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.

Related Recipes

Rate & Review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 3 stars
    As much as I love SM recipes, this is one that I would say “if I was in the hospital on a bland diet, I would give this 5 stars”. Spice it up and it’s tasty! After I made it per the recipe, I added Cavendars and some crushed red pepper. It helps, but not overall a good recipe.

  2. Followed but with what I had on hand..used rotisserie chicken and used 1 cup whole milk 1 cup unsweetened almond milk..and had chopped jar garlic subbed for fresh. Time cooking the orzo was perfect Turned out really good.

  3. Delicious I used left over rotisserie chicken and added mushrooms definitely a hit. Going to try adding asparagus next time.

    1. I did just because I didn’t have half and half and I didn’t think to just mix milk with the heavy cream. It came out great, just very thick. I’d recommend just mixing milk and heavy cream.

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Nichole! I made this creamy chicken orzo a couple minutes ago. It is fantastic! I added about 2tablespoons of bacon drippings to this. It brought it to a totally different elevation. :-). It gave it a mild smoky bacon flavor which was really good too! I can’t wait to try your other recipes! Thank you very much!