Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a delicious and healthy soup made with tender chicken, lots of veggies and orzo pasta. A perfect cozy, comforting, and nutritious meal for the cold weather!
Near my workplace, I used to enjoy this Lemon Chicken Orzo soup at Corner Bakery and Panera. I always wanted to make this at home, so I could share the goodness with my family. Now that I am not working at that company, I have been missing the soup even more. So here is my take at this cozy and comforting soup!
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo Ingredients
If you have made Chicken Noodle soup, this is kind of similar, but not exactly the same. I use orzo pasta in place of noodles. Orzo is shaped like grains of rice, and are great as a side or in salads. They are a perfect carb addition to this soup.
Chicken: I used boneless chicken breast, but chicken thighs can also be used in this recipe.
Orzo pasta: I love to use orzo pasta, which is shaped like grains of rice. It is easy to add to any soup. Kids love it too. However if you don't have orzo, feel free to use other types of pasta.
Onion & Garlic: Add the perfect flavor and aroma to this soup. I use yellow onions in this recipe.
Carrots & Celery: We love to add these veggies to any soup for extra nutrition.
Lemon juice: This is the star ingredient to get the perfect flavor in this lemon chicken soup.
Broth: I use chicken broth in this soup. I used Better than Bouillon to make the broth. Adjust the amount of broth based on how thick or thin you like the soup.
Spices: This soup needs the most basic spices - salt, pepper and thyme.
Parsley: fresh parsley leaves to garnish. You can also use dill leaves.
How to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup?
- Sauté Veggies: Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and add oil, onions and garlic. Stir and sauté for 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, pepper, thyme and broth. Stir well.
- Add chicken and pressure cook: Place chicken breast on top and gently push it under the liquid. Press Cancel and close the lid with vent in sealing position. Set the instant pot on high pressure cook mode for 6 minutes.
- Open & Shred Chicken: When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure manually and open the lid. Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and shred with two forks.
- Cook the pasta: Add the orzo and shredded chicken to the instant pot. Set the instant pot on sauté mode for 6 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Then press cancel. (Note: if the chicken is already well cooked, hold off and add the chicken once the orzo pasta is almost cooked).
- Garnish & Serve: Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Soup is ready to be served.
This is not a super thick soup, unlike my Creamy Broccoli Cheddar soup (If you haven't already, you must try it!). In the Broccoli Cheddar soup, I make a roux before pressure cooking. In this soup, as we are cooking pasta along with the soup, it naturally thickens a bit. And if you refrigerate it to enjoy the next day, it thickens even more.
Make it on the Stovetop
- In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in butter or oil for 2-3 minutes, over medium-high heat.
- Add the carrots and celery. Then pour in the chicken broth along with the salt, pepper and spices.
- Place the chicken in the pot, and bring the pot to a boil.
- Then reduce the heat, and cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Open the lid, and add the orzo pasta and cook for another 8-10 minutes. The time will depend on the cooking time on the package of orzo. Stir often.
- Take out the chicken when the orzo is almost cooked, shred with two forks and add it back to the soup.
- Add the lemon juice, and garnish with parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve and Enjoy!
How to serve?
This soup is great to serve as is topped with some lemon wedges. It has such amazing immunity boosting ingredients.
To make it heartier, serve with some crusty bread to dip in the broth or along with a salad.
- Use thickly cut carrots & celery, so that the veggies don’t over cook during pressure cooking.
- Use freshly minced garlic and fresh parsley to garnish for maximum flavor.
- Add a rosemary sprig to the instant pot before pressure cooking for extra flavor.
- If you don't have boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, you can still make this soup. After pressure cooking, discard the bones and skin when shredding the chicken.
- You can also make this a Lemon chicken orzo soup with spinach. Just add spinach at the end when the orzo is almost cooked. Stir it well until the spinach wilts in the soup.
Let the soup cool down to room temperature. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat. The pasta will likely soak up all of the liquid when stored. Add some chicken broth or water before reheating.
If you would like to meal prep and freeze this soup, freeze it before adding the pasta, as the pasta can be overcooked and mushy when frozen and thawed.
Freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and when reheating in a pot, add the orzo pasta. Then cook on sauté mode until the pasta is cooked.
Yes, you can use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Skip adding the raw chicken breast before pressure cooking, and add the shredded rotisserie chicken along with the orzo pasta to meld the flavors.
Here are other Instant Pot Soups you might enjoy:
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil or butter
- ¾ cup Onion diced, I used yellow onions
- 1 tablespoon Garlic minced
- ¾ cup Carrot cut into small pieces
- ¾ cup Celery cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Thyme
- 2 cup Broth Chicken, or Vegetable
- ½ lb Chicken Breast boneless and skinless
- ⅓ cup Orzo
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon Parsley leaves to garnish
- Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and heat it. Add oil, onions and garlic. Stir and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add carrots, celery, salt, pepper, thyme and broth. Stir well. Place chicken breast on top and push it under the liquid. Press Cancel and close the lid with vent in sealing position.
- Set the instant pot on MANUAL or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 6 minutes.
- When the instant pot beeps, do a 10 minute NPR. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then open the lid.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and shred with two forks.
- Add the orzo and shredded chicken back to the pot. Set the instant pot on saute mode for 6 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Then press cancel. (If the chicken is already well cooked, hold off and add it in once the orzo is almost cooked)
- Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Soup is ready to be served.
- In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in butter or oil for 2-3 minutes, over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and celery. Then pour in the chicken broth along with the salt, pepper and spices. Place the chicken in the pot, and bring the pot to a boil. Then reduce the heat, and cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes. Open the lid, and add the orzo pasta and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Take out the chicken when the orzo is almost cooked, shred with two forks and add it back to the soup. Add the lemon juice, and garnish with parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve and Enjoy!
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.