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One skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights. Video.

One skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights. Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true. These intuitive powers were given to your soul at birth. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

This Creamy Orzo Chicken is so homey and comforting, it just doesn’t seem possible that it comes together so easily! My husband constantly asks for this one and honestly, I love making it, because it is so simple to make.

Creamy Orzo Chicken Video

Ingredients in Creamy Orzo Chicken

  • Chicken Thighs – bone-in, skin-on, or sub chicken breasts or skinless thighs, see notes.
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • onion- or sub leeks or shallots
  • garlic cloves
  • thyme (or sub sage, or rosemary)
  • orzo pasta
  • dijon mustard
  • chicken broth
  • sour cream, or sub-full-fat yogurt
  • artichoke hearts- jarred and packed in water, or use frozen.  Or sub other veggies- peas, cooked mushrooms, etc. 
  • fresh spinach, or sub other wiltable greens.
  • lemon zest

Ingredeints in Creamy Orzo Chicken

How to make Creamy Orzo Chicken

Step one

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Season the chicken on all sides generously with salt and pepper. A good rule of thumb is one scant teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken.
  3. Pan-sear each side until perfectly golden, and the skin is crispy- then set aside on a plate.

 

Step two

  1. Saute the onion, garlic and thyme.
  2. Add the orzo and toast in the pan for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth and salt.
  4. Stir in the mustard.
  5. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Step three

  1. Stir in the sour cream.
  2. If it seems dry, stir in more broth- a good rule of thumb is when you shake the pan, the mixture should level out.
  3. Stir in the spinach and artichokes.
  4. Nestle in the chicken thighs.

Step four

Bake uncovered until the chicken thighs are cooked through (170F) and the edges are bubbling about 20 minutes. Broil the skin for extra crispy.

One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights. 

Step five

Garnish the Creamy Orzo Chicken with lemon zest.

One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights. 

Serve this meal on it’s own or with roasted asparagus, or 15-Minute broccoli, Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Lemon!or a tasty green salad.

More chicken recipes you may like:

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One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights. 

One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken


Description

One Skillet Creamy Orzo Chicken with Artichoke Hearts- a deliciously cozy dinner, made with simple pantry ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on, or use chicken breast, see notes)
  • salt and pepper (1 scant teaspoon salt, per pound of chicken)
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme ( or one teaspoon dried, or sub sage or rosemary)
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, more as needed
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream; add more for extra creamy- sub-full-fat plain yogurt or heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained. Or sub frozen artichoke hearts, peas, edamame, etc.
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 46 thyme sprigs
  • Lemon zest for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Pat chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the chicken: In a large (10-11 inch) oven-proof skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sear the skin side first 4-5 minutes, until beautifully golden and crispy, turn over, and sear the other side 3-4 minutes. Set chicken aside on a plate.
  4. Saute: Lower heat to medium-low, and to the same skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil,  onions, garlic and thyme. Saute 4-5 minutes until lightly golden and fragrant. Add the orzo, stirring 1-2 minutes. Add 2 cups of broth, scrape up any brown bits, stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and mustard and bring to simmer, and cover for 4-5 minutes, or until orzo is al dente and has soaked up most of the liquid.
  5. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and adjust the salt to taste (I added another 1/4 teaspoon.) 
  6. Stir in sour cream, spinach, and artichoke hearts. Give the pan a shake, it should level out nicely. If it’s too dry to level out, then add more chicken stock or water to loosen it up.
  7. Nestle in the chicken, arrange some the artichokes, so they are showing, and place in the oven and bake uncovered until the chicken registers 170F and the very edges of the pan are bubbling, and the orzo is tender – about 20 -25 minutes. Broil the chicken for a few minutes for extra crispy skin.
  8. Garnish with fresh lemon zest.

Notes

Feel free to use 1 lb chicken breasts. I recommend cutting the breasts into 1-inch bite-sized pieces, seasoning and browning them, then stirring them into the orzo mixture, rather than nestling them on top. They’ll need less baking time- check at 10-15 minutes.

If using heavy cream instead of sour cream, add few drops of lemon juice to give it a tanginess.

Leftovers last 4 days in the fridge.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 508
  • Sugar: 5.9 g
  • Sodium: 969.7 mg
  • Fat: 26.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.1 g
  • Fiber: 8.3 g
  • Protein: 26.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 119.8 mg

Keywords: orzo chicken, chicken orzo, creamy orzo chicken, chicken orzo with artichokes,

 

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Comments

  1. My husband really liked this, me it was average. I didn’t use skin on or bone in thighs, only had skinless, boneless on hand. However I felt it was a tad bland. If made again, I would use drained marinated artichokes and definitely add Parmesan cheese to the orzo. And maybe add some sun-dried tomatoes too

    1. Thanks fpr the feedback Nanci- I do think the skin-on, bone-in thighs do add another level of richness here that seeps down into the orzo- maybe that was it? But parmesan is always welcome. 😉

  2. Excellent! Couldn’t get any chicken thigh cutlets so substituted with chicken maryland, I just needed to cook the cuts a bit longer. Certain chicken cuts aren’t available, for some reason we have a shortage, also potatoes, so chips (as in crisps) are scarce but actual potatoes are on the shelves. Global warming, floods and drought probably have a huge impact on production.

  3. This is a perfect meal to celebrate the end of a busy day! I served it with a salad of winter lettuces , cara cara orange slices and crumbled chevre tossed with a light vinaigrette. It was a delicious dinner.

  4. This recipe looks delicious but the salt content per serving is so extremely high. Any suggestions for a lower salt version?

    1. Feel free to decrease the salt ( recipe is salt to taste) and sub low-sodium chicken broth. 🙂

  5. I didn’t know what to make for dinner tonight, I said to my husband if I could find a recipe with chicken and artichokes that would be great. I put those ingredients in the search on your site and found this. I didn’t have orzo, but used arborio risotto rice and it was delicious! A keeper in our house.

  6. Exactly my kind of taste. Brilliant & many thanks Sylvia. Deglazed with a bit of Chardonnay 😉 that blended in nicely with the artichokes

  7. Made this tonight for our dinner. Full of flavor. Next time I will add more mustard and thyme. Thank you for the recipe.

  8. Another wonderful recipe! We upped the spinach and added mushrooms, too, and swapped the regular orzo for a gluten-free orzo (sometimes that swap can blow a recipe but, happily, it didn’t here). Otherwise, we followed it exactly, down to the lemon zest, and it was delicious, easy and very satisfying, thank you!

  9. I’ve made this twice now and we absolutely love this recipe. So easy to pull together for a weeknight meal and makes great leftovers too.

  10. excellent weeknight dinner. I devoured it! Used pasta shells as I ran out of orzo, used yogurt instead of sour cream. Yummy!

  11. This is a fantastic recipe! We doubled it for a family dinner and it received rave reviews – everyone had seconds. A few notes: we skinned the chicken pieces to lower the fat content and cooked it longer so the orzo was tender rather than al dente.

  12. I made the creamy orzo chicken without artichokes or spinach as grandson is a bit picky. Used green peas. I heard shortly after delivering the meal that it was DELICIOUS. I made enough for us and I agree. Thanks Sylvia. Judy

  13. This dish was excellent. The directions were very clear, the flavors just right for a cozy dinner, and the ingredient list largely made of things I already had! I did double the chicken and veggies while only slightly increasing the pasta, which made for a ratio that worked well for my family. I have a very large cast iron skilled which was perfect for this recipe. Thanks very much, Sylvia!

  14. We loved it as written except 2 out of 3 would prefer no artichokes! I was the dissenter and loved them. Other wise it was delicious, we drank white wine with it because we are French and enjoy our carbs:) C’est très bon, je vais refaire ce plat!!

    1. Thanks- and happy you liked them- but you could easily leave them out or sub another veggie here!

  15. Gotta eat my veggies! So I added almost an entire 5 oz. package of baby spinach, which worked beautifully. 5 oz. was not too much for the amount of pasta and chicken. The lemon zest added a nice touch. An excellent recipe – my husband LOVED it. And I think it might scale up nicely for a crowd. Will definitely make again.

  16. Prefer to use jackfruit and, keeping it wheat free, prefer mixed beans or lentils to pasta… even Gluten free pasta – but adjust simmering time.
    Also this reduces calories as carbs at night are unnecessary (unless you work out)
    Let’s face it our lifestyle isn’t always exercise geared…so our bodies need all the help they can get to limit or reduce weight gain!

  17. My whole family thoroughly enjoyed it. It goes in our “favorites” collection.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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