Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup

Jump to Recipe
This Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup is a hearty and simple soup made with chickpeas, orzo, spices, and fresh herbs. Healthy and easy to make! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners and meal prep. 
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 50 minutes
5 from 98 votes

This Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup is a hearty yet healthy soup that’s a complete meal in one bowl. It’s a really easy soup to make, thanks to the Instant Pot (to learn more about more about which instant pot model I recommend and see a list of my favorite IP Recipes, check out my list of the 40 Best Vegan Instant Pot Recipes).

And it’s easy enough that even my boyfriend makes it (yes, this is the second recipe in a row I’m sharing that easy enough for Max to make). This may, or may not, be part of my strategy to get Max to do more cooking around the house so I can kick up my feet and chillax.

bowl of chickpea orzo soup.

Why you’ll like this Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup

Satiating / a complete meal. While I love soup, most of them are not complete meals. You need a hunk of bread, a salad, or a side dish to round it out. Not so with this soup. We’ve got chickpeas and orzo, so it’s a hearty soup and almost feels like a stew. That said, you can never go wrong with a hunk of good bread.

Easy to make. The only work involved is chopping up an onion and mincing garlic, then sautéing those with some spices and tomato paste in the Instant Pot. Then the Instant Pot does the rest of the work for you, which means you can leave the kitchen and get on with your day.

Flavorful. This soup tastes like a tomato-based Italian pasta dish but in soup form. The ingredients are loosely inspired by puttanesca pasta (onions, chili peppers, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, capers), which is one of my favorite Italian pasta sauces. And gets flavor from cumin and smoked paprika along with fresh rosemary and oregano.

Wholesome. Lots of wholesome ingredients in this soup and while it’s hearty, it feels light and doesn’t weigh you down. If you want to pack in a little more nutrition, use whole wheat orzo and/or add some greens at the end (check out the “Tips” section below).

ad for meal plans program with picture of woman with button

If you’re a fan of chickpea soups, you should also try my creamy and rich Lemony Chickpea Soup!

Meal prep and freezer friendly. Many bean recipes are great for meal prep, and this one is no exception. The recipe as written makes a fairly large quantity of soup, which is great if (1) you have a family to feed; (2) you want to eat it for several meals throughout the week; or (3) you want to freeze some for later.

How to make Chickpea Orzo Soup  

First, gather your ingredients.

ingredients on cutting board with text

Dice the onion and mince the garlic.

chopped garlic and onions on cutting board

Turn on the Sauté setting of your Instant Pot and add olive oil. Cook the onions for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the garlic and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes.

Add the spices, chili peppers, and tomato paste and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes.

Pour in some of the vegetable broth to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits.

Pour in the remaining broth and water, along with the chickpeas.

Add the orzo, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.

Pour in the diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure for 4 minutes. Once the timer is done, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes.

Open the pot, stir well, and add in the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and parsley.

chickpea orzo tomato soup in the instant pot

Tips for making this recipe

If the texture of the soup seems a bit thin when it’s done pressure cooking, not to worry. As the soup rests, the orzo will help thicken the texture. It’ll eventually become almost stew-like.

This soup makes a large quantity. If you don’t want leftovers, you can easily cut the recipe in half. Instead of 1 large onion, use 1 small onion (or half of a large). Instead of 4 cups broth and 2 cups water, use just 3 cups broth.

Variation Ideas

  • Want to sneak some greens into this soup? After pressure cooking, add several handfuls of greens (finely chopped kale or Swiss chard, baby spinach, etc). Turn on the Sauté mode and cook until the greens are wilted and tender. Baby spinach will take just a minute. Sturdier greens will take 2-4 minutes.
  • Want to add extra veggies? Throw in a few diced carrots when you sauté the onions, or diced red bell pepper when you add the garlic.
bowl of Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup with spoon and napkin

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I make this orzo soup gluten-free? 

If you can find gluten-free orzo like this (affiliate link), use that! You could probably also use a gluten-free small pasta shape, like gluten-free elbow pasta (affiliate). Another option is to use white rice (pressure cook for 5 or 6 minutes instead of 4 minutes to ensure the rice cooks through). Brown rice and wild rice have much longer cook times, so they wouldn’t work.

How to store leftovers? 

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days. I prefer to reheat leftovers on the stove, but microwave also works fine.

Can I freeze chickpea orzo soup?

Yes! This soup freezes quite well and can be frozen for about 3 months. Cool the soup completely, then transfer to freezer-safe containers (affiliate link), leaving a little space for expansion. Defrost before reheating. 

Can I substitute the chickpeas? 

They’re a primary ingredient, but you could easily sub in white beans, such as cannellini beans or navy beans.

What to serve with this soup? 

A hunk of a good rustic bread! Or, a simply leafy green salad or a Greek salad (tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, oregano, olive oil, red wine vinegar).

tomato orzo chickpea soup in bowl with spoon

More Vegan Instant Pot Soups to try!

bowl of chickpea orzo soup on blue background with napkin

I hope you give this easy and delicious Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup a try! If you do, please leave a rating and review below with your feedback and tag me on Instagram with your remakes :)

Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup

5 from 98 votes
This Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup is a hearty and simple soup made with chickpeas, orzo, spices, and fresh herbs. Healthy and easy to make! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners and meal prep. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian-Inspired
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 dried red chili peppers, broken in half (can sub with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups (960 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups (480 mL) water
  • 1 cup (170-180g) uncooked orzo
  • 2 (15-ounce /425g) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce /800g) can diced tomatoes
  • 8-10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (I prefer oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • Lemon zest (optional)


  • Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. After a minute or two, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. Add the minced garlic and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the smoked paprika, cumin, and dried chili peppers, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, for 1-2 minutes, until tomato paste is darker in color.
  • Pour in some of the vegetable broth to deglaze the pot. Use a wooden spoon or flat-end spatula to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Pour in the remaining broth, along with the water, orzo chickpeas, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, oregano sprigs, salt, pepper, and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
  • Secure the lid and select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 4 minutes.
  • After the timer is done, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then release the pressure manually. Open the pot and remove the bay leaves and any remaining whole herb sprigs. Add in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and parsley. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Transfer the soup to bowls, and if desired, garnish with additional chopped parsley and a very light sprinkling of lemon zest.

Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 752mg | Potassium: 1259mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1822IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 238mg | Iron: 9mg

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

4.96 from 98 votes (33 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe

136 comments on Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup

  1. Katherine Ji

    5 stars
    rainbowplantlife slayyyyyy as always. so comforting, I found it pretty easy to transfer to the stovetop

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for the sweet comment, Katherine! It makes us happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe.

  2. Kate

    5 stars
    Third time I’ve made this, and I just realised I forgot to add diced tomatoes to the most recent bath. Oops–but it still turned out amazing.😁

    I make the unsanctioned stovetop variation, and I have had trouble with the orzo sticking. However, I cooked it on my woodstove today, and yay!-not a scorched piece of pasta in site. Maybe cooking it on a very low heat might work on the electric cooker? Obviously it would need cooked for quite a bit longer, but I’d happily wait an entire year if I meant I got to eat this delicious recipe. Okay, maybe not quite a year. Six months, perhaps. Lol.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      LOL! Thanks for the lovely review, Kate :) It’s great to hear you’re such a fan of the soup.

  3. Samanta Zeno

    5 stars
    Delicious! I modified because of stomach issues and took out all the tomatoes out of it. I used one Sazón with achiote envelope to give it color and flavor. Kept everything else the same. This will be on repeat in my kitchen!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Samanta! :)

  4. Cora Chase

    Made this tonight- made 5 BIG portions. I cooked it in a dutch oven on stovetop, just stirred frequently and it turned out great! I added a little Mike’s Hot Honey and because I did not have fresh parsley and wanted green, i added a bag of frozen peas! yum

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s so great to hear, Cora! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  5. Limezesty

    5 stars
    So easy and delicious! Your recipes are seriously always a win!!!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback! :)

  6. Stacey

    This looks so good for a cold night.
    I’m saving this one for the fall.
    Should we just assume that when the serving sizes are given for 2 different sized portions, that the calorie and all nutritional data content are for the smaller of the portion choices?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Stacey, we’re happy you are excited to try it! The nutrition facts in this case are for 4 servings as a main.

  7. Rodrigo Toste

    Where’s the stovetop version?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi, Rodrigo. We used to have a stovetop version here but when we tested it last, it stuck to the pot a lot and wasn’t a great user experience for us. However, if you’d still like to make it, follow the instructions using a large saucepan or Dutch oven on your stovetop through step 4. Add an extra cup of liquid (broth or water). Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the orzo is tender. Once the orzo is tender, stir in the finishing ingredients (e.g., sundried tomatoes, capers, etc.)

      1. Ayelet Ifrah

        5 stars
        I’ve made it on stovetop using the previous directions and it was amazing!

        1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

          Great to hear, Ayelet! :)

  8. Elle

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe, super easy, quick and filling.
    Made a few changes based on what was in my pantry. Substituted chickpeas for black eyed beans and added sliced olives at the end with the sun-dried tomatoes. Will be making this regularly.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing those substitutions, Elle! Lovely to hear you are a fan of the soup.

  9. Ashlyn

    5 stars
    Super tasty! Will definitely make again! I was planning on freezing it (since I was cooking for just myself), but this is something I could eat every night for 5 days and not get sick of. Loved all of the spices, but I would maybe add a little less salt next time. And I accidentally added 2 tsp of pepper flakes instead of 1, but it wasn’t too spicy! I think this has been my favorite recipe I’ve made on this website (so far hehe) :)

  10. Francisco Tellez

    This is really good! I didn’t have any sun dried tomatoes or tomato paste but it still turned out delicious!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s so great to hear, Francisco! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  11. Dhiya

    5 stars
    Such a tasty recipe! My whole family enjoyed it during the cold winter season! Thank you for making such amazing healthy recipes that are also super easy for inexperienced cooks like myself!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      You’re very welcome, Dhiya! :) Good to hear you loved the soup.

  12. Leonie

    5 stars
    Hi! I would like to use dried chickpeas, do you have any instructions for that? Thank you and greetings from germany ❤️

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Leonie, you can certainly use dried chickpeas, but you’d have to cook the beans first because they won’t soften in this soup in the time allotted (the orzo would turn to complete mush). You can add the cooked chickpeas when you’d add the canned chickpeas.

  13. Karen Garnett

    5 stars
    I am making this for dinner tonight. Sounds so good.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Wonderful! Enjoy, Karen!

  14. Jessica R.

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I didn’t have everything called for, but it was amazing. This will definitely be part of my life from now on!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Jessica! Thanks for the lovely comment!

    2. Jessica

      5 stars
      Third time making this, such a great soup. This time I thought I had chickpeas but didn’t, so I used 2 cans of great northern. Was still amazing. I also added a whole bag or chopped Kale the last 2 times, and that really took it up a notch for me. This is such an amazing soup, I look forward to a few days of leftovers.

      1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

        Jessica, So glad to hear you loved the soup! :)

  15. Laur

    I am very interested in making this but have a slow cooker instead of an instant pot. Any cooking suggestions for that? Thanks!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Laur, we haven’t used a slow cooker so we can only guess based on similar recipes. You’d probably need to cook the aromatics in the oil for a few minutes, then add the broth and all of the ingredients except the orzo and chickpeas and cook for 2.5-3 hours on high. You’d then add in the orzo and canned chickpeas in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Hope that helped!

  16. Susana

    5 stars
    Made this last night, my husband and I both loved it! I added lean ground beef because husband is a carnivore, and used what I had on hand, so dried herbs only, lemon juice instead of zest, and no sundried tomatoes. Everything else was the same, and it turned out really good! My husband doesn’t really like chickpeas but he still thought it was good.

    1. RPL Team

      Thanks, Susana! We’ll get your husband on the vegan train one day! 😉

  17. Victoria

    Made this with some dry chickpeas and risoni I wanted to use up. Delicious!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Victoria, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  18. Nancy

    5 stars
    Best soup I’ve ever had! And so healthy!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Nancy!

Development Alchemy + Aim