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Instant Pot

Lemony Orzo with Chicken and Arugula

4 Servings

45 minutes 25 minutes active

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Orzo means “barley” in Italian, but it also is the name of the pasta that resembles grains of rice. In this dish, we’ve paired orzo with chicken and greens, turning it into a light but complete one-pot meal. Feel free to substitute an equal amount of baby spinach for the arugula, and if you prefer tangy, creamy fresh goat cheese (chèvre) to salty, briny feta, it’s also a delicious way to top the pasta.




Don't use chicken breasts instead of thighs, as it will end up tough and dry. But don't cut the thighs into pieces larger than ¾ inch or they may not fully cook through.

45 minutes

25 minutes active



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Jeremy J.
April 30, 2023
Good flavor, but far too much liquid
We made this in our instant pot, and enjoyed the taste, but it had far too much liquid -- more a soup than a pasta dish. We will have to try again with a lot less broth and wine. Also, we added some saffron for a little extra flavor and color.
Zarlasht F.

Most of the recipes I want to cook require an Instant Pot. I have a regular pressure cooker. Can I use that instead?

Janelle C.

This is a great question. Would you post it in our Q&A Forum for Milk Street Insiders and Digital subscribers? It's currently free for all to use and we're sure others would love to hear the answer to this one.

The Milk Street Team

Sarah F.

I came back from the grocery store and just noticed that this recipe is for insta-pot. I don't have that or a pressure cooker. How can I make this now?

Lynn C.

Hi Sarah -

You can make this in a saucepan on the stovetop but, since we haven't tested it, I'm not 100% sure on whether the amount of broth is correct. Follow step 1 of the recipe in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Since the pressure cooker has a tighter seal, the steam and moisture stays locked pretty well inside. Therefore, you may need a little bit more broth (I would recommend a 2:1 ratio of liquid to orzo). Once you add the broth, chicken, and orzo, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the orzo is almost al dente and the chicken is fully cooked. If you find there's still too much liquid at this point, remove the cover and continue to cook until the orzo is al dente and the remaining liquid is evaporated. You may need to check in on it every once in a while to make sure you aren't losing too much broth. Hopefully this will work well enough for you to still have this as your meal tonight! Let us know how it turns out. I'm sure others would like to try it on the stovetop too.

The Milk Street Team

Sarah F.

I appreciate the quick response. I did what you suggested and added even more broth just in case. I thought that the worse that could happen is that it would have more of a soup like consistency. It only took an extra 15 minutes so I am not sure why you would need an Instant Pot at all. I have no more space in my kitchen and my mixer sits on top of my washing machine as it is! Good flavor and easy to adapt.

Daniel L.

I don’t have an instant pot either and made it with the 2:1 broth to orzo ratio suggested - it worked perfectly. And it was delicious!