Instant Pot Lemon Parmesan Orzo pasta with garlic, cherry tomatoes, and parsley is a perfect side dish. It is very quick and easy to make pressure cooker orzo pasta! 

Lemon Parmesan Orzo with tomatoes in a green bowl
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Whenever I am bored of rice and want to change things up, my first thought is to make orzo pasta for an easy side dish. It is a perfect side with baked chicken or salmon. My daughter loves orzo pasta too. She calls it rice pasta.

The best part is that this orzo pasta side dish cooks quickly in the instant pot. It can be cooked while making the main dish on the stove or in the oven.  

It is also versatile – I added lemon, garlic, parmesan, and cherry tomatoes. You can add other veggies such as bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, etc. We also love to make Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad with this orzo.

If you like it creamy, add heavy cream and your favorite cheese to make it more comforting. So good!

What is orzo pasta?

Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta made with semolina flour made from durum wheat. As orzo pasta is made from durum wheat, it is not gluten-free.

Orzo can be served and cooked very similarly to rice. As it is a type of pasta, you can also cook it the traditional way pasta is cooked and stir it in the sauce. Or make it like we are making here as a one-pot recipe in the pressure cooker.

Orzo can be served hot or cold as a salad or side dish. Or in a soup such as this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.

How to make Instant Pot Orzo?

Let’s start with gathering the ingredients. This recipe is very versatile, so if you don’t have one ingredient, it is totally fine to skip or substitute.

Ingredients to make Garlic Parmesan Orzo in instant pot

Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat it. Add butter and orzo pasta. Toast the orzo for a few minutes until some grains turn light brown.

Toasting the orzo is completely optional. However, I feel it adds a wonderful taste to the final dish.

Add the garlic and broth. You can use vegetable or chicken broth based on your preference. You can also cook the pasta in water.

Pressure cook for just 3 minutes, then quick release the pressure.

Add the flavors – lemon juice, parmesan, parsley, and halved cherry tomatoes. Stir them in and let the pasta rest for a few minutes.

Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Orzo with Parmesan and Tomatoes

And the orzo pasta is ready to be enjoyed.

Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Orzo with Parmesan and Tomatoes

Serve it with a side of baked chicken or salmon. A perfect meal…yum!

Check out more easy instant pot pasta recipes:

4.92 from 34 votes

Lemon Parmesan Orzo in Instant Pot

Instant Pot Lemon Parmesan Orzo pasta with garlic, cherry tomatoes and parsley is a perfect side dish. It is very quick and easy to make pressure cooker orzo pasta! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoon Butter, or Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 cup Orzo
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 3/4 cups Broth , or Water
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 3 tablespoon Parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, washed and sliced in half (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Salt , to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste


  • Start the instant pot in Sauté mode and let it heat. Add butter and orzo pasta. Saute for about 3 minutes until some orzo pieces turn brown. Keep stirring continuously, else it can burn.
  • Add garlic and stir it in with the toasted orzo.
  • Add broth and stir well. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Pressure cook at high pressure for 3 minutes. When the cooking time is done, quick release the pressure manually. 
  • Open the instant pot, then add parmesan, parsley, cherry tomatoes and lemon juice. Stir well and let it sit for 2-3 mins.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Lemon Parmesan Orzo is ready to be enjoyed.


Calories: 264kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 13gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 340mgPotassium: 263mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 530IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 218mgIron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Nut-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I loved the Orzo Pasta and will definitely repeat it soon. However, I don’t know what I did wrong because the 3 minutes at HP and then quick release like you said, did not cook the orzo completely. I then just added little more broth and simmered a few m minutes more till the orzo was done. I added fresh basil instead of parsley. Loved the recipe but perhaps I should have cooked the orzo a little longer you think?

    1. Hi Freny – Sure, you can cook the orzo for a little longer. Sometimes the cooking time can differ based on the brand of pasta. The general rule is to pressure cook for 1 minute less than 1/2 the time mentioned on the box. I hope that helps!

  2. Wow this is a great quick recipe. I added smoked mackerel, fresh dill and a dollop of cream cheese at the end….Delicious 😋.

    I’ll be sure to check out your other recipes. Thank you 😊

    1. Hi Alice – Thank you for the kind words! Your additions of smoked mackerel, fresh dill, and cream cheese sound absolutely delicious. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  3. Made this for dinner and it was a hit! We added pre-cooked peppered chicken strips to the instant pot and served as the main course. Also, served with grilled eggplant on the side. This is one we will have again!

    1. Hi Sam – You can cut the asparagus into 2inch pieces, and add it after the garlic and pressure cook it along with the orzo. However if the asparagus is thin, then I would suggest to sauté it separately, and add it in at the end after the orzo is cooked.

  4. Delicious! I actually added more garlic and also broccoli instead of tomatoes since I didn’t have. So many options with this recipe! Thank you!!

  5. This turned out wonderful! I really enjoyed all of the flavors, thank you for the recipe! I was want to note that it was a tad bit too garlic-y for my personal taste, so next time I make it, I will use a bit less garlic. Xoxo

    1. Hi Cyndi – Happy to hear you enjoyed the orzo. Thank you for experience as it will help other readers 🙂