If you need an easy weeknight dinner recipe that’s also “fancy” enough for company, this One Pot Italian Chicken and Orzo is it! The chicken is so flavorful and the cheesy orzo is creamy and hearty enough to make this a full meal.
I’m always on the hunt for easy chicken dinners and this one did not disappoint. I also love that it’s a recipe using orzo. We don’t use orzo very often at our house so it’s nice to have something new. I even found tri-colored orzo for this recipe but you can use plain with the same results.
How to make One-Pot Italian Chicken and Orzo:
The first step is seasoning the chicken. The chicken alone in this recipe has so much flavor from the seasoning mixture. It’s just salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. (See the recipe card below for exact measurements.)
You’ll want to just sear the chicken in the pan but not cook it all the way through. Just a few minutes per side is all you’ll need. The chicken is going back in the pan to cook at the end of the recipe so if you cook it through at this point, you’ll run the risk of overcooking the chicken (which is the worst!)
After cooking the chicken, the recipe moves along pretty quickly. You’ll then add in a little more olive oil, onions, and garlic. Once those are softened, everything else goes in the pot! You’ll add in the diced tomatoes, cream, cheese, spinach, and the orzo. The chicken also gets put back in at this point. If you have a lot of juices on the chicken plate, add those in too! That’s just added flavor.
How cute is this colorful orzo! If you have trouble finding orzo at your grocery store, check the rice section. It’s actually a pasta but for some reason, my store keeps it closer to the rice.
The most important thing I can tell you about this dish is to use a non-stick pan and make sure you stir while everything is simmering. Pasta and cheese can tend to stick so I just scape my wooden spoon along the bottom every minute or so to prevent that. After simmering for 10 minutes, your Italian chicken and orzo is done!
Other recipes you might like:
- One Pot Sausage Peppers with Rice
- Easy Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Baked Chicken Parmesan
One Pot Italian Chicken and Orzo
- Non-stick pan
- 1 and ½ pounds boneless chicken (breast, tenders, or thighs)
- ½ teaspoon each: dried Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, pepper
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt (divided)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- ¼ cup diced yellow or white onion
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1/4 cup dry white cooking wine (you can also sub chicken broth)
- (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 and ¼ cups water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups baby spinach
- In a small bowl, mix together the Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle over all the chicken to coat.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for a about 4-5 minutes on each side. (Just until golden on each side)
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate (It's ok if it's not cooked through.)
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, the onion and garlic and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions are softened.
- Add in the white wine and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Let bubble for about 1 minute.
- Add in the orzo, diced tomatoes, water, cream, spinach, parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir together until the spinach starts to wilt (just about 30 seconds).
- Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer the mixture on medium-low for 10 minutes while stirring so the bottom doesn't stick. (uncovered)
- Turn off the heat and let everything sit for 5 minutes then serve.