Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup – Instant Pot Recipe

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 tender chicken noodle soup for the soul for your family today!

Cooked lemon chicken orzo soup in an Instant Pot with a large spoon ready to scoop into bowls.

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!

Top view of two bowls of chicken soup made in an Instant Pot.

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.

Ingredients need to make lemon chicken orzo soup.

Ingredients needed:

  • Oil – olive, avocado or canola
  • Vegetables – onion, carrots, celery, garlic
  • Chicken – boneless skinless breasts, chicken thighs or a mix of the two.
  • Chicken Stock – make your own homemade broth in an Instant Pot.
  • Orzo Pasta – dried pasta will plump up nicely. Note that there a variety of orzo options to pick from. I’ve used sweet potato orzo with great results. Also available is whole wheat and gluten free options. However, for low carb followers you may want to use cauliflower rice in its place.
  • Herbs – ginger, oregano, thyme. Sometimes I also toss in a whole bay leaf.
  • Spices – salt and pepper
  • Lemon – fresh lemon adds the best bright spring weather flavor.

Supplies needed:

  • Instant Pot – 6 or 8 quart. I use a 6 quart Instant Pot.
  • A spoon or spatula for stirring the soup ingredients
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Soup ladle for serving
Close view of a spoonful of chicken soup with orzo in a white bowl.


Like most pressure cooker recipes, this is a simple one-pot meal that takes not time to put together.

Ready to get cooking?

Step 1 – Sauté vegetables

First, soften the vegetables; onion, celery, and carrots on the sauté function in olive oil.

Step 2 – Cook Chicken (photo A & B)

Add chicken, garlic, stock, water, ginger, lemon zest, and lemon to the pot. Secure the lid and make sure the vent is set to the sealing position. Cook on Manual for 7 minutes. Natural release for 5 minutes.

Step 3 – Remove and Cool Cooked Chicken

Carefully open the lid and remove the chicken to a plate to cool for a couple minutes.

Step 4 – Cook Orzo (photo C)

Add the orzo pasta, 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 high pressure Manual Mode for 3 minutes.

Step 5 – Shred Chicken (photo D)

While the pasta is cooking 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 large pot.

Serve up and top with fresh parsley or lemon zest, and a sprinkle of ground black pepper.

Serve up and top with fresh parsley or lemon zest, and a sprinkle of ground black pepper.

A white bowl with a spoonful of chicken soup ready to be eaten.

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.


Yes. You can use a rotisserie chicken instead of fresh chicken by adjusting the cooking time. The recipe calls for 2 chicken breasts which will give you about 2 2/3rd cups of shredded chicken. Skip step 2. You will only pressurize the ingredients to meld the flavors into the precooked chicken as noted in step 5.


Let any leftover soup cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To enjoy the next day, you may need to add additional cups chicken broth since the pasta will soak up the broth over time. Warm in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

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 airtight container.

A white mug full of chicken soup with skillet bread on the side ready to eat.

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.

Top view of two white bowls filled with chicken soup with an Instant Pot on the side.

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!

Close spoonful view of lemon chicken orzo soup.

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:

More Instant Pot Soups to try

Cooked lemon chicken orzo soup in an Instant Pot with a large spoon ready to scoop into bowls.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup In An Instant Pot

Hearty and delicious lemon chicken soup with orzo pasta made with sauted vegetables and chicken broth. This is a great soup for those busy evenings whey you want a quick and nutritious meal.
4.60 from 25 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Uncategorized
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken soup, Chicken soup with orzo, instant pot, Lemon chicken soup, low carb
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 359kcal
Author: Sandra Sandra


  • 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 juiced or 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 (juiced if you prefer not to add the lemon peel) 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.



*The highest compound of bitterness is from citrus not fully grown, so it’s important to use mature lemons in this recipe. Instead of adding the lemon quarters, you can add just the juice of the lemon if you prefer. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 682mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g


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.


Homemade lemon chicken orzo soup made in an Instant Pot. This quick and easy recipe is nutritious and filling. Perfect winter soup to bring you into the spring! #InstantPot #soup #orzo #nutritious
Hugs Sandra Signature

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 1 star
    DO NOT add lemon quarters with the peel on it. This ruined my soup that I was about to serve to my sick husband and daughter. Recipe is good otherwise but really upset that the lemon ruined it, it was so bitter I had to throw it out.

  2. I made this pretty much this same way, but I think it was a mistake to cook the whole lemon in it, it was bitter. Next time I will juice and zest the lemon but not cook the white part in the soup.

    1. So, a couple of questions…
      Any idea how much GROUND oregano & GROUND thyme I would use instead of the dried leaf versions?
      Also, is the amount of salt listed expected to be regular table salt, or something like Diamond Crystal Kosher salt?
      Thanks! This soup sounds fabulous, and I want to try making it, but on the stovetop. I don’t have an Instant Pot…

      1. Hi there! Are you using fresh herbs? You’ll use 1 tablespoon of fresh to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. Hope this helps. I used table salt. You will use have the amount if you use kosher salt. Enjoy! I’ve made this on the stovetop as well!