Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is cozy and comforting, and the bright, fresh flavor of lemon makes it taste just a little like spring.
Winter this year in Michigan has been absolutely relentless. Sub-zero temps, freezing rain, ice storms, and soooo muchhhh snowwww. Needless to say, this winter has been a big encouragement to create lots of new soup recipes. Nothing warms you up like a warm bowl of soup!
I’ve been using my Instant Pot so much that my stove is getting a little jealous. This soup could easily be made on the stovetop, but it’s even easier to make in the Instant Pot.
With all the sickness floating around our house, we need all the soup we can get, and the lemon in this chicken orzo soup is perfect for those runny noses, coughs, and sore throats. First E’s pneumonia, now Ben is sick. FUN TIMES.
Spring….where are you? We all need you. Michigan needs you!
In the meantime, soup it is.
About this Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
This Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo soup is a twist on a classic chicken noodle soup. Plain chicken noodle soup gets a little boring sometimes so it’s fun to mix it up a little with this recipe.
Side note: If you are looking for more traditional chicken soup, don’t worry! Try this Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup recipe or Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup for comforting soup like Grandma makes. Sometimes that’s just what we need!
This soup has all the cozy comforts you want in a chicken noodle soup…tender shredded chicken, lots of vegetables, pasta, and warm, soothing broth. However, the broth is brightened up by lots of fresh lemon juice and a little dill (I unapologetically love dill, if you haven’t noticed).
The orzo nuzzles into your spoon perfectly with the vegetables and chicken, so you get a perfect bite with all the ingredients each time.
How to make this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup on the stove:
Although it kind of seems like it at this point, I realize not everyone in the world has an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. This soup is really simple to make on on the stove, too.
To speed up cooking time, I recommend dicing the chicken into bite-sized pieces before adding it to the soup. You could cook the breast halves whole and shred them if that’s what you prefer, but it will increase the cooking time. You could also use chicken that you pull off a rotisserie chicken if you want to make this a super quick and easy recipe.
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Dice chicken and add diced chicken, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Sauté until onions are translucent.
- Add broth, water, lemon juice, dill, and garlic and bring to a boil.
- When boiling, add carrots and orzo and cook for 8-10 minutes (or as your orzo package directs), until orzo is al dente. Stir in spinach until wilted, and serve!
It’s very easy whether you make it on the stove or in your pressure cooker. You guys are going to love this one!
More Instant Pot recipes:
Looking to use your Instant Pot more often for soups, stews, and main dishes? Try:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced or thinly sliced celery
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium or unsalted)
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or up to 2 pounds)
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded carrots (or finely diced)
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
- Heat Instant Pot to "Sauté." Add oil, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add broth, water, and chicken. Secure lid and turn valve to "seal." Set Instant Pot on Pressure Cook (or Manual, high pressure) for 11 minutes. Quick release pressure when done cooking and carefully remove lid.
- Transfer chicken to a plate and turn Instant Pot back to Sauté. Add lemon juice, dill weed, garlic powder, carrots, and orzo. Bring to a boil and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until orzo is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes (check the package for exact cooking time).
- Meanwhile, shred chicken with two forks and return to pot when shredded.
- When orzo has finished cooking, turn Instant Pot to warm and add spinach and stir to wilt. Taste and adjust seasoning for salt and pepper. You may also add more chicken broth or water if it's thicker than you like.
- Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add diced chicken, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Sauté until onions are translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add broth, water, lemon juice, dill, and garlic; bring to a boil.
- Add carrots and orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes (follow orzo package directions), until orzo is al dente. Stir in spinach until wilted, and serve!
- If you're not quite ready to serve the soup, wait to add the spinach. Keep the soup warm and add the spinach right before serving so it retains its fresh flavor and color.
- To speed up cooking time when making the stovetop version, I recommend dicing the chicken into bite-sized pieces before adding it to the soup. You could cook it whole and shred it if that's what you prefer, but it will slightly increase the cooking time. You can also substitute cooked or rotisserie chicken if you want to make this a super quick and easy recipe.
- Leftover soup can be refrigerated for three or four days or frozen for at least 3 months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Husband’s take: I was a little nervous Ben wouldn’t like this, because historically he likes the classics and doesn’t like citrusy twists on them, but to my surprise, he loves this! He always eats all the leftovers.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but you could add different vegetables, some fresh parsley or fresh dill instead of dried.
Difficulty: Very easy!