This cozy Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo is a quick Italian meal your whole family will love.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
More Amazing Instant Pot Recipes
Check out our video tutorial below…
Instant Pot Herb Chicken Orzo
- 2 - 2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, 4-6 thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 3-5 fresh thyme sprigs
- 12 ounces dry orzo pasta
- 28 ounce can "fire roasted" diced tomatoes
- 4 cups water
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- Salt and pepper
- 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.)
- Next add the onions and garlic to the pan juices. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.