Instant Pot Lemon Orzo Chicken

One of my favorite soups is Avgolemono, a Greek egg lemon orzo soup. It is light tasting, gets raves and made with only four ingredients. It literally couldn’t be easier to make. 

So when I was on the hunt for a healthier, lighter chicken dish with tons of flavor, obviously the gears started spinning in my head and the answer was right in front of my silly face. I would turn this magnificent soup into a delightful sauce for the perfect chicken dish – done so simply in the Instant Pot

And get ready, folks because if you love lemons and chicken and orzo, this one is a masterpiece. 

Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe): 

Take some flour along with a few sprinkles of salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix ’em together in a bowl. 

Then, take some chicken cutlets and dredge (coat) them in the flour mixture on all sides. 

When done, set aside on a plate. 

Now, go to the Instant Pot, add in some butter and olive oil and give it some heat. 

Once the butter’s melted and the oil’s heated, in batches, add in the chicken and sear on each side for about a minute or so until lightly browned. 

Repeat until all cutlets have been seared and the end result looks like this. Set aside on a plate for the time being. 

Now, add in a little more butter… 

…add in some shallots… 

…and deglaze the bottom of the pot from any flour that may have been caked-on while browning the chicken. 

Then, pour in some broth… 

…and add the chicken back into the pot. 

Pour in the orzo (a rice-shaped pasta)… 

…and then smooth it out so that it’s submerged in the broth around the chicken. 

Lastly, add some baby spinach (if you feel like it), secure the lid and cook at high pressure. 

While the chicken’s cooking, crack and egg into a little bowl or measuring cup… 

…and add in some lemon juice. 

Mix together until well combined (and don’t mind my messy self) 

Once the chicken’s done, use some tongs to remove it from the pot… 

…to a serving plate. It’s fine if some spinach clings onto the chicken while transferring. Just make sure to leave the broth and most of the orzo in the pot 

Now, pour in the egg mixture while constantly stirring. The sauce will thicken perfectly. 

If you wish to add some Parmesan, now’s the time to do it! 

And look at that. The most luscious lemony, parmesan-y, orzo-y sauce ever! 

Drape it all over the chicken and serve. 

Try it out…

…and kiss the fingers. 

A simple, light, lemony masterpiece indeed.

Instant Pot Lemon Orzo Chicken
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Lemon Orzo Chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Orzo Chicken

This basically takes a Greek Avgolemono soup and turns it into a sauce draped over chicken with some spinach tossed in. I couldn't love this dish more.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 2 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, sliced about 1/4″ thick into cutlets
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour (with a few pinches of garlic powder, black pepper and kosher salt mixed in), for dredging
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 2 shallots or 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth (1 3/4 cups water + 2 tsp of Chicken Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1/3 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 egg
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional, but suggested)


  1. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture so they’re fully coated and set aside on a plate.
  2. Add the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter to the Instant Pot and hit Sauté and Adjust to the More or High setting. Allow to heat for 3 minutes and until the butter’s melted.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot in batches and lightly brown for about 60-90 seconds on each side. Remove with tongs, set aside on a plate and repeat until all chicken is lightly browned.
  4. Melt the other 1 tbsp of butter in the pot. Add the shallots and sauté for another 2 minutes. Deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot from any flour that may have been caked-on from browning the chicken.
  5. Add the broth to the pot along with the chicken and orzo. Smooth the orzo out so it’s submerged in the broth and around the chicken. Top with the spinach (if using) but DO NOT STIR. Just let it rest on top of everything else.
  6. Secure the lid, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done.
  7. Remove the chicken with tongs to a serving dish (it’s fine if a lot of the spinach gets transferred with the chicken, but leave the liquid and orzo in the pot).
  8. Add the egg and the lemon juice in a measuring cup or bowl and whisk together. Pour it into the sauce in the pot while stirring. You’ll see it thicken up perfectly with a few egg ribbons forming. If you’re using the Parmesan, stir it in now too.
  9. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and enjoy with a side of your choice! (My Mashed Potatoes are a great fit here!) 
  10. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

I think the orzo ratio to the sauce is perfect as is (remember – the chicken and sauce are the stars of the dish, not the orzo) But if you want more orzo, add up to 1 cup total. Just make sure you add 1 3/4 cups broth per 1/3 cup of orzo (so 3 1/2 cups of broth for 2/3 cups orzo and 5 1/4 cups broth for 1 cup of orzo). And that also means to add the juice of another lemon + 1 more egg per additional 1/3 cup of orzo + 1 3/4 cup broth to balance the consistency and flavors out. If adding Parmesan and/or spinach, up that accordingly as well (or to taste).

Reader Interactions


  1. Christine

    Okay this was my very 1st meal I tried cooking in my IP Duo Evo Plus..I think I over cooked my Shallots, okay, I know I overcooked them!! Ha.. I should have watched your video 1st seeing I’m still a little (a lot) clueless on my IP! But even though I overcooked them & my sauce was more brown in color it was still tasty and I will definetly make it again in future!! Thanks for your videos, I’m starting to not feel so intimidated by my IP and I’m thrilled you use the same model as mine in this & other videos as you’re helping me figure this thing out!! 🙂 next I need to make your mushrooms risotto, that looks delish! Definetly recommend this lemon chicken orzo recepie!! Thanks!

  2. Karen

    This is right up my alley! Love light lemony dishes. I followed your recommendations to the letter for increasing chicken broth when increasing orzo, but it seemed a bit too “watery”. Should I decrease the broth a touch? Or would you recommend something else to thicken the sauce?

  3. Andrea

    Wow… loved this dish so much! So simple yet really delicious and comforting. I might up the lemon a bit as I only got a slight hint, but still good.

  4. Victoria

    So bummed because I wanted to make this tonight, but I don’t have any orzo. Is there a good substitution or could I omit that and make a pasta on the side I could mix in after cooking?

  5. Tracy Thompson

    Hi! I am excited to try this dish! Do you have a calorie or nutrition guide for people who keep a good diary or nutrition log available for your dishes?

  6. Jennifer

    I used the trivet but got burn notice, the orzo sticking to bottom of pot. What am I doing wrong? Oh I have a 3 qt IP Duo so used 1 lb chicken thighs and recommended amount of chicken stock and orzo.

  7. Louise Lupi

    Made this tonight and we loved it. I thought I had orzo but didn’t. So I used couscous. Next time I will use more lemon, just because I like lemony chicken.

  8. Linda Rodolff

    Made this today. Did not have orzo but substituted barley. Worked ok. Sauce was a little thinner than expected but overall good flavor. Served with mashed potatoes and side of corn on cob also done in IP.

  9. Phil

    When you coat the chicken with flour and put it in the Instant Pot, the burn signal comes on after a while. I would not saute’ the chicken in the pot, but coat the chicken and saute’ it in the frypan.

  10. Andrea Keeley

    Oh my goodness! I bought myself an Instant Pot Duo Nova for Christmas and, to be honest, I was a bit scared of it. I liked the sound of this recipe, so dived in. It is so delicious! Being from the UK, I had to convert the measurements but I wasn’t too precise. Having read some other reviews I addedthejuice of 2 lemons and it’s just perfect. Thank you for my first Instant Pot lesson.

  11. Aimee

    This is one of our favorite Instant Pot dishes. I do double the orzo and broth because it makes for a delicious leftover lunch the next day. I was skeptical about using uncooked orzo at first, but it comes out so creamy and just delightfully yummy. I will look forward to trying some of your other recipes.

  12. Mary Beth

    A winner winner chicken dinner! Like you said a perfect ratio of everything and so tender and delicious which I knew it would be because all of your recipes are perfect. You are my instant pot hero!

  13. Jill

    Made this tonight but had to omit the spinach because I didn’t have any. The flavor is lovely and the sauce thickens up beautifully and is rich and silky. My only issue is that the orzo cooks down to nothing, almost like a porridge or congee. I’m going to have to cook some orzo separately to serve it over.

  14. Jeanne

    I made this with thighs cut into strips, and also plopped 1/3 bag of frozen chopped spinach in (approximately 5oz) and it was fine. Delightful and delicious, I kept going back for seconds.. and thirds… If you have instructions on how to convert this to a stovetop recipe, I’m all ears 🙂

    Thanks for a winner! Great recipe!

  15. Buffy Dohleman

    Just made this using chicken tenders, and sprinkled on some maldon salt flakes after the finally plating. Made exactly as recipes instructed. Amazing!!! Wow! Definitely a repeat! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Lori

    I made this with the 2/3 c orzo and added about 4 oz feta cheese and 2-3 tbsp of capers and it was amazing! Can’t wait to make it again!

  17. Lynn

    I made this last evening for my Greek husband. He loves it. Instead of Parmesan cheese we put crumbled Feta on it. I wouldn’t make it without the spinach, reminiscent of spanokorizo.

  18. Walt DeReu

    What’s the reason for dredging and sauteeing the chicken before pressure cooking? It adds a lot of time to the process, what would be lost by skipping it?

    I’ve made this a few times, I love it, I double the orzo and use an 11 ounce package of spinach.

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