This Instant Pot Orzo is cooked to perfection in just two minutes! Add this orzo to any weeknight dinner for a satisfying meal! Serve this orzo as is or top it with your favorite sauce.
Pressure cooker orzo pasta is surprisingly easy to make, and you don't have to worry about waiting for the water to boil. The Instant Pot is great for those set it and forget it kind of meals! While you are making the rest of your dinner, add the orzo to your electric pressure cooker and it will be ready in no time!
For the full recipe, check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
What is Orzo?
Even though you might think orzo is similar to rice, orzo only looks like a large grain of rice. It is actually a type of pasta made from semolina flour or durum wheat. Similar to pasta, you would cook it for 8-10 minutes in boiling water on the stovetop.
Ingredients to Gather
- Orzo. Use your favorite brand found at your grocery store.
- Olive oil. To gently toast the orzo.
- Chicken broth. 3 ¼ cups of water or vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth to make this orzo vegetarian. Homemade chicken broth is best if you have it.
- Salt. To season the orzo as it cooks.
- Parmesan cheese. To make this a cheesy orzo recipe.
- Lemon zest and lemon juice.
Equipment You'll Need
- Instant Pot. I have a 6-quart Instant Pot that I love
- Measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
Let's Make Instant Pot Orzo!
Press the saute function on your Instant Pot for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and orzo to the Instant Pot. Mix well to coat the orzo in the olive oil.
After 2 minutes, pour the broth in the Instant Pot and add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper. Mix well. Close the Instant Pot lid and make sure it is in the sealing position. Set the cooking time to 2 minutes on high pressure.
Once the cooking time is complete, quick release the pressure. Mix the orzo with a wooden spoon removing any stubborn orzo that might be stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Place the lid back on the Instant Pot. Make sure the Instant Pot is off. Let the pasta rest for a couple of minutes so the residual heat will allow the orzo to absorb the rest of the liquid. After 3 minutes, add the parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Mix until the orzo has a creamy texture and just al dente.
How To Serve Instant Pot Orzo
- As an easy side dish. Serve this orzo just as it is with one of your favorite chicken recipes. Sprinkle with your favorite fresh herbs and it makes a great main dish!
- Loaded with veggies! Add a splash of heavy cream, cherry tomatoes, and spinach to the top of the orzo once it is done cooking. Let the spinach wilt while the Instant Pot is closed. Serve this delicious dish with chicken thighs or grilled chicken breasts.
- In an orzo pasta salad! One of my favorite ways to use orzo is to add the cooked orzo in this orzo pesto pasta salad! It's loaded with healthy ingredients and perfect for your next barbecue!
- With your favorite dish! Serve this orzo under Oven Baked Chicken Cacciatore, Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken, with marinara sauce, or mixed in with pesto rosso.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once the orzo is cooked, place any leftovers in an airtight container. Leftover orzo will stay fresh in the refrigerator up to 5 days. You can also freeze orzo. Add the orzo to an airtight container and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The burn warning pops up on your Instant Pot when something sticks to the bottom of the pot. To avoid that, make sure there is enough water or broth in the Instant Pot. If the burn notice does come up, open the Instant Pot and add ½ cup more water and mix.
Yes! You can use gluten free orzo and it will cook the same as your standard orzo.
Other Recipes To Try!
Did you love this Instant Pot Orzo? If you did, don't forget to tag me on social media on Instagram or Facebook and share this recipe on Pinterest! Thanks for sharing this journey with me and enjoy these delicious and easy recipes!
The Easiest Instant Pot Orzo
- 2 cups Orzo
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 3 ¼ cups Broth or water
- ½ cup Parmesan
- 1 Lemon zested
- Set the Instant Pot to "Saute". Add the olive oil and orzo. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the broth and salt to the Instant Pot.
- Cover the Instant Pot and set the cook time to 2 minutes on high pressure.
- When the cooking is done, immediately quick release the pressure.
- Stir the orzo with a wooden spoon to get any stuck bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Close the lid of the Instant pot and turn it off. Let it sit for 3 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed by the orzo.
- Add the parmesan cheese and lemon zest to the orzo and stir. Serve immediately.
- The parmesan and lemon zest is optional. Feel free to leave it out if you would like plain orzo for soup or salads.
- The Instant Pot will take 5-10 minutes to come up to pressure before it begins cooking.