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Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This lemon chicken orzo soup is fresh, herbaceous and slightly zesty! Making it in the Instant Pot is quick, easy and enhances the delicious flavor of the soup. It is the perfect meal for the whole family, especially on a busy weeknight! I like to buy a rotisserie chicken at the store to use in it. This cuts way back on preparation time, so the meal can be ready in under 30 minutes. 
Bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup.

This lemon chicken orzo soup is fresh, herbaceous and slightly zesty! Making it in the Instant Pot is quick, easy and enhances the delicious flavor of the soup. It is the perfect meal for the whole family, especially on a busy weeknight! I like to buy a rotisserie chicken at the store to use in it. This cuts way back on preparation time, so the meal can be ready in under 30 minutes. 

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Pin

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What ingredients do I need to make the Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup?

This fresh spin on classic chicken noodle soup is perfect during cold weather. But this comfort food is also wonderful at any time of year! The best part is it uses simple ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store. Here is what you will need to make it:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded with skin and bones removed 
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)

What Supplies Needed

Ingredients for soup with lemon and orzo.

Looking for more delicious Instant Pot recipes? Give these reader favorites a try!

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How do I make the Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup in the Instant Pot?

This is lemon chicken orzo soup recipe is easy to make in just a few steps. Here is what you will need to do to prepare this instant pot recipe.

Step 1: Sauté Vegetables

Turn your Instant Pot on to sauté function mode and add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated and shimmering, add onion and garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Next, add the carrots and celery. Stir occasionally and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Step 2: Add chicken, broth, herbs and spices

Add in the chicken, chicken broth, turmeric, kosher salt, pepper, and orzo pasta. Stir to combine. Tie the fresh thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine and place on top of the soup. 

Step 3: Pressure cook the chicken soup

Seal the Instant Pot lid and cook on manual mode on high pressure for 5 minutes. After the time is up, do a manual quick-release of the pressure sealing valve. Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf bundle from the pot.

Step 4: Add in lemon juice and additional seasoning

Stir in the fresh lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to your liking. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup in Instant Pot.

NOTES & FAQs for Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

General/Preparation

  • Tying the fresh herbs in kitchen twine helps prevent the stems from “floating away” in the soup and makes for easier removal after cooking. If you don’t have kitchen twine, you can wrap up the herbs in a makeshift “string” made of rolled-up aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can just place the herbs on top of the soup and pull out the stems individually. 

Bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup.

Ingredient Info & Substitutions

  • Olive oil: I recommend using olive oil for it’s rich and earthy flavors. You can substitute it with avocado, vegetable, or canola oil.
  • Yellow onion: I recommend yellow onion for this recipe for its mellow, mild flavor. If you don’t have yellow onions, I recommend substituting them with sweet onion or white onion. I don’t recommend using red onions in this recipe.
  • Garlic: If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can substitute the 3 cloves for ½ to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Turmeric powder: This is mostly for color. If you don’t have turmeric, you can leave it out. I don’t recommend using fresh turmeric root in this recipe.
  • Chicken broth: Chicken broth can be substituted with vegetable or mushroom broth. I don’t recommend using beef broth with this recipe. I recommend using a regular variety of broth, not low-sodium. If you prefer a low-sodium broth, you may need to add more salt at the end of cooking your soup. 
  • Orzo: Orzo is a small pasta that resembles grains of rice. I don’t recommend using a different type of pasta with the recipe as it’s written – larger types of pasta may require a longer cooking time.
  • Thyme, rosemary, bay leaves: I recommend using fresh herbs for this recipe. If you cannot find fresh, you can substitute…
    • 2-3 teaspoons dried rosemary
    • 2-3 teaspoons dried thyme
    • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Lemon juice: You can use fresh or packaged lemon juice for this recipe.
  • Kosher salt: Kosher salt has a lower sodium content compared to most other salt types. If you are using regular table salt, start with half of what the recipe calls for and adjust to taste.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo in a white bowl.

Variations for Soup

  • For a vegan-friendly soup, omit the chicken and swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
  • Swap out the shredded chicken for turkey for a different protein (or for a new way to use Thanksgiving leftovers)

Storage & Reheating

  • This soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This lemon chicken orzo soup is fresh, herbaceous and slightly zesty! Making it in the Instant Pot is quick, easy and enhances the delicious flavor of the soup. It is the perfect meal for the whole family, especially on a busy weeknight! I like to buy a rotisserie chicken at the store to use in it. This cuts way back on preparation time, so the meal can be ready in under 30 minutes. 
4.75 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Instant Pot
Keyword: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 218kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 3 medium carrots diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 medium celery stalks chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken shredded with skin and bones removed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Turn your Instant Pot on to saute mode and add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated and shimmering, add onion and garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the carrots and celery. Stir occasionally and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the chicken, chicken broth, turmeric, kosher salt, pepper, and orzo. Stir to combine.
  • Tie the fresh thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine and place on top of the soup.
  • Seal the Instant Pot lid and cook on manual mode on high pressure for 5 minutes. After the time is up, quick-release the pressure valve.
  • Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf bundle from the pot.
  • Stir in the fresh lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to your liking. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 1671mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5323IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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4.75 from 12 votes (11 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Mary S

Friday 17th of February 2023

Would gluten free orzo work? If not then rice?

Angela

Saturday 30th of December 2023

@Mary S, Hi Mary, Yes! You can use gluten-free orzo. :-)

Katie C

Wednesday 15th of February 2023

This is such an easy and delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing it. It made me 6 lunch-sized portions for my work lunches, and to freeze.

Tina

Tuesday 31st of January 2023

When do you add the orzo?

Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com

Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Hi! It’s in the third step on the recipe card. You add it with the chicken broth, chicken, and spices. Hope you enjoy it! It really is delicious!!