30 minute creamy chicken orzo in a skillet (2023)

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Creamy Chicken Orzo is a quick and easy weeknight meal that only takes 30 minutes and you only need one skillet. This comforting recipe is loaded with veggies (cherry tomatoes and spinach) in a super flavorful creamy basil pesto sauce. Make this easy, restaurant-quality chicken meal at home - and it could become a new family favorite for busy weeknights!

30 minute creamy chicken orzo in a skillet (1)

Creamy chicken orzo in a skillet

If you're looking to up your chicken dinner game, this vibrant and colorful one-pot recipe is a must. Even though this delicious creamy chicken orzo only takes 30 minutes to make, it makes onebeautiful presentationand tastes like something you would order froma fine Italian restaurant. It's a winning combination of ingredients: skinless, boneless chicken breasts, orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, spinach, basil pesto, garlic, and heavy cream.Juicy and tender chicken(sautéed with olive oil, smoked paprika, and Italian spices) is smothered in ajuicy cream sauceprepared with basil pesto. When you love30 Minute One Pan Chicken Recipeslike this one, don't miss itChicken gnocchi with spinach and mushroomsso easyGarlic Butter Chicken with Zucchini and Corn.

Why you will love it

  • Packed with veggies.This cozy and comforting chicken orzo is packed with veggies like cherry tomatoes and spinach. You can even double the amount of veggies and add any other veggies you love!
  • Delicious.Basil pesto combined with cream makes a delicious sauce for orzo.Homemade Basil Pestois always best, but the store-bought kind works too.
  • Minimal cleanup.Everything is cooked in a pan (use a large, high-sided, heavy-bottomed pan), even the orzo!

30 minute creamy chicken orzo in a skillet (2)

The ingredients

  • Chicken.I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into strips. You can also use skinless, boneless chicken thighs.
  • Bear.Orzo is an Italian pasta that looks like long grain rice.
  • Spinach.I use fresh spinach and wilt it right in the pan with orzo. You can also use frozen spinach - thawed and drained of any liquid. Or use kale or arugula instead.
  • cherry tomatoes.Halve the cherry tomatoes. You can also use regular tomatoes.
  • Garlic.I used freshly chopped garlic. It adds flavor and spiciness.
  • whipped creamgives the chicken orzo creaminess and fullness. You can lighten it up by using half and half instead.
  • Basilikumpesto- Use store bought type or brandBasil pesto from scratch.
  • olive oilused to fry the chicken.
  • chicken soupis added to cook the orzo. You can also use vegetable or beef broth (or broth). Or just use water.
  • SpicesThese include smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

cooking tips

  • It's a perfect recipe to use up leftover chicken!Toss any leftover cooked chicken or shredded chicken along with the creamy orzo, reheat and serve! Fried chicken is another "short" ingredient.
  • The sauce will thicken as this dish cools.If so, add a splash of heavy cream, single cream, milk, or chicken broth to thin it out before serving.
  • Use a high-sided, heavy-bottomed panB. a cast-iron pan or a high-quality stainless steel pan. This helps prevent burn marks and ensures even cooking without food sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Make this recipe gluten freeby using orzo that is clearly labeled as "gluten-free".

What is orzo?

Orzo is a short-cut pasta similar in shape to long-grain rice. It is made from flour, like ordinary pasta. Orzo is often made from semolina (durum wheat used to make pasta).

What Kind of Orzo Should I Use?

I prefer the type of orzo that is larger. In this recipe, I used Delallo brand Orzo, cut number 65.

How do you cook orzo?

Cook orzo in a 1:2 ratio (1 cup orzo to 2 cups chicken broth or water) and simmer for about 10 minutes. You may need to add a small amount of liquid at the end if the orzo isn't cooked to your liking.

What kind of chicken to use?

  • Skinless and boneless chicken breast.I used that in this recipe. Cut them into thinner strips.
  • Skinless and boneless chicken thighsare really succulent and forgiving to cook. They work great with creamy orzo.
  • Chicken fillets or tenders.Chicken breast fillets are tender and small, and cook similarly to thinly sliced ​​chicken breasts.
  • Cooked fried chickenis also a great option.

can you make it dairy free

  • Use unsweetened coconut milkwithout making any changes to this recipe.
  • Cashewmilchis another great option as it has a thicker consistency.
  • oat milk or almond milkshould also work - you'll probably need to reduce the amount by half as these types of non-dairy milks have a thinner consistency, so add them to the orzo gradually in much smaller amounts than the recipe calls for.

30 minute creamy chicken orzo in a skillet (3)

Variations, Substitutions and Add-Ins

  • Use different proteins.You can easily add other proteins to this recipe, e.g. B. Sausage, shrimp, scallops or salmon. You can even use steak strips with this creamy orzo.
  • Use more vegetables.These include sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, kale, arugula, asparagus, or bell peppers.
  • add cheese.Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan, Asiago, Gruyere or Pecorino Romano onto the creamy chicken orzo.
  • Add pine nutsas a topping. Since basil pesto is usually made with pine nuts, it only makes sense to use whole pine nuts as a topping for this chicken orzo! They add a nutty flavor and a nice crunch! I like to toast pine nuts briefly (and gently!) in the oven for an even richer flavor.
  • Add other toppings, such as fresh herbs (basil, thyme or oregano), chopped green onions or chopped chives.
  • Make it sharp.Red pepper flakes add warmth. To taste, use these sparingly so they don't overwhelm the dish.

Storage and reheating tips

  • Refrigerator.Store Creamy Chicken Orzo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing this dish.
  • Reheat in the microwave.Reheat the chilled leftovers in a microwave oven for about 1 minute. Taste and heat for another 30 seconds if necessary.
  • Reheat on the stove.Heat this dish in a large, high-sided skillet on the stovetop over low-medium heat. If using this method, add a small amount of heavy cream, half and half, or milk to thin the sauce as it reheats.

What to serve with chicken orzo

  • Violation.A slice of crusty Italian garlic bread (or olive bread) is a perfect accompaniment to creamy chicken orzo.
  • Empfohlene Salatrezepte.Here are my personal favorite salads:Tomato and cucumber salad with avocado, mozzarella and basil pestoor this simple but delicious oneArugula salad with parmesan, pine nuts, lemon and balsamic dressing.

Other Orzo Recipes You May Like

These delicious rice-shaped noodles work well in one-pan recipes because the orzo is small enough to easily cook in the same pan as the other ingredients. Orzo also goes well with any type of protein, like shrimp or chicken, and is a great ingredient for easy-to-prep weeknight dinners. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Creamy Chicken Orzo with Butternut Squash and Spinach
  • Italian Sausage Orzo Soup with Spinach and Portobello Mushrooms
  • Creamy Butternut Squash Orzo with Sausage

30 minute creamy chicken orzo in a skillet (4)

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Chicken Orzo (30 Minutes, One-Pan)

Creamy Chicken Orzo is a quick and easy weeknight meal that only takes 30 minutes and you only need one skillet. This comforting recipe is loaded with veggies (cherry tomatoes and spinach) in a super flavorful creamy basil pesto sauce. Make this easy, restaurant-quality chicken meal at home - and it could become a new family favorite for busy weeknights!

Print recipepin recipe

preparation time10 Min

cooking time20 Min

total time30 Min

Coursemain course

KitchenAmerican, Italian

portions4 People

calories per serving659 kcal




  • 1.5 Pound Chicken breast skinless, boneless
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian spice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 Taxes orzo uncooked
  • 5 cloves Garlic hacked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 Bags chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 5 oz fresh spinach
  • ½ Taxes whipped cream
  • ¼ Taxes Basilikumpesto

US customary-Metric


Fry the chicken

  • Cut the chicken breast into thin strips. Generously season the chicken with smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

  • Heat a large, high-sided, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. add chicken. Fry the chicken over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes per side. Put the chicken on a plate.

Cook orzo

  • In the same, now empty pan, add 1 cup uncooked orzo, 5 minced cloves garlic, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the orzo over medium-high heat, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes.

  • Add 2 cups chicken broth, half the cherry tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then bring to a boil and cook for about 5 or 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the orzo is cooked through.

  • Add the spinach and the remaining cherry tomatoes. Stir over low-medium heat until spinach wilts.

  • Add the heavy cream and basil pesto to the pan with the orzo and veggies and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Return the chicken to the pan. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce to heat until the chicken is fully cooked through.

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Nutritional Information

Chicken Orzo (30 Minutes, One-Pan)

amount per serving



% Daily Value*






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(Video) Creamy Chicken Orzo


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*Percent Daily Values ​​are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutritional information on this website is an estimate only and is provided for your convenience and courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipes on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.

keywordChicken Orzo

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