Instant Pot Lemon Frozen Chicken with Orzo

Once you unlock the secret of cooking frozen chicken in an Instant Pot®, the possibilities for variations become endless. This creamy lemon chicken with orzo is worthy of a dinner with friends, though it is so easy, you'll make it a regular on your weeknight rotation. Make sure you follow the directions for a 10-minute natural release; a quick release left us with dry and stringy meat. 
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 

1 shallot, thinly sliced 

2 teaspoons thyme leaves 

8 ounces orzo (about 1 1/3 cup) 

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

Zest and juice of 1 lemon 

2 frozen chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each) 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

8 cups baby spinach (about 6 ounces) 

1/4 cup heavy cream 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan  


  1. Set a 6-quart Instant Pot® to high saute and add the butter (see Cook's Note). Once it has melted, add the mushrooms and cook until golden and the water has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Stir in the shallots and thyme and continue to cook until the shallots have softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the orzo, chicken broth, lemon zest and juice. Put the chicken breasts on top of the orzo and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Follow the manufacturer's guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.  
  3. After the pressure-cook cycle is complete, follow the manufacturer's guide for natural release. After 10 minutes, being careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid. 
  4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board with tongs and slice crosswise. Stir the spinach, cream and Parmesan into the orzo. Season with salt and pepper and serve alongside the chicken.

Cook’s Note

Settings may vary on your Instant Pot® depending on the model. Please refer to the manufacturer's guide.

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