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 – this orzo pasta side dish cooks pretty quickly in the instant pot. It can be cooked while you are making the main dish on the stove or in the oven. It is also very versatile – I added lemon, garlic, parmesan and cherry tomatoes. You can add other veggies such as bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, etc. 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, which is made from durum wheat. As orzo pasta is made from durum wheat, it is not gluten-free.
Orzo can be served and cooked very similar to rice. As it is a type of pasta, you can also cook it the traditional way pasta is cooked and stir it in 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.
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 couple of minutes until some grains turn light brown in color.
Toasting the orzo is completely optional, however I feel it adds a wonderful taste to the end result.
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. Perfect meal…yum!
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.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.