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Cozy up with this creamy chicken orzo, a one pot wonder that the whole family will love! It’s the perfect easy weeknight dinner.

cooked chicken orzo in a large pot.
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Browse through my family meals and you will see that I am a huge fan of one pot meals. After becoming a mom, it’s really the only type of cooking I have the time and energy for. Just dump everything into one pot, stir, and dinner is served!

I love it so much that I even dedicated an entire cookbook to it!

Right now, let’s talk about orzo pasta, one of my family’s most beloved pantry staples. It’s just as versatile as rice, cooks up fast, and has a creamy, buttery texture that my kids especially adore!

For this quick weeknight meal, orzo gets cooked alongside chicken and vegetables and simmered in a creamy sauce that will remind you of risotto (you have to try this quinoa risotto also!) or a very thick chicken noodle soup with pasta.

Psst this Instant Pot Chicken and Noodles with frozen veggies is a must-try also!

This one-pot meal is creamy, cozy, filling, and so delicious! A perfect meal for the entire family, including babies!

50+ Quick and Healthy Family Meals

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Orzo – although it looks like a rice, orzo is actually pasta!
  • Chicken breast – can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Cut into bite size pieces.
  • Vegetables – I like to use the onion, celery, and carrots but feel free to experiment with your favorite vegetables.
  • Cheese – We always have a block of cheddar cheese so that’s what I’m using here but feel free to use any delicious cheese you prefer. Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, ricotta…all welcomed!

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage showing how to make the orzo.
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or large pot (I absolutely LOVE this one). Add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until almost cooked on all sides. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until softened and fragrant.
  2. Add Italian seasoning, chicken broth, and milk and bring to a boil.
  3. Add orzo. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until orzo is soft and creamy. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, lemon juice, freshly cracked black pepper, and fresh parsley if desired.

Variations

  • Dairy-free? Use any dairy-free butter, milk, and cheese or nutritional yeast.
  • Vegetarian? You can use vegetable broth and instead of chicken, add a 15 ounce can of beans (I recommend white beans) along with broth and milk.

Tips for Success

A very close up shot of orzo to showcase its creaminess.
  • If you have some leftover rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken, add it in step 3.
  • You shouldn’t need it but if all the liquid gets absorbed before the orzo is done cooking, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth or water.
  • Be sure to stir occasionally so the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Use good quality cheese and grate it yourself. It will melt better leaving you with ooey gooey yumminess in each bite.

Serving Suggestions

Toddler's plate with a small portion of orzo in a bowl, chopped parsley and lemon slice.

This is a complete meal on its own but you can also serve alongside:

Storage

Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. To reheat, microwave briefly or in a skillet with a little bit of liquid (water or broth).

If intending to freeze some, set aside a portion without the cheese. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

More One Pot Pasta Dish

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 15 votes

Creamy Chicken Orzo

Cozy up with this creamy chicken orzo, a one pot wonder that the whole family will love! It's the perfect easy weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablesoon butter
  • 1 pound chicken breasts or thigh,s cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots (135g), about 2 medium carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery stalk (140g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 16 ounce orzo
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (45g)
  • Toppings: Freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh herbs like parsley, freshly cracked pepper

Instructions 

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or large pot. Add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until almost cooked on all sides.
  • Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant.
  • Add Italian seasoning, chicken broth, and milk and bring to a boil.Add orzo. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until orzo is soft and creamy.
  • Be sure to stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, lemon, and parsley if using.

Notes

  • You shouldn’t need it but if all the liquid gets absorbed before the orzo is done cooking, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth or water.
  • Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. To reheat, microwave briefly or in a skillet with a little bit of liquid (water or broth).
  • If intending to freeze some, set aside a portion without the cheese. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Your recipes are always amazing and this was another big hit for my family! Thank you!!
    Question: can I use different cheese such as mozzarella or parmasean? My boy is 13 month old and I’m afraid sodium level of cheddar is quite high.

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this one-pot orzo recipe, and it turned out sooo good! I don’t usually buy celery, because I don’t like the taste of it, but you cannot taste it in this dish. It is delicious!

    I’m waiting for my 18-month-old to come back from daycare for the final verdict. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Made it with Salmon today, it was baby’s 1st time trying Salmon. Both my little one and 4 year old loved it. Perfect family meal.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was so easy and quick to make and so delicious. I kept telling my husband, “this is so good!”

  5. 5 stars
    Another great recipe to add into our meal rotation. I didn’t have celery but used frozen peas and it was delicious. This recipe seems pretty fool proof! I added lemon pepper to my plate and it was great. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

    1. Yes I think so too! Highly customizable. And I love leftovers too. They taste better as the flavors meld together more

  6. 5 stars
    This came out delicious!!!! Love the one pot concept and hate when the rice/pasta comes out undercooked but this was perfection!! I added extra cheese (cuz why not?!) but love that this can be omitted or a portion set aside for baby if needed. I did add a lot of salt and pepper, again love that I can set aside before doing so. And included juice from about a half of lemon, subtle lemon flavor was nice. All around a dish we will definitely make in the future. I think I may also try adding more veggies as well. Have you ever tried with zucchini or green beans or would these be too watery?

    1. OH I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish so much! Yes lemon is a must in my opinion! And you can absolutely add whatever veggies you wish 🙂