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close up view of a ladle removing a potion of the instant pot lemon chicken orzo soup

Instant Pot Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

Lemony pressure cooker chicken soup with orzo pasta.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, greek
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 174kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ white onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup (128g) carrots chopped
  • 1 cup (128g) celery cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoon garlic minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cup (202g) chicken broth
  • ½ pound (227g) chicken breast boneless and skinless
  • cup (76g) orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed (or more to taste)
  • parsley or other fresh herbs, for garnish


  • Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and heat the oil.
  • Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté for several minutes until the onion is translucent. Add in minced garlic, stir and press cancel.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze the pan and dislodge anything that is stuck on the bottom.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to the liquid, making sure they are completely covered.
  • Cover and seal the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes followed by an 8-minute natural pressure release.
  • Release any remaining pressure and open the Instant Pot. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and cut into chunks or shred chicken with two forks. Set aside.
  • Return the instant pot to sauté mode, add the orzo to the liquid, and cook for about 6 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Press cancel and return the chicken to the soup followed by the lemon juice and herbs, if using. Adjust seasonings and then serve.


  • You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders if you prefer.
  • If you want to use rotisserie chicken (or leftover chicken), cut the cooking time in half and add the chicken to the instant pot at the same time as the orzo so you don't overcook it. 
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth and adjust salt to taste. 
  • Use a microplane to zest the lemon before adding the juice. This will create a more intense lemon flavor.
  • Create a roux of butter and flour to thicken the soup. 
  • Top the soup with a bit of grated parmesan cheese.
  • Orzo can soak up a lot of liquid so you may need to add a bit more broth to get the consistency that you prefer. 
  • Cooking times listed do not include the time it takes for the instant pot to come up to pressure or for the pressure to release fully.
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
  • There are 3 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 546mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5479IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg