Creamy Chicken Orzo is so easy to make for a perfect one pot dinner!  Full of tender orzo pasta, juicy chicken, and plenty of parmesan cheese!

orzo in a pot

We’ve been going through and getting all of our classic Thanksgiving recipes up over the last couple of weeks!  But, one pot meals are our specialty around here, and this is one I’ve been dying to share!  It’s kind of a spin on my Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Rice and it’s a really simple but cozy meal for these colder months when we need some “stick to your ribs” food.  If you’re looking for more easy recipes you have to try out our French Onion Salisbury Steak and Three Cheese Rigatoni!

Is Orzo a Pasta or Rice?

Let’s talk about orzo!  It looks like rice, but guess what?  It’s actually pasta!  It actually looks really similar to rice, or barley.  I’m sure you have maybe seen Orzo before at your grocery store and it caught your eye, but you weren’t sure what to do with it.  You can cook it and serve it the same way you would rice, or any pasta dish, and it’s not complicated to cook at all.  It works out perfectly for a 30 minute meal.

chicken orzo in skillet

What Does Orzo Taste Like?

Much like rice or pasta, orzo has a very neutral taste.  It’s really more for adding a nice texture or “bite” to the dish.  For this recipe, you’ll notice that after we cook the onions and garlic we then add the dry orzo right to the pan.  Let it cook and “toast” for 2-3 minutes.  This adds some really great, extra flavor to your orzo!

Recipe Notes:

  • You can use cooked, shredded chicken in this recipe if you prefer.  Simply stir the shredded chicken in when you add the broth and half & half.  You’d want to use about 2-3 cups total.
  • This recipe does need to simmer COVERED!  Make sure you have a tight fitting lid for your pan.  You can check on it every once in a while because stove-top heat can vary.  You want it at a light simmer, it shouldn’t ever be boiling rapidly.  If it does, you will run out of liquid, but can add more if needed.
  • Cheeses:  I prefer parmesan in this dish.  It almost reminds me of a nice risotto you can get at a restaurant and it’s nice and decadent.  But, you can use any cheese that is your favorite.  Keep in mind that freshly shredded cheese is always preferred, but you can use pre-shredded (bagged) if necessary.

creamy chicken orzo in pan



4.91 from 22 votes

Creamy Chicken Orzo

Creamy Chicken Orzo is so easy to make for a perfect one pot dinner!  Full of tender orzo pasta, juicy chicken, and plenty of parmesan cheese!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Servings 6



  • Place the chicken breasts on a large cutting board and cut into bite sized (1/2-1 inch) pieces, sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the cubed chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes just until seared on all sides.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  • Add the orzo to the pan and stir constantly for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and half and half. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook for 5-7 minutes until orzo is soft.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parmesan.



NOTE:  You can make this ahead and store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 days.  Reheat in a large pan on the stove top over low heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!


Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    Very good. I also added diced celery and shredded carrots. I needed to cook it a little bit more. If you want to ramp it up more with veggies you could probably add broccoli or peas.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night. It was a big hit from the 4 yo to the adults. Really tasty. Cooking the orzo took twice as long as the recipe, if not longer. But I think i just didn’t have the stove up high enough. I added some cooked vegetables at the end and some frozen peas. Will definitely make it again.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a family favorite now and so great when we have baseball and volleyball and I can’t get home until 8:00!!

  4. OMG! First thing I’ve cooked in my new cookware & it’s fabulous!
    I did have to cook the orzo twice as long because I find it impossible to gauge a simmer on a glass top stove (& truthfully it’s still a bit too Al dente), but the flavors! Will be making again.

  5. Can milk be substituted for the half and half? Making this this week and cannot wait, my husband is obsessed with orzo and we are always looking for good orzo recipes!

    1. Sorry about this. It’s actually step #3. My recipe card seems to be having some issues, but it’s fixed now 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    What a lovely recipe is it. The cheesy taste of this makes my mouth full of water. So, wonderful work, and especially the great idea to make the owsome recipe which is also healthy food. I can’t wait to try this great recipe.
    It’s so simple recipe because not taking too much time. Also, all the ingredients are healthy for health.
    Thanks, for that yummiest idea.