Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Soup

Soup loaded with lemon, vegetables, chicken, and pasta. What’s more to love?

  • Prep Time:
    20 minutes
  • Total Time:
    45 minutes
  • Makes:
    11 cups 1x
  • Prep Time:
    20 minutes
  • Total Time:
    45 minutes
  • Makes:
    11 cups 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
    • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
    • 3 large carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)
    • 4 large celery stalks, sliced (about 1 cup)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
    • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or a mix of dried thyme, oregano, basil, and parsley)
    • ½1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
    • ¾ cup (5 ounces) uncooked orzo
    • 3 packed cups (about 3 ounces) fresh baby spinach
    • Sliced lemon for garnish (optional) 


    1. Saute your aromatics and chicken thighs. Using your Instant Pot’s sauté function, set it to SAUTE — NORMAL. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the raw thicken thighs, chopped onion, carrots, celery, garlic, dried herbs, salt and pepper.  Sauté, occasionally stirring, for 7-10 minutes or until veggies have softened and the exterior of the chicken is mostly opaque. Press CANCEL to turn off the Instant Pot.
    2. Add liquids and pasta and pressure cook. Add broth, lemon juice, and orzo and stir to combine. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot, ensuring the steam release valve is set to the SEALING position. Set Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK — HIGH for 4 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 15-20 minutes to let orzo plump up. Manually release any remaining pressure. 
    3. Shred chicken, stir in spinach & serve. Remove chicken from the pot. For chunkier chicken soup, let the chicken cool for a few minutes and pull it apart with your fingers. For finer chicken, shred it using two forks. Add the chicken meat back to the soup and stir in the spinach. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Once the spinach has wilted, portion into bowls and garnish with lemon slices if desired.


    Favorite Equipment

    Ingredient Prep

    • Chop the carrots, celery, and onion up to 5 days in advance. 
    • Juice lemons and store juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

    Little Helpers

    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help: 

    • Toddlers: Wash veggies, help peel carrots and juice lemon; help measure & add ingredients to the pot
    • Little Kids: All of the above plus help with chopping the vegetables (closely supervised)  
    • Big Kids: Give them the recipe and see how they do! 

    Nutrition Notes

    Nutrition information calculated using boneless skinless chicken thighs and with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. 


    • Serving Size: 1 cup
    • Calories: 152
    • Sugar: 3 g
    • Sodium: 580 mg
    • Fat: 7 g
    • Saturated Fat: 2 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 14 g
    • Fiber: 2 g
    • Protein: 9 g
    • Cholesterol: 27 mg

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