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bowl of orzo

Instant Pot Orzo

  • Author: Jenny Meier | Kitchen Skip blog
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Perfectly cooked Instant Pot® orzo cooks in just 2 minutes! Read the blog post above for recipes and ideas that turn Instant Pot orzo into an easy family dinner.

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 5 minutes to reach pressure + 2 minutes at high pressure + quick release



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups orzo (12.5 ounces)
  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (a generous ¼ teaspoon)


  1. Heat the olive oil using the Saute function on the Instant Pot. I like to saute using the “normal” setting instead of the default “more” setting so that the garlic won’t burn. (Read the notes below to learn how to change the heat setting)
  2. Add the garlic, and saute about 30 seconds
  3. Add the orzo and mix well to coat in oil. For more flavor, lightly toast the orzo by sauteeing it for 3 to 5 minutes, so that the orzo is lightly toasted. Some pieces will turn a darker color, make sure to stir frequently to prevent burning.  
  4. Add the water, stirring well to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. 
  5. Lock lid in place.
  6. Program the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. 
  7. Quick release the pressure immediately when the cooking time is complete.
  8. Stir the orzo with a spatula, loosening any pieces that have stuck to the bottom. The orzo will be just a little watery and have a soft but slightly firm texture.
  9. Let the orzo sit for another 3 to 5 minutes with the lid set loosely back on the Instant Pot until the pasta has fully absorbed the water and has the texture you want. 
  10. Scoop the orzo out of the Instant Pot into a serving bowl so it doesn't keep cooking in the residual heat. Add more salt to taste if needed. 
  11. From here, you can serve the orzo with just grated cheese, or read the blog post above for other serving ideas. You can also chill the orzo and turn it into a cold pasta salad. 


This recipe is made in a 6-quart Instant Pot. 

How to Adjust the Instant Pot Saute Heat: There are 3 levels of heat when you saute in the Instant Pot: More, Normal and Less. I often find that the setting for "More" heat is too hot, and whatever I'm sauteing burns to the bottom of the pot.  To adjust the saute heat,  first press the Saute button, then press the "Adjust" button to move the red light under "Normal" or "Less."

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 2
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: orzo, risoni, instant pot orzo