Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is an easy made from scratch Instant Pot recipe with with small orzo pasta and a handful of fresh vegetables. Simple and delicious for anytime of year. Make this modern updated chicken noodle soup for the soul for your family today!
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe
We eat a lot of soups at my house, although we don’t limit them to just the winter months.
Soups are my favorite one-pot meals, and this lemon chicken orzo soup recipe is light, full of flavor, and makes great leftovers!
Since we are working from home, we can quickly warm up a bowl of soup for lunch. Sure beats takeout.
I just made this Leftover Turkey Soup to use us our Thanksgiving turkey, and still craving warm soup with a broth base.
Plus, not only is this soup easy to make, but it is also pretty darn healthy too!
What is chicken orzo soup made of?
This lemon chicken orzo soup recipe is made similar to a chicken noodle soup with chicken, a light broth, carrots, celery, and spices.
However, instead of an wide egg noodle, which are short flat past strips we use orzo pasta for this soup.
Orzo means “barley” in Italian, referring to its small barley-like shape.
I also think orzo resembles long grain pieces of rice, but slightly thicker. Once cooked orzo plumps up giving us a nice texture.
You will find a several variations of orzo. Some brands will make their pasta with white flour, but you will also see it made with whole grain as well as blends of corn and rice for gluten-free diets.
- Oil – olive, avocado or canola
- Vegetables – onion, carrots, celery, garlic
- Chicken – boneless breasts, thighs or a mix of the two
- Chicken Stock – make your own bone broth in an Instant Pot.
- Orzo Pasta – dried
- Herbs – ginger, oregano, thyme
- Spices – salt and pepper
- Lemon – fresh
- Instant Pot
- A spoon or spatula for stirring the soup ingredients
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Soup ladle for serving
How to make Lemon Chicken Soup in an Instant Pot
Like most pressure cooker recipes, this is a simple one-pot meal that takes not time to put together.
Ready to get cooking?
First, soften the vegetables; onion, celery, and carrots on the saute mode in olive oil .
- (A) Add chicken, garlic, stock, water, ginger and lemon to the pot. Secure the lid and make sure the vent is set to Sealing. Cook on Manual for 7 minutes. Natural release for 5 minutes.
- (B) Carefully open the lid and remove the chicken to a plate to cool for a couple minutes.
- (C) Add the orzo, dried herbs and salt and pepper to the pot. Give it a quick stir and then secure the lid and seal the vent. Set to cook on Manual for 3 minutes.
- (D) Shred the chicken with 2 forks. When the pot beeps done, do a quick release of steam and open the lid. Return chicken to the pot.
Serve up and enjoy!
Can you put raw chicken in soup?
Yes! You can add raw chicken to your broth in this Instant Pot recipe.
With this method it is just like you would be boiling the chicken, which not only cooks quickly but also cooks nice and tender.
To be safe, check the internal temperature with a food thermometer. For poultry, the temperature should reach a minimum of 165°F according to Food Safety.Gov.
How do I store Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup?
You can store any leftover soup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I do not recommend freezing soup with pasta in it, as the pasta will continue to absorb moisture and become extra soggy after thawing.
However, if you decide to leave out the pasta, you can freeze for at least 3 months in an air-tight container.
Does chicken soup help the immune system?
You already know that chicken soup has long been touted as a remedy for colds and flu. It is soothing and comforting for a reason!
Several studies (here’s one from Science Daily) suggest that chicken soup can help fight colds and other viruses by boosting the immune system.
Chicken stock and chicken broth contain vitamins and minerals (like zinc, magnesium, calcium, and folate) that help boost your immune system.
It also contains healthy fats and collagen, which some believe supports healing. Because it is a warm liquid, it aids in hydrating the body, is soothing to the throat, and can help thin nasal mucus.
Chicken itself contains protein, and amino acids, that help support the immune system, have anti-inflammatory effects, and have shown to decrease the length of a viral infection.
What other ingredients help boost the immune system?
This chicken soup contains several other ingredients that are known to help aid the body in fighting off infections.
The onion, celery, and especially carrots contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and other antioxidants that are known to boost the immune system.
Lemon is also a source of vitamin C, and can help reduce phlegm. Garlic has long been used for its antibacterial, and antiviral activity and studies have shown it can not only help prevent colds, but also help reduce the length of an infection.
Ginger also has antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
And finally, the pasta in the soup helps you feel full and satiated. So as you can see, this soup is full of immune boosting and soothing ingredients!
What to serve with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
This soup is delicious right out of the Instant Pot, but for a heartier meal I like to serve with a roll or bread.
Experiment with one of these recipes:
- Parmesan Popovers – there is a hint of pesto in these adding lots of flavor.
- Grain Free Bread – easy recipe and it tastes amazing!
- Skillet Corn Bread – super tender and fluffy.
- Low Carb Cheddar Biscuits – drop biscuits practically melt in your mouth!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley for garnish
- Set Instant Pot to Saute. When hot, add olive oil. Saute onion, carrots, and celery until soft - about 5minutes.
- Add the chicken, garlic, stock, water, ginger and lemon to the pot. Secure the lid and make sure the vent is set to Sealing. Cook on Manual for 7 minutes. When pot beeps done, allow for a natural release for 5 minutes.
- When 5 minutes is up, release any remaining steam and pressure by turning vent to Venting. Open the lid and remove the chicken to a plate to cool for a couple minutes. Remove the lemon quarters, squeezing some juice into the pot (careful, it’s hot!) and discard.
- Add the orzo, dried herbs and salt and pepper to the pot. Give it a quick stir and then secure the lid and seal the vent. Set to cook on Manual for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken with 2 forks. When the pot beeps done, do a quick release of steam and open the lid. Return chicken to the pot.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 359Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 682mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 27g
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.
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