Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup – This recipe, made with bright lemon and fresh herbs, packs nutrition from lots of vegetables and tender shredded chicken. Made with orzo, it’s a filling and satisfying meal. Fire up your Instant Pot for this simple recipe.
As you all know, I’m obsessed with my Instant Pot. It’s become such a game changer in my house for anything soup, stew, or meat related. If you have a different brand of pressure cooker, fear not! This recipe will work for you too.
I love that I can just set it for a few minutes and be rewarded with perfectly shreddable chicken and a deeply flavored soup. Can you really ask for anything more? It’s a dump-and-go recipe that tastes so amazing you’d be proud to serve it to your in-laws.
What is orzo?
Some may think orzo is a grain of sorts, but it’s actually pasta. Shaped like a large grain of rice, it’s the perfect addition for soups. You may have even seen it in Italian wedding soup before!
If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, and there isn’t an Italian market near you, there are other options. Farfalle, little stars, shells, and orecchiette would all be great substitutions.
Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the FULL ingredient amounts and instructions or click the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of the page!
- Olive oil – Sunflower, safflower, vegetable, canola, or avocado oils will work instead.
- Onion – Mild flavored onion such as white or yellow work best.
- Carrots & celery –You can add more or less as you prefer.
- Salt & pepper – Season to taste.
- Chicken broth – You can also use veggie broth. I also added 4 cups of water, but add more or less depending on how thick you like your soup.
- Lemon – Make sure to give it a good wash because we’re adding the lemon halves to the soup.
- Chicken breasts – Boneless and skinless. You can use chicken breast bone-in and skin-on just remove the skin and bones when shredding.
- Orzo – Check out the section above for substitutes.
- Peas – I used frozen, but fresh or canned will work too.
- Dill & parsley – Fresh is best!
How to make instant pot lemon chicken orzo soup
- Cook the veggies: Turn on your Instant Pot’s sauté setting and heat up the oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the veggie soften. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken: Pour in the chicken broth, then add the halved lemon, chicken breasts, and 4 cups of water. Close the lid, and cook for 7 minutes on the soup setting.
- Shred the chicken: Let the IP release pressure naturally for 10 minutes before doing a quick release. Remove the lid once the pressure has fully released. Take the chicken breasts out of the pot and shred them with two forks. Discard the lemon halves.
- Finish the soup: Turn the pot back onto the sauté setting and add the orzo. Cook, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente. Turn off the IP, then add the peas, dill, shredded chicken and taste for seasoning. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and lemon wedges.
How to serve lemon chicken orzo soup
This soup is fantastic and loaded with good-for-you and filling ingredients. It’s wonderful served all on its own! If you’d like to add a little more substance to the dinner table try it with:
- No Knead Bread
- No Knead Skillet Bread
- Buttermilk Parmesan Biscuits
- Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
- White Bread
How to store leftovers
Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, use either your microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat.
The orzo will likely absorb a lot of the liquid as the soup cools down. You can add a few splashes of chicken broth to heat it back up if you’d like a soupier consistency. If you’re planning on having lots of leftovers, cook the orzo separately from the soup and add it as you enjoy servings.
If you’d like to do some meal planning and make this recipe ahead, this is a great opportunity to do so! It’ll last 4-6 months frozen. To make reheating easier, let it thaw overnight in the fridge before you plan on reheating.
I also suggest leaving the orzo out if you plan on freezing the soup to save the texture of the pasta. Cook it in the soup as you reheat right before serving.
Did you love this recipe? Try these!
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Lentil Soup
- Minestrone Soup
- Chicken Potato Soup
- Lemon Rice and Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- One Pot Turkey Wild Rice Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
Looking for more recipes? Follow on…
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp pepper or to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth low sodium or no sodium added
- 1 lemon washed and cut in half
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- ¾ cup orzo
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup fresh dill chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 lemon cut in wedges, for serving
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. (See your manufacturer's guide for detailed instructions on how to use your instant pot.)
- Add the olive oil and heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and saute for 3 minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the chicken broth. Add the lemon halves, chicken breasts and add another 4 cups of water.
- Close the lid (follow the manufacturer's guide for instructions on how to close the instant pot lid). Set the Instant Pot to the Soup setting and set the timer to 7 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 10 minutes. Follow the manufacturer's guide for quick release, if in a rush. Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and shred with two forks.
- Add the orzo to the soup and set the Instant Pot to the saute setting again. Cook for another 6 minutes uncovered, or until the noodles are cooked.
- Turn off the Instant Pot, by pressing the cancel button. Add the shredded chicken back to the Instant Pot, add the frozen peas, dill, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
- Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, use either your microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat.