This creamy chicken orzo with sun dried tomatoes and asparagus is an easy one pan chicken recipe that is on the table in less than 30 minutes!
If there is one thing I love, it’s a one pan/one pot meal. The only thing I MIGHT love more, are recipes without a lot of chopping! Can I get an AMEN?!!!
This recipe is both of those! The only chopping/prep that needs to be done is cutting the asparagus! The dish comes together in one pan and practically cooks itself–the hands-on time is very minimal. Which gives you more time to….pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and let the stove work it’s magic, baby!!! Other one pan wonders are my Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Lemon and this Slow Cooker Taco Pasta. My Parmesan and Panko Crusted Cod is also a quick and easy weeknight fave!
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WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- It’s a complete meal: protein, veggies and carbs–no need to make a side dish!
- It comes together easily in one pan, meaning less clean up!
- It’s only FIVE (or six!) ingredients
- There is some downtime while you wait for the orzo to cook…just enough time for a glass of wine!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious Creamy Chicken Orzo:
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: You can also use chicken breasts here too but they take a bit longer to cook. The thighs cook up quickly and are super tender and juicy.
Sun dried tomatoes: I typically use the ones packed in oil for flavor purposes, however I drain off most of the oil. The regular dried ones (usually found in the produce section) work great too.
Orzo: Orzo is just a rice-shaped that cooks up quickly! It’s a lot like risotto, actually and produces quite a bit of starch when it cooks up, making this dish nice and creamy. The cooking time is a lot less than risotto, too! Score! If you need an alternative to orzo, check out these 15 great substitutes for orzo!
Heavy cream (optional): The starch from the orzo makes this dish creamy on it’s own. However, for a bit more decadence, you can add some heavy cream at the end. It’s totally optional. Half and half works too.
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY CHICKEN ORZO: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
- Step 1: Heat oil in pan/season chicken and place in pan.
- Step 2: While chicken is cooking, chop asparagus and sun dried tomatoes (if necessary, some come already chopped).Add asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, orzo and stock to the pan.
- Step 3: Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
- Step 4: While the dish is simmering away, get out the parmesan cheese (if using), pour yourself a nice glass of white wine and relax!!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta, so you substitute another small pasta such Pastini or Ditalini. Rice would also work. You may have to increase the cooking time a bit, just check it at about the 20 minute mark.
The chicken and orzo keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days, in an air tight container.
Orzo tends to stick together a bit when cooled, so when reheating, add a little chicken stock to the bowl or pan. It reheats well in the microwave!
Since this is a one pan meal, it really stands on it’s own! However, a simple green salad or this amazing garlic bread would be perfect! Plenty of parmesan cheese is helpful, too 🙂
RECIPE TIPS AND TRICKS
- Don’t like asparagus? Spinach works great here too! Just stir it in at the very end until it wilts.
- If you want to cut back on the oil, regular sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil) work just fine!
- If you like your asparagus more on the al dente side, add it in during the last 3-4 minutes of cooking.
- Optional step at the end for super creamy orzo: Orzo itself contains a lot of starch and cooks up pretty creamy, especially when you add parmesan cheese. But stirring in a little cream at the very end definitely kicks it up a notch and makes it super rich and delish!
- Don’t have a big pan with a lid? Use a cookie sheet to cover your pan!
OTHER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- ONE PAN CHICKEN WITH CHERRY TOMATOES
- CROCKPOT BUFFALO CHICKEN TACOS WITH CELERY SLAW
- 10 AMAZING WINES UNDER $20
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Creamy Chicken Orzo with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Asparagus
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 10-20 sun dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped if needed
- 1 cup orzo, uncooked
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
- fresh basil and parmesan for serving, optional
- In a large skillet (with lid) on medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil from the sun dried tomatoes.
- Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, add to pan.
- Sear chicken on both sides 3-4 minutes until nicely browned (they do not need to be cooked all the way through).
- Add sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, orzo and chicken stock to the pan and give everything a big stir. Make sure orzo is covered with chicken stock.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.
- Simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes until orzo is fully cooked and liquid is absorbed. If liquid isn't quite absorbed, uncover a cook a few minutes more.
- Optional step if you want super creamy orzo: Remove chicken from pan. Stir cream into orzo and veggies, allow it to heat through about 1-2 minutes more. Plate the orzo, then add chicken on top.
- Top orzo with basil and parmesan cheese (if using) and serve immediately with the chicken.