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Warming 20 minute Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup. Kind of like creamy risotto, kind of like soup, and so DELICIOUS. This is wholesome but comforting and the easiest to make using just one pot and 20 minutes. It’s warm and creamy, swirled with basil pesto, and finished with parmesan and a pinch of black pepper. Doesn’t get simpler or more delicious.

Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup |

Sometimes it’s the simplest of recipes that really do turn out the most delicious. And that’s definitely the case with today’s recipe. It’s perfect for this time of year when we’re still craving comfort food on these cold winter days, but also wanting something lighter. It also makes for a nice Valentine’s Day recipe too.

This is a great mix. Originally when I set out to make this I was thinking it would be more of a soup. And it is, but this is an ultra-creamy soup.

A bit of a cross between soup, creamy pasta, and risotto. So just as you would expect, it’s delicious.

When my sister-in-law Lyndsie was in town over Christmas, she pretty much begged for a white bean soup. It’s one of her favorites and she said I never make anything with beans, which isn’t a lie. The family that’s here is not the biggest fan of beans. But I do love to experiment with them when Lynds and/or my cousins are in town.

Anyway, I never got around to making the soup over Christmas. But once I had this idea, I knew it would be delicious, Lyndsie fully agreed.

Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup |

The details

With a 20 to 30 minute start to finish time, you can imagine the steps are pretty simple. First up, you only need one pot. No sauces, nothing extra, just one pot.

Start with olive oil, shallots, and garlic. To keep things simple, I just used smashed garlic cloves to infuse the oil. Then some butter goes in and then the orzo.

Any time I’m cooking with orzo, I love to toast it in butter before adding in any liquid. This just adds another layer of flavor as the butter cooks around the orzo.

Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup |

Then comes the broth, along with white beans, and kale. You could easily use spinach in place of kale. From here, simply simmer until the orzo is al dente and things are becoming very creamy.

Stir in the pesto and lots of parmesan and finish it off with lemon.

That’s it. Absolutely nothing fancy, but totally delicious.

Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup |

For serving

I usually add a little fresh dill and black pepper, but parsley or basil work really well too.

Then, some crusty bread on the side is a must.

It’s different, but so, so good. And who couldn’t love such an easy Monday recipe? Especially after the Super Bowl. I feel like we need this today! Happy Valentine’s day!

Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup |

Looking for other quick recipes? Here are my favorites: 

Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower

One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese

25 Minute Chili Oil Egg Ramen

Skillet Chicken Adobo with Coconut Rice

Lastly, if you make this Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 1331 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Drop in the butter, then stir in the orzo. Cook until golden, 1-3 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the beans and kale. Season with salt and pepper. If you have one, add a parmesan rind. Simmer 8-10 minutes until the orzo is al dente, stirring often. It should become very creamy.
    2. Stir in the pesto, milk, parmesan, and lemon, cook another few minutes until warmed through.
    3. Divide the orzo and broth among bowls and add additional parmesan and black pepper. I like to add some fresh dill, parsley, or basil too!


Thickening: the orzo will soak up the broth over time. If eating leftover, add additional broth to thin. It should be creamy, but with just a touch of liquid.
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  1. 5 stars
    This soup is an absolute winner! Both my husband and I went back for seconds. I used canned coconut and it was delicious. The lemon and basil at the end really bring it all together. It’s a lot of orzo. Next time I might do 1.5 cups orzo and maybe use more beans. I think you could add some shredded chicken or cooked sausage if you wanted more protein but this recipe stands in its own. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you sharing! I really like how the basil pesto & fresh lemon juice- made this soup all come together! The 2 cups of orzo was just too much for me! Can I substitute orzo with wild rice? Thank you again!

    1. Hey Lisa,
      Happy Friday!!❄️ Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it was a winner! For best results, I would use arborio rice. xx

    1. Hey Jane,
      Happy Sunday!! I truly appreciate you giving this a try and sharing your feedback, so glad it was enjoyed:) xx

    1. Hey Anna,
      Yes, you will want to drain the beans:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  3. 5 stars
    I know, I know, I’ve said this many times but worth repeating. I’ve probably made a double batch 10X! This is a family favorite and hits all the good feels of comfort food! Just made a big batch this morning.

    1. Hey Sandy,
      Awesome!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe is always a winner, thanks so much for making it so often! Have a great weekend! 👻

  4. 5 stars
    Hubs and I loved it! I wanted it more soupy than risotto-like so I added a bit more liquid. Omitted the milk because I had none and only used half a lemon. Was delish and easy to make!

    1. Hey Gwen,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad it was a winner! 🤩

    1. Hi Yolande,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a bunch for making it! 👻

    1. Hey Maria,
      So glad to hear you have been enjoying this recipe! You could totally freeze it! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    2. Perfect soup on this chilly Cleveland night! My 2 year old loved it too so it’s definitely a make again. Only thing I did different was use spinach instead of kale because it’s what I had on hand. 10/10!

  5. Love the recipe but how is it 1300 calories per serving? That’s like eating a Big Mac and large fries. It doesn’t seem like it’s that heavy. Is it really that much?

    1. Hi! I always recommend that if the nutritional information is important to you, you use your own personal calculator. Ours is automatic and controlled by google. It’s not something we’d prefer to be using. We are required to. I’m sorry for the trouble, we do our best! Hope you enjoy the recipe! xT

  6. 5 stars
    This is a super easy and quick recipe that is comforting, yet bright (thanks to the dill and lemon). I subbed 2% milk for the whole milk and omitted the parmesan because I forgot to buy some, and it was still really creamy and delicious.

  7. 5 stars
    This was so bright, yet creamy. Hearty, but doesn’t weigh you down. And so very flavorful! Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe Tieghan!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      Happy Wednesday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a bunch for making it! xT

  8. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and will definitely be making it again because of how good it tastes and how simple the ingredients are. That said, if you’re not used to cooking with a lot of salt, you may want to omit the salt in the first round. Also, my kids aren’t orzo fans, so I can confirm that rice works really well too. Lastly, I’ve made it with and without the lemon. Lemon takes the cake, but it’s still REALLY good without it. I didn’t have one on hand and still make it to everyone’s delight. Highly recommend.

  9. This was so delicious. Prepped the ingredients in advance and then threw it on the stove following my art class. Very very good! Shared with family and friends

    1. Hey Gena,
      Perfect! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I am so glad it was a hit! xx

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe is fast and easy to make and so delicious! I paired it with my homemade rosemary bread for a delicious dinner! Definitely one I will make again and again!

  11. This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it before and love it so much. Do you think I could use feta instead of Parmesan in this dish? I have all the ingredients to make this except parm, and I have a whole bunch of feta…