Instant Pot Chicken Spinach Parmesan Orzo–a one pot meal with chicken, pasta, tomatoes, spinach and parmesan cheese.
Instant Pot Chicken Spinach Parmesan Orzo
Looking for an easy dinner for tonight? I’ve got you covered. This chicken and orzo recipe is super fast and easy and it all cooks in your Instant Pot. You can even use frozen chicken. That’s what I did!
Because orzo cooks much quicker than chicken I used the pot-in-pot method for the orzo while the chicken cooked on the bottom of the pot. If you’re confused by “pot-in-pot” basically you throw the chicken in the bottom of your Instant Pot with the seasonings and a little broth. Then you lay a pan with water and uncooked pasta on top of the chicken. I used one of these stainless steel pans with the lid on*. While the chicken is getting the brunt of the pressure cooking the orzo cooks gently inside the pan. I like using this method for foods that need different pressure cooking times.
After the chicken has cooked you can dump the pasta into the chicken and add in some parmesan cheese and spinach. I like the fact that I didn’t even have to drain water off of the pasta. It was all soaked up.
I used frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts because that’s what I had but I also think boneless, skinless chicken thighs would be super tasty. You can use frozen or fresh chicken in this recipe. Just follow the timing directions indicated in the recipe card.
More Instant Pot Orzo Recipes You’ll Love…
Instant Pot Smoked Sausage with Parmesan and Orzo
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
Instant Pot Tomato Basil Parmesan Orzo
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Chicken Spinach Parmesan Orzo I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
Instant Pot Chicken Spinach Parmesan Orzo
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
A one pot meal with chicken, pasta, tomatoes, spinach and parmesan cheese.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (fire roasted would be good)
- 12 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups chopped spinach
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. When the display says HOT add in the olive oil and swirl it around. Add in the onion and saute for 4 minutes. Then add in the garlic and saute for 20 seconds. Deglaze the pot with the chicken broth.
- Place the chicken in a single layer in the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning over the chicken. Dump the tomatoes over the top of the chicken.
- Pour the orzo and water into a pan* that fits inside your Instant Pot. Using a sling* lower the pan on top of the chicken as evenly as possible. (I covered my pan)
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 12 minutes for thawed chicken and 15 minutes for frozen chicken (or follow this method for best results). When the time is up let the pot sit for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Use hot pads to remove the orzo pan. Set it aside.
- Cut the chicken into pieces. Stir the parmesan and spinach into the pot. Stir the orzo into pot. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop onto serving dishes and enjoy.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Jo Anne Harris says
I made this last night and the two men I was feeding LOVED it. I didn’t have anything to do the PIP with available, so I made the orzo separately. I added about 20 plum tomatoes that I had on hand, put them on top of the diced tomatoes, and it was delicious. I was concerned that the 1/2 cup chicken broth (I used low sodium Better Than Bullion) wouldn’t be enough liquid, but when it was done there was a lot of liquid in the pot. I just ladled out about a cup or more and then proceeded to add the other ingredients. I highly recommend this dish. Thanks Karen.
Good tips! Thanks Jo Anne 🙂
I made this tonight for dinner used the pot in pot for the orzo this was so easy and delicious I had it with garlic knots ty Karen
Sounds like a perfect dinner!
Holly Holmes says
Oh, yeah! Comfort food at it’s finest! I can’t stop eating this! Easy, light, yet so super satisfying! Pair with a salad & crusty Italian bread – HEAVEN!
Karen, you are the queen of pressure cooker recipes! Please keep them coming!
So glad you enjoyed it Holly!
Do you rinse pasta first?
Karen, can I throw broccoli in the instant pot at the same time as the sausage, orzo etc by itself? I don’t have a separate steamer Pan but figured it would probably be ok? (Instead of using spinach at the end)
I bet you could, you might want to steam it in the microwave before you throw it in.
Do you think ground turkey would work?
Yes, I would brown it as you’re sauteeing the onions.
This recipe was so good! it’s funny how some people are saying it came out soupy. I was coming here to say that next time I make it, I’ll probably add a little extra liquid to it
Thanks for the 5 stars Melissa!
You said to deglaze the pot using two cups of broth. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chicken broth. The total would be 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Will the receipt turn out to be like soup? Thanks so much.
Hi Peggy, deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup of broth. Then the 2 cups of water go in with the orzo in a pot in pot method on top of the chicken.
Yummy meal & very easy, I used chicken bone broth instead of chicken broth, did an extra tsp of italian season & extra garlic. Made the orzo on the stove, all came out perfect.
Yay! Love it. Glad you liked it 🙂
Bill Buckley says
Karen, I enjoy making your recipes and even better eating them.
My question is : Can you saute frozen chicken or other meats? If so, is there a change in the saue time?
Thanks, again. I look forward to your email response.
I think you can! It won’t necessarily give you the browned look but perhaps would add flavor.
I have a 10 qt instant pot, should I double the recipe? Also can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts with that cook time or will I need to adjust it?
I would double it and I would use thighs but cook for 15 minutes.
This looks delicious….how can I make this in a slow cooker? Thanks!
I wouldn’t. Pasta is so hit or miss in the slow cooker.
I halved the recipe and it worked fine, maybe a bit soupy. I also used a rotini pasta (because that’s what I had in the house). It was good! Could you add some nutrition info? Thanks
Hi there, nutrition info is at the bottom of the recipe card.
I made this tonight and while it turned out great, there was quite a bit of liquid in the pot after cooking, so the whole thing amost ended up like soup. I followed the directions exactly, and covered the orzo pot with foil while it was in the IP. Did I do something wrong?
I am not sure what happened! If this happens again just drain some of the liquid first before stirring in the orzo!
Turned out excellent! I had to use an ikea stainless steel bowl and used foil for the top. It was a hit for the whole family
Good idea on the Ikea bowl!!
How does the spinach cook if you are adding it at the end?
It just cooks partially thanks to the hot food. It will wilt down quickly.
Jan Sullivan says
Am I the only crazy one who is wondering this? I bought a foil pan for the orzo as I didn’t have a pot that would fit. Does that go directly on top of the chicken? Or should I put the pan on a trivet? The recipe sounds so good!
You really could do it either way!
No Jan, you are not crazy! I had the impression that the sling is used to hold the pan above the food below, but after watching the video it looks like it sits directly on top of the food below.
Do you think I could make orzo on the stove and add in at the end or would I need to adjust timings? I don’t have an inner pot
yes you could totally do that!
What would the water adjustment be for the recipe if you cooked the orzo separate?
Do you mean in the Instant Pot? If so I would just use the 1/2 cup broth. If you mean how much to cook orzo on the stove I would just follow the package directions and boil like any other pasta.
Delicious! I didn’t have a lid for my inner pot so I used foil. Came out perfect! Had just under 2 cups risotto, used just under 3 cups water. Had 10 oz cans of diced tomatoes, used 2. It was so good and so easy! Thank you!
Glad you liked it!
If I’m going to half the recipe, do I need to change the cook time? This looks delicious but there’s only 2 of us so I think the full recipe would be way too much.
Peggy Hildebrand says
Can you use frozen spinach?
gina meixner says
I followed the recipe and was so excited. My first time doing a pot inside the pot . I was the best thing I have ever made! A definite keeper! Thank you
Nice! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂
Susan V. says
I’d like to use brown rice. Usually 10 min is enough?
22 minutes for brown rice with a 1 cup rice to 1.25 cup water ratio plus a 10 minute NPR
Alice Wylie says
Do you think this can be made ahead and frozen?
Ummm I’d worry that the orzo would get mushy when reheated.
Beth Pascarella says
Can you cook it all in the one pot?
The orzo only needs a minute of pressure cook time so if you did you’d have to precook the chicken.
I reheat rice or orzo on steam for 5 minutes with a quick release. Not mushy at all. 👍🏼
Wendey Rhoades says
If I only have a pot without a lid, would it be better to use foil or to cook the orzo on the stove?
you don’t really need a lid. it will be fine.
What if i dont have a manual button? Do i leave it on salute for 12 minutes? Also do all the buttons have a preset time to cook like soup is 5 minutes, meat is 15 minutes. In the past I’ve always hit the soup button and added the extra time?
you can hit the preset button and add time
Next day leftovers taste much better, and I served over freshly made linguine ( made on the stove top). We both agreed that we liked this meal much better. Thanks!
Glad you liked it!
I weighed out my orzo. 12 ounces exactly, with the amount of liquid, in a stackable pot with a lid exactly as you said. Orzo came out very mushy. Therefore, I did not put it in the pot, but just spooned it out for my dish, and threw the rest of it out! Tomorrow, I will serve leftovers over some freshly cooked pasta instead. Not our favorite meal.
I’m sorry that yours didn’t turn out.
Instead of using water for the pasta can you substitute with chicken broth?
Shelley Stevens says
How many cups is equal to 12 ounces of orzo pasta?
I believe it is 1 1/2 cups