This instant pot orzo is one of the easiest quick meals that can be made in just minutes and combines a delicious lemon twist with savory sauteed garlic.
What is orzo?
Orzo is a short-cut pasta that has a similar shape to rice. It is made from flour (usually semolina) but can also be made from whole wheat. It is not rice but has a similar size, texture, and shape. Orzo is also called risoni.
How to cook orzo
It is often made on the stove-top which can taken anywhere from 6-8 minutes to cook. To speed up the process we are going to use an instant pot to create the perfect creamy orzo! It is important for orzo to be slightly al dente because if overcooked if can be mushy.
Is orzo gluten-free?
Orzo is made from white flour or whole wheat flour and is not generally gluten-free. However you can find gluten-free versions made with corn, rice or chickpeas. DeLallo Gluten-Free Orzo is a popular brand with a great gluten-free orzo.
Is orzo healthy?
Orzo is a low-fat food. It has a similar carbohydrate profile to brown rice but has twice the protein. Orzo also contains fiber which is helpful for digestion. Resistant starch also increases in cooked, cooled pasta (like orzo) which can help your gut microbiome in your large intestine. Orzo also contains iron, thiamin, niacin, B6, and folate.
Is orzo vegan?
Yes, orzo is vegan. Orzo is made from wheat or white flour without eggs. In this dish we do not use any animal products. I recommend using almond milk for the creaminess but you can use whatever you can on hand that is unsweetened.
How to Cook Orzo in an Instant Pot (Step by Step Instruction)
- Start by setting your Instant Pot to "Sauté" feature and add in your olive oil and minced garlic.
- Next add lemon zest and lemon juice, orzo and salt.
- Add in your milk and water.
- Cover and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Allow it to sit for 1 minute before doing a quick release.
- Fluff and serve.
Orzo to Water Ratio in Instant Pot
I recommend a ~1.5:1 ratio of water:orzo when cooking instant pot orzo. If you are cooking stovetop you will use more water because more evaporation will occur with an open pot.
How to Serve
I love to serve my garlic lemon orzo in bowls with freshly ground black pepper and some diced fresh parsley. You can also sprinkle on some himalayan salt to taste or parmesan cheese.
Orzo itself could be a main dish OR side dish. To make it a more filling entree, you can add in lots of other delicious ingredients:
- Chickpeas, white beans, etc
- Sundried tomatoes or other veggies
- Vegan chicken
- Make a cold orzo pasta salad with fresh herbs, veggies, and beans
How many cups of orzo do I need for two people?
One cup of dry orzo will create 2 cups of cooked pasta. One serving of cooked orzo can range from ½ - 1 cup based on the person. In this recipe we cook with one cup of orzo to serve 2-4 people. When in doubt, make extra because pasta always is a favorite!
How to store orzo
Store your orzo in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When reheating add in 1-2 tablespoon of water and heat in microwave for 30-45 seconds or stovetop for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Why you'll love this creamy lemon garlic orzo:
- Instant pot orzo can be made in just 3 minutes.
- It has the perfect balance of lemon and garlic with a creamy, smooth texture.
- It is a quick, easy side dish that can also be a full meal (see above other additions to make a wholesome meal).
- Clean-up is easy because it's made in just one pot!
- It's vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Quick Creamy Lemon Garlic Instant Pot Orzo
- Start by using the u0022Sautéu0022 feature on your Instant Pot. Add in your olive oil and freshly minced garlic cloves and saute for 2-3 minutes until garlic is slightly browned and fragrant.
- Add in your lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, salt, and orzo. Stir and let the orzo brown for a minute.
- Pour in your milk and water and stir. Cover your Instant Pot and press High Pressure and set to 3 minutes.
- When 3 minutes is complete let the orzo sit for 1 minute before doing the Quick Release. Stir for a minute and your orzo will develop a creamy texture.
- Serve orzo in a dish with fresh black pepper, diced parsley, and/more salt if desired. Enjoy!