This easy creamy chicken orzo is my new favorite chicken orzo recipe. Crispy chicken atop a rich, creamy orzo with tomatoes. It’s perfection!Jump to Recipe
I really liked this recipe because of how simple, yet flavorful it is. This recipe really doesn’t require a ton of ingredients or effort. The final product looks delicious and orzo is perfectly coated with a thick, creamy sauce.
Fresh cherry tomatoes and a splash of lemon juice will add acidity to help break through the richness. This is an easy dinner that will leave you feeling satisfied but not guilty. I finish this dish with a handful of chopped parsley to add some freshness to this dish. All-in-all, this creamy orzo is perfectly balanced for an elegant dinner that works for any day of the week!
If you do not have chicken, you can omit and add vegetables, like roasted cauliflower or a can of chickpeas. Seared scallops or shrimp would be another delicious and easy take! Be sure to save the searing for the very last step!
For leftovers, shred the chicken and stir it into the orzo. You can keep or discard the skin, depending on your preference.
Look for more chicken recipes? Check my archives!
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Easy Creamy Chicken Orzo
- Wide skillet
- Medium pot
- 8 chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on
- 1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced (or use garlic powder)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper more or less to taste
- 1 cup dry orzo
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil optional, for garnish
Cook the Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry and season all over with all and pepper.
- Heat neutral oil in a wide, ovenproof skillet, skin side down, without moving for 5-6 minutes until crispy. Flip and fry 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
Prepare the Sauce Base:
- Melt the butter in the skillet and add the diced onion. Cook until golden brown, 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds before adding the cherry tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add 1½ cups chicken stock (reserve the remaining half cup for later if necessary) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes to thicken slightly. Taste and season with thyme, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper.
- Nestle the chicken into the sauce pot, skin side up, and transfer to oven for 20-30 minutes or until instant read thermometer reaches 165°F.
Cook the Orzo:
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 cup orzo, stirring as you add it to avoid clumping. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain, rinse, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
Finish the Chicken:
- Return the skillet of chicken to the stove. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil.
- Turn the heat on the skillet to medium and bring the liquid to a low bubble, Add the heavy cream, reserved pasta cooking water and more chicken stock (if desired), parsley, and lemon juice. Taste and season again. Simmer for 3-4 minutes more or until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat.
- Stir the orzo into the cooked sauce and divide between plates. Place a chicken thigh on top and garnish with more parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired. Serve with remaining chicken at the table. Enjoy!