Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup – homemade chicken soup from scratch, loaded with chicken, veggies, orzo pasta, and fresh lemon juice. Made in less than an hour using the Instant Pot.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
One of my favorite Instant Pot recipes is my Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, and I’ve used the same technique in this recipe. The thick cut veggies and whole chicken are cooked at the same time so they create an incredibly flavorful homemade chicken broth. Then the same chicken and veggies are used in the soup. Instead of egg noodles, I used orzo pasta and added fresh lemon juice for a delicious chicken soup that is especially good during cold and flu season!
Tips for making Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup in the Instant Pot
- Start with thickly cut celery and carrots. This will insure that the veggies don’t over cook during pressure cooking.
- Use freshly minced garlic for maximum flavor.
- Start with a whole uncooked chicken. The bones and skin will be discarded after cooking but will add so much flavor to the broth.
- A 5 pound chicken is ideal, but a little smaller or larger is ok, too. I have used 4 1/2 pounds to almost 6 pounds depending on what was available at the store.
- Cook chicken and veggies for 20 minutes on high pressure, then use quick pressure release. Do not leave the Instant Pot unattended during quick pressure release. If liquid starts to splatter out of the valve, use a wooden spoon to quickly close pressure release valve. Wait 5 minutes and try and release pressure again.
- Adjust lemon juice as needed. I recommend starting with 1/4 cup of lemon juice and adding more to taste up to 1/2 of a cup. Depending on size, you may need up to two lemons.
- Don’t skip the soy sauce. You can’t taste it, but it adds an extra layer of flavor that makes the broth extra tasty!
- Use a 6QT or 8QT Instant Pot for this recipe.
Can I make this with chicken breasts?
The really great thing about this recipe is that the whole chicken creates the chicken broth while it cooks. The cooking times are specially set to cook the whole chicken and vegetables at the same time. If you are going to substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast, you will also need to use chicken broth in place of water. I would recommend using a good quality low-sodium chicken broth, dicing the carrots and celery smaller, and cooking for 8 minutes on high pressure depending on the size of the chicken breasts.
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot French Dips
- Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
- Instant Pot Ramen
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup – homemade chicken soup from scratch loaded with chicken, veggies, orzo pasta and fresh lemon juice made in less than an hour in the Instant Pot.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 5 carrots peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 celery sticks sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 5 pound chicken whole, giblets removed
- 2 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 8 cups of water
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 ounces orzo uncooked
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice plus more as needed
- fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Heat olive oil and onions until onions start to soften and become translucent, 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic, carrots and celery and saute for another minute.
Add whole chicken to Instant Pot, followed by water, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of salt and several turns of freshly ground pepper.
Turn off Saute function, lock Instant Pot lid in place, make sure pressure valve is set to sealing and set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 20 minutes, via manual mode.
Instant Pot will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure, then will countdown from 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes at high pressure, Instant Pot will beep and switch to keep warm mode.
Turn pressure release valve to Quick Release pressure. Do not leave unattended during Quick Pressure release. If any liquid starts to splatter, immediately close pressure valve using a wooden spoon. Wait 5 minutes and try and release pressure again.
Carefully open Instant Pot, keeping lid angled away from you to avoid very hot steam.
Remove whole chicken using kitchen tongs and set aside to shred.
Turn Instant Pot back to Saute function and let chicken broth come to a boil.
Stir in orzo and let cook for 8 minutes, or according to package directions.
While orzo is cooking, shred chicken into bite sized pieces, discarding bones and skin.
Once orzo cooked, stir in chicken meat, lemon juice and fresh parsley.
Adjust salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
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This soup couldn’t be any easier to make! I loved the bright flavor adds, just perfect!
We love Instant Pot Lemon Chicken and now we also love this orzo soup version! Thanks!
I love these kinds of soup recipes that are easy to make and brimming with flavor. I also love that it’s made using a whole chicken. It’s more cost effective that way.
I can’t wait to try it. I will put the carcass back in the empty pot, cover wit water and make bone broth – perfect for the next pot of soup.
Great tip, Linda! Thank you!
What a wonderful recipe! The flavors are amazing and it was even easy to make. I made it this evening not feeling the best with a cold/flu. Not much effort for a perfect soup on a cold winter night! I did use half a cup (two) lemons and my husband and I both loved it. We a peach had a couple bowls and we still have a whole pot left! Thank you so much for sharing!
That sounds great, Tammy! I do think it’s the perfect soup for sold and flu season. I hope you are feeling better soon!
This soup was so easy that as a newbie trying to learn to cook, I felt like a professional chef. Like literally, it was too easy to make.
Thanks to that person that wrote this article. Loved it!
The best kind of comfort food! Love how easy this cooks up!
Love the color, taste, & easiness!! So glad I have everything to make it!
Great comfort food, I am definitely making the lemon chicken this weekend!!1
This looks so good! Is there a way to adapt it for use in a slow cooker or a regular pot? I bought the ingredients and then realized that it’s for an Instant Pot. Duh!
Hi Laura! I think you would have more success with a stovetop version, though I’m not sure of the cooking time. I have tested it in the slow cooker but haven’t worked out a good method yet. I’m sorry! Maybe this is your excuse to buy an Instant Pot. ?
The simplicity of this recipe is amazing, I love how hands-off it was. I’ve been feeling super congested due to allergies and this soup was the comforting thing I needed for dinner tonight, thanks for such an easy dinner idea.
Always a favorite in our home, but definitely going to give yours a try; looks too good to pass up!
Delicious as always. YOu have the best collection of instant pot recipes. My family loved this soup. And as an earlier commenter said – we put the carcass back into the pot and make bone broth. SO yummy!
So delicious! The flavors are so bright and fresh. Perfect comfort food for fall!
This is such a flavor packed meal and so comforting!! Yum!
First time leaving a comment for a recipe. Easy to make and we all had seconds! Fresh lemon made it quite tasty! Will defiantly make again!! Thank you for sharing!!!
So easy & so delicious! Love this soup! Perfect use of my Instant Pot! This soup came together so fast! It’s such miserable weather outside and it’s awesome to have good soup like this to help warm us up! <3 <3
This soup is totally delicious! It was a big hit for our family! Loved it!
This is one of my favorite soups of all time. Lemon chicken has always been a favorite of mine but paired with the orzo is next level.
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!
I was skeptical that this would be flavourful enough as there’s nearly no dry seasoning requirement, but this was possibly the most flavourful soup I’ve ever had! Thank you for insisting on a whole chicken, that is where all the flavour lies! I would only caution folks unused to high fat content, the soup is quite oily because of the skin, this oil does break down more as you saute it with the orzo. But in the future I would remove about 70% of the skin. Thank you SO much for this simple, fabulous recipe