This Lemon Pepper Orzo with Chicken & Goat Cheese tastes like Spring! It is full of bright, tangy, & zesty flavors. The fresh basil, lemon, tarragon, Greek yogurt, & goat cheese are delicious together. It’s super easy to make too so you can cook it up year round for a tasty dinner option.
What is Orzo?
If you’ve never heard of orzo – you are not alone! I often hear “oh what’s that?” when I mention this recipe to friends & family. Orzo “is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. Orzo is traditionally made from white flour, but it can also be made of whole grain” (from Wikipedia).
How do I make Chicken & Orzo in the Instant Pot?
All you need is your Instant Pot, a medium bowl with a whisk, & a cutting board with a knife. I also use a citrus press to juice the lemon but that is optional. Oh and a wooden or silicone spoon to stir & serve with. That’s it.
The cooking process is pretty easy! There are a couple of ingredients that need to be prepped ahead of time: the peas need to thaw & the Greek yogurt needs to warm up to room temp. So set those out in advance & then the cooking process will be pretty quick.
Here are the basic instructions:
- Sear the chicken in the Instant Pot.
- Cook orzo & chicken together in IP for 4 minutes.
- Remove chicken, add peas for 5 minutes.
- Mix sauce together & add to IP along with with goat cheese & herbs. Mix until creamy.
- Serve orzo with sliced chicken, extra herbs, lemon zest & goat cheese on top.
That’s it! There’s obviously more detail in the actual recipe instructions, but you can already see how easy it will be.
What do I serve with Chicken & Orzo?
This recipe includes your lean protein, grain, & a starchy vegetable. So you’ll want to find a non-starchy vegetable to fill up the other half of your plate. And maybe add some fruit too. Some good non-starchy veggies you could use …
- Italian or Caesar Salad
- Steamed Green Beans
- Roasted Broccoli
For plating this recipe, I added a kale salad. I took a few big handfuls of kale & put it in a bowl with: juice from half a lemon, a big pinch of salt, a glug of blood orange olive oil & a glug of pomegranate balsamic. I massaged it all together for a couple of minutes until the kale was tender. Then I sliced a “Raspberry Orange” to put on top. The citrusy salad was great with the orzo.
If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think! I really appreciate all of your feedback & I love seeing your creations. Please leave a review & comment below. And don’t forget to take a quick pic of your creation & tag This & That on Instagram or Facebook.
Lemon Pepper Orzo with Chicken & Goat Cheese
Instant Pot recipe that is super easy & delicious. Healthy, kid friendly, & great for new cooks or seasoned pros.
- 1-2 T Olive Oil
- 1.5 lb Chicken Breast boneless/skinless*
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 lb Orzo whole wheat if available
- 2 c Chicken Broth low sodium (or vegetable broth)
- 2 c Peas thawed from frozen
- 1/2 t Garlic Powder
- 1/4 t Salt
- 2-3 T Fresh Basil
- 1.5 t Tarragon dried
- 4 oz Goat Cheese log
- 1/2 c Plain Greek Yogurt full fat, room temperature
- 1/4 t Garlic Powder
- 1 Lemon zest & juice*
- 1.5 T Olive Oil
- 3/4 t Salt
- 3/4-1 t Black Pepper
Prep – do this BEFORE you start cooking:
Cook chicken & orzo:
Turn the Instant Pot (IP) on Saute mode. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. While it heats up, pat the chicken dry with paper towel & generously season with salt & pepper on both sides. Once the olive oil is hot, add the chicken to the pot to sear for 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken, set aside, & turn IP off.
Add the broth, garlic powder, & 1/4 t salt to the IP. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Add the orzo to the broth & stir. Place the chicken on top of the orzo. Close & seal the lid on the IP. Cook on manual mode for 4 minutes. Turn off ‘keep warm’ if it is on.
While the IP pressurizes & cooks, you have time to mix the sauce & chop the basil:
First, reserve 1 teaspoon of lemon zest for garnish (optional). Before cutting the lemon in half to squeeze, roll it between your hand & the counter for 30 seconds to loosen the fibers. Then, add all of the sauce ingredients to a medium bowl & whisk until well combined.
To chop the basil: lay the leaves flat on top of each other in a stack & roll them up like a cigar. Then slice into thin ribbons. Reserve some chopped basil for garnish (optional).
Combine & serve:
Once the IP has finished it’s 4 minute cook, immediately release the pressure & take the lid off once the pin has dropped. Remove the chicken & set it on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. Add the peas to the IP & replace the lid for 5 minutes to cook the peas. Make sure the IP is off. Slice or dice the chicken after it has rested.
Add the sauce to the IP along with the basil, 3 ounces of goat cheese (break it into chunks with a fork or knife), & dried tarragon. Mix it together with the orzo & peas until the goat cheese has all melted.
Transfer the orzo to a serving platter or dinner plates & top with the chicken. Add lemon zest, goat cheese crumbles, & chopped basil for garnish.
- Chicken Breast: make sure the individual pieces are about the same thickness. If one is much thicker than another, cut the breast in half (butterfly) so they will be finished cooking at the same time.
- When juicing a lemon or lime, always roll the fruit between your hand & the counter for 30 seconds to loosen the fibers. This will easily release more juice.
- Here is the Instant Pot I have & use.
- Recipe inspired by Food Network.
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