has a tangy flavor. But it’s a bit more acidic and has a different flavor profile than lemon juice. Your soup will be slightly different, but it’ll still be a tasty, refreshing spin on the classic.

What other herbs and spices go well with lemon chicken soup?

Lemon chicken soup pairs well with various herbs and spices. You can’t go wrong with fresh dill, parsley, thyme, basil, and cilantro. And if you want to spice things up, add some red chili flakes or paprika. Mix it up and find your ultimate zesty chicken soup combo!

Read Also: How To Make Chicken Broth With Bouillon Cubes (Easy And Flavorful).


So, why put lemon juice in chicken soup? Personalizing your chicken soup with a dash of lemon juice is one of my favorite ways to instantly elevate its flavor while enhancing its nutritional value. Just a few sprinkles of this bright, tangy juice can transform a comforting bowl of soup into a zesty, uplifting meal that’s sure to wow your taste buds.

I encourage you to be bold, let your creative juices flow, and play around with different citrus fruits, herbs, and spices to create your own unique take on this beloved dish. Here’s to the joy of cooking and discovering new flavors!

Now, I should point out that as much as I adore adding that citrusy zing to my chicken soup, the taste is a personal thing, and what works for me might not work for you. So, I recommend giving it a go, and remember; there’s no right or wrong here.

Try it out, and then pop over to the comments section below the article and share your experience. Did you love the zesty twist, or was it not your cup of soup? I’m eager to hear about your culinary adventures!

Happy cooking and tasting!

Leave a Comment

About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.