Instant Pot: Parmesan Garlic Orzo

Sometimes we all need a break from our favorite foods. For us, it's rice. We love rice and could easily eat it everyday as part of every meal. So to switch things up a bit, I incorporated other starches into our meals. Pasta was one of those things my husband doesn't care for too often because it can be a bit too heavy. That's when I discovered orzo! I like serving this as a rice substitute and it's similar to rice, you can combine it with other ingredients to take on new flavors.

For a side dish to an Italian inspired dinner, I prepared orzo with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley. It's not only easy, but good and light for a starch.

Parmesan Garlic Orzo
original Joelen recipe

3 cups water
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Add 3 cups of water, orzo pasta, garlic and butter.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 4 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 4 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 4 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Season with salt and pepper to your tastes and stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley.


  1. Could you substitute rice for orzo?

  2. Delicious flavor but may pasta was a bit mushy. May try 3 min next time.

    1. I was wrong. Once chilled then reheated in the microwave with extra parm and butter the texture was perfect. I’ll make this many times!