Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo

This cozy Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo is a quick Italian meal your whole family will love.

Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)
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Sometimes I just need a little edible comfort in the form of pasta. Who’s with me?

Even in the summer, when I’m supposed to be sticking to barbecue and watermelon, I’ve got to have a carby pasta dish on occasion. It just makes me feel like all is right with the world.

How to Make Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)

Today’s Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo is a fabulous recipe year-round, yet I especially like to make it in the summer and early fall when my herbs are growing tall.

It’s also great for summer cooking, because the entire recipe in made in an Instant Pot, so you don’t have to turn on your oven or stovetop and heat up the house.

Making Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)

Although I may get stoned for saying this, Instant Pots are not great for every type of recipe. There are times when you’re better off using a skillet to intensify flavor and produce a better overall texture. (Like this Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Skillet, or Carne Asada.)

However, I have found with recipes like this Italian Chicken Orzo dish you can pressure cook your chicken to tender perfection, and boil your pasta at the same time… In just 4 minutes!

How To: Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)

How to Make Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo

Seriously, Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo is so easy to make. Just sauté the chicken thighs in the pot to create some caramelization on the exterior.

Next add in onions, garlic, orzo, tomatoes, and fresh garden herbs. Stir in water and position the chicken thighs on top.

Prepping Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)

Then pressure cook the pasta and chicken together.

I like to stir in fresh basil leaves at the end, so you have the deep herby undertones of the pressure cooked herbs, balanced by a pop of fresh sweetness from the raw basil.

Perfect Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)

This simple meal is so satisfying, it’s sure to end up on your regular dinner rotation.

And if you don’t have an Instant Pot, it’s worth the purchase!

Best Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)

More Amazing Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Bang Bang Shrimp

Perfect Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Chinese Sesame Chicken

Pasta with Vodka Sauce

IP Keto Crustless Quiche

Pressure Cooker Apple Sauce

Shrimp Fra Diavolo Pasta

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef Irish Stew

Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Check out our video tutorial below…

Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe (Pressure Cooker Italian Pasta)

Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
26 mins
Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo Recipe - An easy one-pot pressure cooker meal with robust Italian flavors of tomato, rosemary, thyme and basil.
Servings: 4 +
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo
Amount Per Serving (1 thigh + orzo)
Calories 407 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 324mg 14%
Potassium 233mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 76g 25%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 8g
Protein 13g 26%
Vitamin A 18.7%
Vitamin C 9.5%
Calcium 10.1%
Iron 13.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 2-2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (4-6 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 12 ounces dry orzo pasta
  • 28 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place the oil in the Instant Pot and set on Sauté. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces on both sides. Then place them skin-side-down in the Instant Pot. Sauté for 5 minutes per side, then remove from the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a metal spatula to loosen any chicken skin. (Skin stuck to the bottom of the pot could later result in a "burn" notice.)
  2. Next add the onions and garlic to the pan juices. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the fresh herbs, orzo, diced tomatoes, and water to the pot. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and stir well. Set the chicken thighs on top of the orzo. Lock the lid into place and set the Instant Pot on Pressure Cook High for 4 minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, turn off the Instant Pot and perform a Quick Release. When the steam valve button drops, it's safe to open the top. Remove all herb stems. Taste the orzo, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the fresh basil and serve.

Recipe Video

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7 comments on “Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo

  1. susanposted February 2, 2019 at 7:46 am Reply

    Looks delicious-do you think chicken breasts would work in this recipe? Boneless, or on the bone?

    • Sommer Collierposted February 11, 2019 at 12:27 am Reply

      Hi Susan,

      Absolutely! You can swap out chicken breasts using the same cooking times.

  2. Sarahposted January 13, 2019 at 5:15 pm Reply

    I had difficulty with the burn notice on this recipe. Even scraping the skin off the bottom of the pot, the orzo sank to the bottom and burned.  I’m wondering if it is layered differently, not stirred, but with the orzo non top of everything but the chicken maybe it won’t have the same issue? 

    • Sommer Collierposted January 24, 2019 at 9:45 pm Reply

      Hi Susan,

      Sorry about that! One thing I’ve noticed after posting IP pasta recipes, is that there are several models and sizes and they don’t all cook exactly the same. :(

      Try adding another 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water. Or you could definitely try layering it differently. If you figure something out with your Instant Pot, please report back!

  3. Jill Noblesposted December 18, 2018 at 7:59 am Reply

    Could you swap out the orzo for brown rice?

    • Sommer Collierposted December 19, 2018 at 4:20 pm Reply

      Hi Jill,

      Yes, but it will change the cooking time a bit. Brown rice usually takes about 15 minutes on High Pressure.

  4. Pingback: 21 Easy Fall Instant Pot Recipes That Will Warm You Up This Season | Good Cookery