Chicken and Orzo Bake

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This simple Chicken and Orzo Bake is a perfect one-pan meal that brings together tender chicken, hearty orzo pasta, and fresh veggies. Everything is perfectly seasoned with earthy herbs, garlic and Parmesan cheese for a little creaminess.

A warm, hearty meal that requires minimal effort and cleanup? That’s exactly what this lightly creamy Chicken and Orzo Bake offers. Tender chicken, orzo pasta, and fresh veggies all baked together in one dish, this recipe is not only is it easy to prepare, but it also delivers rich, savory flavors that will make it a family favorite.

baked chicken and orzo skillet dinner

This baked chicken orzo recipe is versatile and customizable. Whether you stick to the classic ingredients or add your own twist, the result is always delicious. Plus, the convenience of having everything cook in one pan means you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

Here’s what you’ll need to create this delicious one-pot meal:

ingredients for chicken and orzo recipe on a table
  • Chicken Thighs: 6-7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you love chicken thighs, try our baked chicken thighs and grilled chicken thighs!
  • Orzo Pasta: 1 cup of uncooked orzo pasta, which will absorb all the wonderful flavors as it cooks.
  • Vegetables: 1 finely chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 diced bell peppers, and 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes. These add color, texture, and nutrition to the dish.
  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons of olive oil for sautéing the veggies and searing the chicken.
  • Seasonings: 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, dried basil, and paprika. Plus, salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Chicken Broth: 2 cups of chicken broth to cook the orzo and add depth of flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese: ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese for a creamy finish.
  • Fresh Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, adding a touch of color and freshness.

How to Make Chicken and Orzo Bake

Follow these simple steps to prepare your Chicken and Orzo Bake:

  • Prepare: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and half of the dried oregano, basil, and paprika.
  • Sear the Chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great!) over medium heat. Add the seasoned chicken thighs and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
chicken thighs cooking in a cast iron skillet
  1. Sauté the Vegetables: In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic, and bell peppers until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Stir in the uncooked orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, and the remaining dried herbs and paprika. Cook for another 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
vegetables, orzo, seasonings and tomatoes in a skillet
  1. Add Broth: Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat. Arrange the seared chicken thighs on top of the orzo and veggie mixture.
chicken and orzo bake before it goes in the oven
  1. Bake Covered: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the orzo is tender.
  2. Add Cheese: Remove the foil, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the chicken and orzo, and return to the oven. Bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  3. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and some grated Parmesan before serving.
closeup of a piece of chicken with orzo in a skillet

Recipe Variations

One of the great things about this Chicken and Orzo Bake is its versatility. Here are some variations you can try:

  • Chicken Options: While the recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, you can also use bone-in, skin-on thighs or chicken breasts. If using these alternatives, adjust the searing time by adding a couple of minutes per side to ensure they are cooked through.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add or remove vegetables based on your preference or what you have on hand. Some great additions include spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, or broccoli. These can be added during the sautéing step for extra nutrition and flavor.
  • Creaminess: For a creamier texture, stir in some heavy cream or Greek yogurt after the dish has come out of the oven. This will add richness and a smooth consistency to the orzo and chicken.
  • Citrus: Lemon and Mediterranean recipes just go together! Layering in lemon slices in the last few minutes of baking or garnishing with a squeeze of lemon juice after baking can add a refreshing tang that balances the savory flavors.
chicken and orzo on a plate with fresh parmesan
about tastes of lizzy t

Make It a Meal

While this Chicken and Orzo Bake is a complete meal on its own, you can easily complement it with a few simple sides to round out your dinner table:

Other Recipes to Love

If you like this chicken and orzo casserole, you’ll love:

chicken and orzo bake after it goes in the oven
chicken and orzo bake after it goes in the oven

Chicken and Orzo Bake

5 from 2 votes
This Chicken and Orzo Bake is a perfect one-pan meal that brings together tender chicken, hearty orzo pasta, and fresh veggies. Everything is perfectly seasoned with earthy herbs, garlic and Parmesan cheese for a little creaminess.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • 6-7 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 green or red bell peppers diced
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and half of the dried oregano, half of the basil, and half of the paprika. 6-7 boneless skinless chicken thighs, Salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the seasoned chicken thighs and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic, and bell peppers until softened, about 3-4 minutes. 1 white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 green or red bell peppers
  • Stir in the uncooked orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, and the remaining dried herbs and paprika. Cook for another 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. ,1 cup uncooked orzo pasta, 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat. Arrange the seared chicken thighs on top of the orzo and veggie mixture. 2 cups chicken broth
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the orzo is tender.
  • Remove the foil, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the chicken and orzo, and return to the oven. Bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and some grated Parmesan before serving. Fresh parsley

Notes

Store any leftover chicken and orzo in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To reheat, either microwave until it is warmed through or place back in a skillet with some olive oil and heat through.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. **

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 544mg | Potassium: 543mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1630IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 333
Keyword easy chicken recipe, one-pot recipe, skillet dinner
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Merilyn
8 days ago

5 stars
Can’t wait to make this weekend! Looks delicious.