Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup

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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 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 50 mins
5 from 81 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.

Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup in bowl with spoon

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).

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

How to make this chickpea orzo soup on the stovetop 

You might need to use a bit more liquid – perhaps 7 cups (1.7 L) instead of the 6 cups used in the Instant Pot version. I also recommend chopping up the herbs (rosemary and oregano) and sautéing them instead of leaving them whole, as called for in the Instant Pot recipe.

Use a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Heat the olive oil over medium or medium-high heat. Sauté the onions until lightly golden. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Then add the chopped rosemary and oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, dried chili peppers, and tomato paste. Stir frequently for 2-3 minutes, until tomato paste is darker in color. Add a splash of water or broth if needed to prevent drying out.

Deglaze the pan with some of the vegetable broth, scraping up browned bits. Add in the rest of the broth and water (6 cups total). Also, add the chickpeas, orzo, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and diced tomatoes. If the soup seems like it needs more liquid, add about 1 cup (240 mL) more, either broth or water.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the orzo is tender. Remove from the heat, and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, parsley, and if using, lemon zest.

bowl of chickpea orzo soup on blue background with napkin

More Vegan Instant Pot Soups to try!

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 in white bowl with spoon

Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup

5 from 81 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 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian-Inspired
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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

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110 comments on Instant Pot Chickpea Orzo Soup

  1. Chris Griffiths

    This soup is freaking gorgeous

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you, Chris!

  2. Sheri

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and we loved it! The sundried tomatoes, lemon zest, and capers made it absolute perfection. *chef’s kiss*

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Sheri!

  3. Krupa

    I want to try this recipe but is there any substitution for fresh rosemary and oregano? Can I use dry and so how much? Thanks!!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Krupa, yes you can add some dried rosemary and oregano if you’d like. About 1/2 tsp dried rosemary and maybe 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano. We hope that works for you!

  4. Ekta Babbar

    Could I use fresh/raw chickpeas instead of canned ones? I prefer cooking my beans at home, what should be the proportions if I use dry chickpea?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi there Etka, we suggest cooking the beans separately. You’ll need about 200g of dried chickpeas to cook 2 cans worth of chickpeas. Enjoy!

  5. Betsy

    5 stars
    WOW, this was good. I had it saved and grabbed it quickly when I was missing an ingredient for something else, and it honestly way exceeded my expectations! Super easy, pantry ingredients, and flavorful as heck. The boyfriend ill-advisedly had three bowls and is now lamenting how full he is :)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Betsy, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  6. Kaz

    5 stars
    Soooo tasty!!! Just what I needed!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Kaz, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  7. Emily

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. It’s so warming and comforting at this time of year and really simple to make.

  8. Malyssa

    5 stars
    This is fantastic!!! I did the stovetop version, and because I’m a spice wimp, I skipped the chilis. Absolutely fabulous – so much flavor! Hubby even liked it and he does not enjoy chickpeas in anything outside of hummus. (I’ve made your hummus recipe several times and he says it’s the best he’s ever had…we don’t buy from the store anymore. :-) )

    Definitely making this soup again – my mom-in-law will love it!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Malyssa. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  9. Sienna V.

    5 stars
    WOW!!! This soup is amazing. We absolutely loved it and it will be one I make over and over again. Thank you so much for sharing it. Every recipe I have made so far from you has been excellent. Love your videos too.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Sienna. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  10. Darren

    Because of mixing after adding the tomatoes the instant pot couldn’t get to pressure. Nice taste though next time I will not mix in the tomatoes before pressurising.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Sorry to hear that, Darren! Better luck next time. Thanks for trying the recipe, though!

      1. Darren

        4 stars
        It turned out really nice in the end and I will definitely make it again. I read sometimes when adding chopped tomatoes don’t mix with the water/stock so that steam can be produced just add without mixing.

  11. Pam

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I gave it a short pulse in the grinder to make it easier to eat for my 96 yr. young FIL, and he thought the flavors were wonderful. Three generations loved it!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Pam. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  12. Cait

    5 stars
    This was so so good and super easy. I made the recipe exactly as written. The capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and lemon zest really took it to the next level. And my partner suggested adding our favorite vegan parm, but decided he didn’t even need it! Can’t wait for leftovers and adding this to the rotation!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Cait!

  13. Eva

    5 stars
    This recipe is incredible. Took only an hour to make, too. I could eat this every day. I added some extra orzo because I love orzo and it made it thicker and so creamy and stew-like. I’m already planning the next time I’m going to make this! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Eva! You are so welcome for the recipe!

  14. Maria

    5 stars
    I’ve tried so many recipes of yours and I’ve never been dissapointed but this one is magnificent! I could it this everydayyyyy! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      You’re welcome! We are so happy you loved the soup, Maria!

  15. Krista

    Sooooooo delicious (as always). I made the stovetop version and used dried rosemary and oregano. Still super yummy. Thanks for feeding my family!!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      That’s so great to hear, Krista! 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!

  16. Monika

    5 stars
    delicious but whoa… pretty spicy! if you have baby mouth like me, dial it back with the little peppers.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Glad you loved the soup! Sorry to hear it was a bit too spicy for you, Monica. Hopefully next time you get it just right!

  17. Laurie F

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious & I love that it includes capers as I am always looking for recipes for them! This is definitely a new fave!! ~XO

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Wonderful, Laurie. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  18. Shari

    4 stars
    This soup is delicious, hearty and filling! My boyfriend said it had “a bold flavor”. I’ll definitely be making this again!

    I don’t like onions so I used carrots instead. I only had one can of chickpeas so I used one can of cannelini beans. I didn’t have capers so I left those out. All of that worked out great!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Shari! We are so glad you enjoyed it.

  19. Ralph Smith

    5 stars
    Another awesome recipe, thanks Nisha

  20. Andi

    This is very good! Thank you for the recipe

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Andi, 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!

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