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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