How to make Orzo Pasta in an Instant Pot
Making orzo in an instant pot is very simple. First it is important to toast the orzo lightly in oil or butter to give it a golden color to add a nice nutty flavor. This only takes a few minutes but will result in a more flavorful pasta dish.
The next important thing is the ratio of liquid to pasta. For orzo, that is 1 part pasta to 1.5 parts liquid. For 1 cup of orzo, you’ll need 1.5 cups of liquid, for 2 cups of pasta will need 3 cups of liquid, and so on.
It will take 3 minutes to cook the orzo on high/manual (after the 10 minutes it takes for the instant pot to reach pressure. The pasta will still be very al dente at this point and all of the liquid will not be fully absorbed.
Just give the pasta a stir after releasing the pressure, replace the lid and allow the pasta to sit for a few additional minutes.
This method prevents overcooking so that your orzo will come out perfectly every time.
Sauces for Instant Pot Orzo
You can finish the pasta like a risotto, by just adding a tablespoon of butter, some parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper. You can also stir in a 2 – 4 tablespoons of heavy cream and a blend of cheeses (such as cheddar, jack cheese, gruyere or mozzarella).
Other popular choices are fresh peas and lemon zest, toasted pine nuts, pesto, chives, sautéed wild mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil, or spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.
Just add the mix-in of your choice after the liquid is absorbed. The sauté function of the instant pot can be used if a little extra cooking time is needed.
You can omit using the garlic and onion purée used at the beginning of this recipe (along with the wine if you add 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra stock. These ingredients add extra flavor, but are not necessary if you have a different purpose for the orzo.
Orzo Pasta with Whipped Goat Cheese
I’ve included my favorite orzo pasta variation in this recipe, which is orzo pasta with whipped goat cheese. The goat cheese recipe follows and is very easy to make. It’s also fantastic as a spread for crostini!
Here are some additional Instant Pot Recipes you might enjoy:
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Olive Oil
- 1/2 Large Sweet White Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Cup (125 ml) White Wine
- 1 1/2 Cups (227 g) Orzo Pasta
- 2 1/2 Cups (591 ml) Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Suggestion: Top with Whipped Goat Cheese (recipe follows) and Parmesan Cheese
Using a hand grater, food processor or blender, process the onion and garlic until a paste is formed.
Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté. Add the olive oil to the pan.
When the pot indicates that it is "hot" add the onion purée and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the orzo and mix thoroughly. Continue to sauté until the rice is begins to lightly brown.
Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the stock and mix the ingredients together.
Put on the pressure cooker top, seal and make sure the pot is set to "Sealing."
Turn the Instant Pot on to "Manual" or "High" for 3 minutes.
After about 10 minutes the pot will reach full pressure and the 3 minute cooking time will begin. After 3 minutes immediately release the steam.
When the steam is fully released, remove the lid.
Stir and loosen any pasta that is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Turn off the instant pot and recover with the lid but do not seal.
Allow the orzo to sit for 3 minutes. If the pasta is too al dente at this point and the liquid has not been absorbed, turn the pot back on "Sauté" on the low heat and cook until the pasta is cooked through. There should still be some residual liquid.
Add additional mix-ins are per your recipe choice. If making the Goat Cheese Version, add 1/2 half of the recipe to the pasta and serve additional whipped goat cheese on the side.
Divide the orzo into bowls, add any additional garnishes, such as truffle salt, red pepper flakes, extra lemon zest or fresh herbs.
Serve while hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 5.7gSodium: 320mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 5.1gProtein: 5.1g
- 7 ounces (200 g) goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese (15 g), room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Heavy Cream
- 1 Clove Garlic
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Optional Garnishes: red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme leaves, chives or truffle salt.
Use as a mix-in to make creamy risotto, rice pasta dishes or mashed potatoes, as a topper for baked potatoes or spread for crostini.