Creamy Chicken And Orzo Skillet

$7.99 recipe / $2.00 serving
by Monti - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 30 votes
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When you’re having one of those days when you think you don’t have time to cook anything, try this easy, buttery, and super tasty Creamy Chicken and Orzo Skillet! It’s hearty, rich, comforting, and a perfect dinner for when you want to do anything but spend time in the kitchen. Bonus: it cooks in one pan! Can you ask for anything more?

Overhead shot of Creamy Chicken and Orzo in a silver skillet.

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a tiny football-shaped pasta that looks like rice but cooks much faster. Like rice, it soaks up all the water it’s cooked in, so you don’t have to worry about draining. That makes it an excellent choice for a speedy one-pan meal.

What You’ll Need

You are just a few spices and a handful of ingredients away from an incredible dinner! Here’s what you’ll need to make this Creamy Chicken And Orzo Skillet.

  • Seasoning Blend– We’re making our own with paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. In a pinch, you can also use a heaping tablespoon of your favorite seasoning blend, though you should steer clear of anything super salty.
  • Boneless Chicken Thighs– These cook much faster than bone-in chicken thighs and their juices help flavor the orzo.
  • Yellow Onion– Adds depth and a subtle sweetness to the dish.
  • Garlic– Also adds depth and lends a slight nuttiness when cooked.
  • Orzo– This pasta cooks quickly and adds bulk. If you don’t have access to orzo, substitute it with a quick-cooking pasta like ditalini or pearl couscous. You can also use rice, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking time so it has enough time to cook.
  • Vegetable Broth– You need a liquid to cook the orzo and this broth does the trick without overpowering the dish. You can substitute it with water or chicken broth.
  • Cream– Creates a velvety, creamy sauce.
  • Butter– Helps pull the sauce together.
  • Parmesan– Adds depth and a touch of saltiness to the sauce. It also helps give it texture.

What Can You Serve With Creamy Chicken And Orzo?

This creamy Chicken and Orzo Skillet pairs well with a fresh side salad or roasted veggies. Some great options include:

How To Store Leftovers

The orzo will absorb much of the creamy sauce it’s cooked in, but the leftovers are still tasty. Store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. However, do this within two hours of cooking the dish. Chicken left at room temperature any longer than that can contain enough harmful bacteria to give you food poisoning. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on a stovetop or in the microwave until the chicken is steaming.

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Creamy Chicken And Orzo Skillet

4.80 from 30 votes
When you think you don't have time to cook, try this easy, buttery, and super tasty Creamy Chicken and Orzo Skillet! Bonus: It cooks in onepan!
Close up shot of Creamy Chicken And Orzo.
Servings 4 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp paprika ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper ($0.02)
  • 1.25 lbs boneless chicken thighs (4-5 thighs) ($4.23)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.11)
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo ($1.13)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth* ($0.23)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream ($0.71)
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter ($0.30)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan ($0.44)

Instructions 

  • Add the paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Mix until combined.
  • Blot the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then season both sides liberally with the seasoning blend.
  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium and add the cooking oil. Add the seasoned chicken thighs and cook undisturbed until well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Turn the heat down to low, and add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the orzo and vegetable broth to the skillet and stir well to help dissolve the crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and nestle it down into the orzo.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let the broth come to a full boil. Then turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the broth is absorbed.
  • After about 15 minutes, the orzo should be tender and most of the broth absorbed, but there will still be a little sauce in the skillet. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • Add the cream and the butter to the skillet. Stir and heat over low until the butter melts and the cream is hot.
  • Add the Parmesan and stir to combine.
  • Finally, return the chicken to the skillet. If desired, garnish with parsley.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Notes

*If you prefer a looser sauce add 1/2 cup more broth, for a total of 2 cups. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 779kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 34gFat: 50gSodium: 911mgFiber: 3g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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How to Make Creamy Chicken And Orzo Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Add 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to a small bowl. Mix until combined.

Blot the 1.25 pounds of chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, then season both sides liberally with the seasoning blend.

Heat a large deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the seasoned chicken thighs and cook undisturbed until well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a clean plate. The chicken will finish cooking when simmered with the orzo.

Turn the heat down to low and add the diced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the 1 1/2 cups orzo and the 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth to the skillet. If you prefer a looser sauce, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth. Stir well to help dissolve the crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then return the chicken to the pan and nestle it down into the orzo.

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let the broth come to a full boil. Then turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the broth is absorbed. If at any point it stops simmering, increase the heat slightly until it starts to simmer again.

After about 15 minutes, the orzo should be tender and most of the broth absorbed, but there will still be a little sauce in the skillet. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

Then add the 1/2 cup of cream and the 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Stir and heat over low until the butter melts and the cream is hot.

Next, add the 1/4 cup parmesan and stir to combine.

Finally, return the chicken to the skillet. If you’d like, garnish with chopped Italian parsley and serve. Pair with a side salad or roasted veggies for an incredibly filling meal! Wasn’t that easy?

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Comments

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  1. This is going in my monthly rotation!
    2 picky 8 year old boys loved it and it was a hit all around.

  2. Great recipe. Due to personal preference, I used 1.5 cups of arborio rice instead of the orzo and adjusted the amount of liquid. Came out great, whole family said to keep the recipe. Thanks!

  3. Super yum! Will be a fall/winter staple in my home. Thought I had orzo, but I didn’t, so used pearled cous cous instead and was still delicious! And easy.

    1. I forgot to add- make sure you cover the pan while the orzo is simmering. That may be why some people were having all of the liquid cook off too quickly.

  4. One of our favorites! This goes really well with parmesan crusted brussel sprouts.