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!
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.
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.
And the orzo pasta is ready to be enjoyed.
Serve it with a side of baked chicken or salmon. A perfect meal…yum!
Check out more easy instant pot pasta recipes:
Lemon Parmesan Orzo in Instant Pot
- 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.