Instant Pot Orzo and Shrimp Scampi Pasta

bowl of orzo and shrimp garnished with basil

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5 from 1 review

Instant Pot orzo and shrimp cooks very quickly, even though the orzo cooks first and then the shrimp is added. This pasta has a creamy, risotto-like texture even though no cream or dairy is added.

Make sure to finish the dish with plenty of lemon juice and fresh basil or parsley.

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 8 minutes to reach pressure + 2 minutes cooking time + quick release


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound defrosted raw shrimp
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley or basil
  • Grated parmesan, when serving (optional)



  1. Press Saute and warm the olive oil or butter.
  2. Add the garlic, saute 30 seconds.
  3. Add the wine. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 minute.
  4. Add water, orzo and salt. Mix well.
  5. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.
  6. When the cooking time is done, immediately do a quick release to release the pressure.
  7. When you lift the lid, there will still be water left in the pot - don’t worry! The orzo will absorb it. Mix the orzo well, making sure to loosen any orzo that is beginning to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  8. Add the shrimp and mix well again.
  9. Set the lid back on the Instant Pot. Let the shrimp and orzo sit for a total of 5 minutes, stirring once to move the shrimp around.
  10. After 5 minutes, the shrimp should be cooked and the orzo should have absorbed all of the water. If not, leave the lid on another minute or two.
  11. Add lemon juice and fresh herbs.
  12. Taste the orzo, adding more salt and lemon juice to taste.


If necessary, you can use cooked, defrosted shrimp instead of raw shrimp. I've even used frozen, cooked shrimp and added it directly to the orzo when the shrimp is still frozen. Both work okay, but tend to bring down the temperature of the whole dish so neither the orzo or the shrimp are hot when you're ready to eat.

White wine is optional, but does add more flavor to the orzo. If you don't have white wine, just skip it and move on to the next step in the recipe.

This pasta can also be served as a cold shrimp and orzo pasta salad. Let the orzo and shrimp cool completely. Add mayonnaise and more lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. 

This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot.