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Chicken and Orzo

This Chicken and Orzo recipe is a complete meal in a single skillet, with savory orzo smothered in a creamy cheese sauce with juicy chicken and delicious bites of broccoli. It’s truly amazing!

Chicken and Orzo in a skillet with a creamy cheese sauce and broccoli with a spoon on the side.

Chicken and Orzo

Not only has this amazing Chicken and Orzo recipe landed itself on our favorite’s list, it’s currently at the TOP of that list! It takes restraint not to eat this straight out of the pot, (you’ll soon see what I mean)!

It has savory orzo smothered in a creamy cheese sauce with delicious bites of broccoli and juicy chicken. It’s a complete meal all in one skillet! You’re going to love adding this to your rotation!

How to Make It

Note: This is an overview. See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Season and sear strips of chicken and set aside. Deglaze the skillet with white wine and reduce by half.

A plate of cooked chicken strips next to a skillet being deglazed with white wine.

Add butter, garlic, and flour. Add the sauce mixture in small splashes, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer while you boil the orzo/broccoli. Add shredded cheese and stir to combine.

Making a cream cheese sauce by adding broth, half and half, and shredded cheese to a skillet.

Add the orzo and broccoli and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Continue to cook until the sauce is thickened/reduced. Add the chicken and cover to heat through. Serve!

Adding orzo, broccoli, and chicken to a skillet with creamy cheese sauce to make Chicken and Orzo.

Pro Tips

  • Mustard powder and Hot Sauce are used as secret flavor enhancers in this recipe that you can’t taste outright. I use Frank’s Hot Sauce.
  • Cheese: Shred the cheese from a block as it will melt and taste much better than packaged shredded cheese. This is super important in this recipe for a smooth cheese sauce. I use Cracker Barrel Sharp Yellow and Belgioioso Parmesan.
  • Wine: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc are perfect dry white wines for this recipe. Chicken broth may be used if you don’t cook with wine.
  • Frozen broccoli may be used instead of fresh, it only needs to boil for 2 ½ minutes as it also cooks more in the sauce at the end.
  • Use a wide, 12-inch skillet for this recipe so that the sauce can reduce and thicken properly.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Leftovers freeze/reheat well!

A skillet of Chicken and Orzo with Broccoli in a creamy cheese sauce.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links*)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 1 quart measuring cup with a spout This is what I use to combine the sauce ingredients at the beginning. The spout makes it easy to add it to the roux in small splashes. 
  • 3-Quart Stainless Steel Sauté Pan– The same size as pictured in this recipe
  • Spice Rack– This is the one I have, it’s a snap to measure out your seasonings quickly and easily. (Big time saver.)
  • Measuring Spoons– I have these magnetic ones which stay nice and organized in my utensil drawer.
  • Meat Tenderizer I use this almost every time I cook.
  • Box Cheese Grater– Always shred cheese from a block, it melts and tastes much better. Bagged shredded cheese contains cellulose which prevents it from melting as well.
  • Pasta Strainer– This is the one I have.
  • Better Than Bouillon This is what I always use for broth in my recipes. It takes very little space and makes it easy to measure out customized amounts of broth.

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Chicken and Orzo in a skillet with broccoli and a creamy cheese sauce with a spoon on the side.

Chicken and Orzo

5 from 8 ratings
This Chicken and Orzo recipe is a complete dinner in a single skillet, with savory orzo smothered in a creamy cheese sauce with juicy chicken and delicious bites of broccoli.

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Chicken, Orzo, Cheese, etc.

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • cup dry white wine, see notes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ lb. orzo
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Note: You may choose to make 1 lb. of orzo for this recipe, but I only use ¾ lb. as the orzo absorbs a lot of sauce once it’s added to it. The pictures shown here are what ¾ lb. ends up looking like.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a large measuring cup with a spout and set aside. Measure out remaining ingredients before beginning.
  • Cover the chicken with saran wrap and use a meat mallet to tenderize each side. Cut it into strips and pat it dry. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until golden and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside.
  • As you continue with the following steps, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once a boil is reached, stir in some salt. (I use ½ tablespoon Kosher salt.)
  • Meanwhile, add the wine to the same skillet used to cook the chicken and set the heat to medium. Use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the skillet, this will add more flavor to the sauce. Simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the butter and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes.
  • Add the sauce mixture (from step 1) in small splashes, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover partially while you cook the pasta.
  • Cook the orzo 1 minute less then what's noted on the package instructions. Add the broccoli to the boiling pasta water during the last 3 minutes. Drain once cooked.
  • Gradually sprinkle in the cheddar and Parmesan cheese into the sauce until combined.
  • Add the broccoli and the cooked orzo. (It will seem like a LOT of sauce, fear not!) Stir to combine and heat through for 1-2 minutes. The orzo will continue to absorb more and more sauce. Slide a silicone spatula along the bottom of the skillet to lift any that may settle at the bottom.
  • Continue to cook until the sauce is reduced and the orzo is cooked through. Add the chicken and cover to heat through, then serve!

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Mustard powder and Hot Sauce are used as secret flavor enhancers in this recipe that you can't taste outright. I use Frank's Hot Sauce.
  • Cheese: Shred the cheese from a block as it will melt and taste much better than packaged shredded cheese. This is super important in this recipe for a smooth cheese sauce. I use Cracker Barrel Sharp Yellow and Belgioioso Parmesan.
  • Wine: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc are perfect dry white wines for this recipe. Chicken broth may be used if you don't cook with wine.
  • Frozen broccoli may be used instead of fresh, it only needs to boil for 2 ½ minutes as it also cooks more in the sauce at the end.
  • Use a wide, 12-inch skillet for this recipe so that the sauce can reduce and thicken properly.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Leftovers freeze/reheat well!

Nutritional information is an estimate and is per serving. There are 4 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 601kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 641mg, Potassium: 680mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 983IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 323mg, Iron: 2mg
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20 comments on “Chicken and Orzo”

  1. My family loved this! Picky husband commented twice on how good it was, and my also picky son declared it to be awesome. And it is! Now on the list of regulars to make for dinner. I’m glad I followed your directions and used the 12 oz. of orzo, because by the time I served it, the delicious sauce was completely absorbed. Next to make……the one pot sausage and rice dish!

    • I get so happy when the picky eaters approve, nice work Vicki! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review, I can’t wait for you to try the one pot sausage and rice!❤️

  2. I love this recipe! One of my favorite texture pleasing recipes. Everything was creamy and flavorful! The broccoli bigots in my family didn’t care for the boiled broccoli so I may roast it next time, but I loved everything! Thank you!

    • I’m so happy to hear that it was a hit with the family!! 🙂 Roasted broccoli would be delicious in this, definitely! Thank you so much for the review!! -Stephanie ❤️❤️❤️

  3. I made this last night and we are really pleased with the results. The sauce is the star of this recipe. It is delicious!  I am already considering some variations—substituting sautéed portabella mushroom strips for the chicken, or  a shrimp and linguine version. As always, you’ve hit it out of the park!

    • I am sooo thrilled that you loved it and are ready to add your own flair to it Dennis! Your ideas are fantastic! Thank you so much for the review, I appreciate it so much!

  4. I am soooo happy I found your website!! Great recipes!!! NomNomNom !!!

  5. This was delicious. I added the broccoli to the orzo a little sooner and followed your tip about 3/4 lb. It was delicious and addictive!

  6. Can’t wait to make this! One question- my family doesn’t love broccoli, if I leave it out, do you think I would need to adjust any of the other ingredients?

    Also want to let you know that I love all of your recipes- your cookbook stays on my cookbook stand, and I’ve gifted it to several family members who also love your recipes, even the picky eaters! Thank you!

    • Hey Amy!! You can leave the other ingredients as-is without any adjustments, just an extra note that it will be very saucy and cheesy at first, even more so without any broccoli, but it’ll absorb more and more as it simmers and even after it’s removed from the heat. You can also try adding something like cauliflower or green beans! I’m SOO happy that you are loving the recipes and that you have my cookbook on your stand, I am SO honored!!!!!! Thank you!!! 🌺🌺🌺 -Stephanie 🙂

  7. This was delicious! And once everything is prepped it’s a simple recipe. We are looking forward to the leftovers! Thank you for sharing your recipes, I’ve yet to make one we didn’t enjoy.

  8. Outstanding recipe! I already have requests to make it again ASAP. My husband and kids LOVED it and ate it all. It was an easy dishes night for me and everyone went to bed full and happy. I wish I had some leftovers for today because I’m craving it already. But…I’ll make it again this weekend I think. Thank you so much.

    • I’m soooo happy that it was a hit Chrissy!!! I always feel the same way, I want to make it again and again! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! 🙂 ❤️ -Stephanie

  9. Tried this recipe last night!  It was a hit with my family and the directions made it easy to make a delicious sauce and dish!  I have loved every recipe I’ve ever made from the cozy cook!  👩🏻‍🍳 👍🏻 💜 

    • I am sooooo happy to hear that this was a hit and that you’re loving the recipes Mandy, that makes my day!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I appreciate it so much!! -Stephanie 🌷🌷

  10. Hello this looks so delicious but I’m not a fan of Orzo. Can I use regular white rice?

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