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Instant Pot Orzo Pasta

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You’ll love this Instant Pot Orzo Pasta for it’s simplicity, satisfying texture, and orzo’s ability to take on flavors from surrounding dishes.

instant pot orzo pasta presentation

Instant Pot orzo is not only ridiculously easy to make, it’s also a dish that everyone loves.

It’s versatile and can be incorporated in spicy soups and flavorful salads, as well as being toned down and kept mild for the kiddos.

We love to cook it for summer barbecues, as the main ingredient in Greek Orzo Salad With Feta. It’s a flavorful side dish that is just perfect with anything at a BBQ or picnic. It’s a great crowd pleasing pasta salad to bring to a potluck.

There are several dishes we usually serve with it. We love to make easy Instant Pot lamb gyros to be enjoyed in gyro pita wraps and gyro plates with air fryer fries.

Likewise, you can make chicken souvlaki to be enjoyed in chicken souvlaki pita wraps and souvlaki plates with fries.

With either of those meats, you will definitely want to prepare a batch of tzatziki sauce and perhaps a Horiatiki salad to go with.

Horiatiki salad has similar ingredients to the orzo pasta salad and can be a good option for those who are limiting carbs.

greek inspired dinner menu 2
Instant Pot Orzo in Greek Orzo Salad With Feta, With Instant Pot Gyros made into Gyro Wraps and Gyro Plate With Salad and Air Fryer Fries.

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Instant Pot Orzo Pasta Ingredients

instant pot orzo pasta ingredients mise en place

You only need three basic ingredients, as well as some water in the Instant Pot. They are:

  • Orzo — You’ll need your orzo pasta of course. Regular or gluten free varieties can be used.
  • Oil — Add a bit of olive oil to the Instant Pot water.
  • Salt — As well, you can add some Himalayan pink salt or regular salt if you prefer.
  • Water or Broth — not shown in above pic — you’ll need water or broth (we prefer chicken broth but you can use vegetable).

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Optional Instant Pot Orzo Pasta Variations

The above recipe if for the most basic plain recipe of Instant Pot cooked orzo. This is perfect for use in pasta salad dishes that will have flavorful salad dressings added to it, as in Greek Orzo Salad With Feta.

You can cook the orzo in chicken broth for additional flavor, and once cooked you can add butter, parmesan and a little lemon juice if you like. Fresh chopped herbs like parsley can be added in as well. This adds more flavor if you’d like to serve it as a plain side dish and not in a salad or soup.

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a small oval or rice shaped pasta, also called pastina. It’s texture is smooth like pasta, and when cooked al dente (tender, yet firm), it has a satisfying texture. Like other pastas, it is usually made of semolina flour.

Is Orzo Gluten Free?

No, orzo is not gluten free.

However, there are high fiber, gluten free varieties, such as PC Blue Menu Red Lentil and Chickpea Orzo, made with red lentil flour and chickpea flour.

How To Make Instant Pot Orzo Pasta

It’s super simple to make this side dish.

Add orzo pasta to an Instant Pot and pour in water or broth, if using in place of water, olive oil and salt. You can omit the added salt if using chicken broth, as it will be salty.

Fasten the Instant Pot lid. Move the Instant Pot pressure valve to SEALING. Set the timer to HIGH pressure for 2 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to cook for the 2 minute cycle and then quick release the pressure (by moving the pressure valve to VENTING).

Remove the lid and let the orzo stand in the water or broth for 15 minutes, or until the water or broth is absorbed.

instant pot orzo pasta step 2

When that’s done, run the orzo pasta under cold water to stop any further cooking.

This ensures you will have a perfect al dente (tender but firm) texture that is perfect to use in your orzo salad recipes.

What To Serve With Instant Pot Orzo Pasta

We love to enjoy Instant Pot orzo pasta in our Greek Orzo Salad with Feta.

It’s also super easy to make. Once you have the orzo cooked and cooled, you can add it to a large bowl with diced vegetables and an easy homemade Greek salad dressing.

You can enjoy Instant Pot orzo pasta with chicken souvlaki or kebab chicken breast.

We especially love orzo pasta as part of a Greek inspired lunch or dinner. Prepare some quick and easy Instant Pot lamb gyros, Horiatiki salad, chicken souvlaki and tzatziki sauce.

You can also make easy pita pizzas with the meat, an excellent way to enjoy any gyro or souvlaki leftovers the next day.

Our faves are Gyro Pita Pizza and Chicken Souvlaki Pita Pizza.

greek inspired dinner menu 1
Greek Inspired Menu With Instant Pot Orzo Pasta, Greek Orzo Salad With Feta, Chicken Souvlaki, Instant Pot Lamb Gyros, Gyro Pita Pizza, Horiatiki Salad and Tzatziki

This is a versatile pasta, that you can use in many recipes.

You can add it to soups and stews. Orzo in broth makes a delicious simple soup, great for children, especially with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Or skip the broth and serve it with melted butter and parmesan cheese, another kid favorite recipe. It’s also great with marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes or meat pasta sauce and parmesan cheese.

Storage Tips For Instant Pot Orzo Pasta

Orzo can keep well in the refrigerator for three to five days. Ensure it is covered in an air tight container.

If you’d like to freeze it, you can do so for up to three months. Make sure it is wrapped tight in a freezer safe Ziplock bag.

You’ll Also Love

Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe (Red Lobster Copycat)

Wild rice pilaf is another quick side dish you can make effortlessly with the help of your Instant Pot. It’s restaurant style and amazing with a seafood dinner menu.

instant pot wild rice pilaf recipe red lobster copycat presentation
Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf, Shown With Lobster Tails, Garlic Green Beans, Stuffed Mushrooms Caps With Crabmeat and Escargot Stuffed Mushrooms

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instant pot orzo pasta recipe

Instant Pot Orzo Pasta

Susan & Björn
Super fast preparation of a stand by side dish that can flexibly be made into spicy soups and flavorful pasta salads or kept mild with melted butter, parmesan and lemon juice.
No ratings yet
servings6 people
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Greek, Italian
Calories 162 kcal
Fiber 1 g
Carbohydrates 28 g


1 Instant Pot 6 Quart


  • 1.5 Cups Orzo, dry, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil, cold pressed, extra virgin
  • ½ teaspoon Salt, Himalayan salt or regular
  • 3 Cups Water or Broth, chicken or vegetable broth


  • Place uncooked orzo pasta into an Instant Pot with water (or chicken broth if using), olive oil and salt. You can omit the salt if using chicken broth, if you like. Fasten the lid, move the pressure valve to SEALING and set the timer to 2 minutes on HIGH pressure.
    Allow the Instant Pot to complete it's two minute cycle (it will take a bit of time to come to pressure first. Once the two minutes are up, quick release the pressure (do this by moving the pressure valve to VENTING).
    instant pot orzo pasta step 1
  • Remove the lid and allow the orzo pasta to be in the water or broth for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. When all of the water is absorbed, the you can run the orzo pasta under cold water in a colander to stop any further cooking of the orzo. This will ensure an al dente (tender but firm) texture. Drain well and use in Greek Pasta Salad with Feta or other recipes.
    instant pot orzo pasta step 2
  • If you are serving it as a plain side dish, not in a pasta salad, you can omit the step of running the orzo under cold water. Instead, add some butter (stir to melt), parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Begin with about a tablespoon of each and add more to taste. Sprinkle on some fresh chopped parsley if you like! Enjoy!

Additional Information

*Nutrition facts are calculated above based on cooking with water.  


Calories: 162kcal Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 1g Net Carbohydrates: 27g Protein: 5g Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 0.4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 199mg Potassium: 85mg Sugar: 1g Calcium: 8mg Iron: 1mg


The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

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