Chicken With Orzo Pasta


Chicken With Orzo Pasta is the delicious tender chicken and orzo pasta dish you need to add to your regular recipe rotation. It’s quick to make with only 8 ingredients and a few hours in the fridge. It’s a one-pot meal that is just what you’re craving as the weather starts getting warm and summer fades into fall. Chicken With Orzo Pasta is sure to be a hit with your family and friends!

creamy tuscan chicken orzo

This one-pan creamy Tuscan chicken orzo is an easy and filling weeknight dinner that comes together in about 30 minutes! With pan-seared chicken breasts, orzo pasta, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and fresh basil in a creamy sauce, it’ll be your new favorite Italian-inspired meal!

what is tuscan chicken?

Tuscan chicken is an Italian American dish inspired by the light, flavorful cooking style of the Tuscany region in Northern Italy. Tuscan chicken usually contains chicken in a creamy sauce with spinach and sundried tomatoes. Topped with basil and parmesan, it has all the Italian flavors we know and love!

Tuscan chicken is often served over pasta, so I decided to skip a step and make this Tuscan chicken orzo!

ingredient notes

  • Orzo – Orzo is a small, oval shaped pasta that looks similar to rice. Use a high-quality die cut pasta like Delallo or De Cecco for the yummiest results!
  • Chicken – I prefer chicken breasts but this recipe would also be great with boneless, skinless chicken thighs!
  • Sundried tomatoes – Use sundried tomatoes packed in oil for the best flavor! I love the Trader Joe’s brand!
  • Fresh spinach – I prefer using fresh spinach and adding it into the orzo right at the end. But you could also substitute 1 cup of thawed, frozen spinach and add it in while the orzo is cooking.
  • Heavy cream – Use cream for a rich creamy sauce or half & half for a slightly lighter version.
  • Dijon mustard – This is optional, but adds some great extra flavor to the orzo!
  • White cooking wine – This is optional but adds some great flavor to your orzo! I always keep cheap, dry white wine on hand that I use for cooking. It’s amazing how much flavor a $3 bottle of sauvignon blanc can add to a dish!
  • Vegetable stock – I always use my homemade vegetable stock when I make cook for the best flavor!! You can also use store bought vegetable stock, chicken stock, or even water.
  • Shallot – The mild flavor of shallots are perfect for this light orzo dish. But you could also use a small yellow onion instead.
  • Fresh herbs – Italian herbs like thyme, basil, and oregano add amazing flavor to this dish! You can substitute a dried Italian seasoning blend if that’s all you have, but I highly recommend fresh herbs!
  • Lemon juice – A little fresh lemon juice helps add some brightness to the Tuscan chicken orzo.
  • Red pepper flakes – Totally optional, but great for adding just a little bit of heat!

how to make tuscan chicken orzo

Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise so that they’re thinner and cook more quickly. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet or cast iron, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken breasts for 1-2 minutes on each side. Then remove and set aside.

Add in the butter, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and aromatic.

Then add in the sundried tomatoes and dry orzo and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Then add in the white wine to de-glaze the pan and make sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.

Stir in the Dijon mustard, fresh thyme, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Place the chicken breasts back in the pan. Then cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until both the orzo and chicken are fully cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Make sure the chicken is fully cooked by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part. It should read at least 165°F.

Remove the chicken breasts and thinly slice.

Then stir in the heavy cream, parmesan, spinach, and lemon juice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Top with the sliced chicken breasts and garnish the Tuscan chicken orzo with fresh basil!

recipe faq’s

How to store this Tuscan chicken orzo?

This orzo is best eaten the same day, but will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to reheat Tuscan chicken orzo?

The orzo will soak up the sauce in the fridge, so it’s best to reheat on the stove with a little extra broth or cream to add more moisture.

Can I use water instead of stock to make the orzo?

Yes, but it will be a lot less flavorful. You can also substitute chicken broth!


Cajun Chicken Orzo – this one-pot chicken breast recipe is packed with flavor and easy to prepare. Deliciously creamy and comforting and one of my favorite midweek meals.

Close up on Cajun chicken orzo

Creamy orzo with chicken and Cajun seasoning… I know, it doesn’t sound all that exciting but this quick one-pot meal is incredibly tasty. 

If you are looking to expand your chicken breast recipe repertoire then this is a MUST make. And with the orzo and chicken cooking together in one pot it also cuts down on the washing up. A truly winning chicken dinner!


Chicken breasts cut into strips or bite sized pieces. Skinless chicken thighs can also be used, if you like.

Cajun seasoning – this delicious blend of paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, pepper and oregano is always in my spice drawer. It adds depth of flavor and a little bit of spice and can be used in so many ways.

Orzo – this small pasta shape resembles rice or grains of barley. It’s used a lot in Italian and Greek recipes – I grew up eating it and love it! Orzo is best cooked in broth, similar to risotto, for maximum flavor and creaminess.

The rest of the ingredients are olive oil, butter, onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, shredded spinach, cream and Parmesan cheese. 


Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!

Combine the chicken, Cajun seasoning and salt. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan (a Chef’s pan with a lid is ideal) and pan fry the chicken until it starts to color.

Add the onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the orzo, cook for a minute or so then add the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Orzo absorbs liquid readily so keep an eye on the pan and add a little extra water, as needed, if the pan gets too dry.

Uncover the pan and test the orzo – it should be almost tender but with a little bite to it. Stir in the shredded spinach so that it wilts.

Stir in the cream and add the grated Parmesan. You should have a deliciously indulgent creamy dish. Check the seasoning and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

stirring cream into cajun chicken orzo in a pan


This creamy Cajun chicken orzo tastes best as soon as cool enough to devour! Leftovers will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

To reheat, add a splash of water or broth and bring to a simmer in a saucepan. Alternatively reheat in a microwave until piping hot, stirring halfway through.

One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo

  • 15MINS
  • 50MINS
  • Serves 4
  • 437KCAL

This hearty One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo is a great slimming friendly meal whether you’re counting calories or following a diet plan like Weight Watchers.

Also in these categories:

  • One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo



  • CARBS53G
  • FAT9.9G
  • SUGARS5.6G

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One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!

If it’s a chilly day, then this recipe is one of those dishes that reminds you of summer!  Our One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo is ridiculously easy to make and is packed full of vibrant, Mediterranean flavours.

If you’ve never had orzo before then don’t be fooled – it might look like rice, but orzo is actually pasta!  We absolutely love it and it makes a really nice change to pastas like penne or fusilli.

This One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo takes about 10 minutes to prepare and you just need to pop everything into a pan and then throw it in the oven – easy!

What diets is this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo suitable for?

This recipe is suitable if you’re gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions;

  • Orzo
  • Stock cubes

You could also enjoy this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo if you’re dairy free.

Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo recipe?

Weight Watchers’ new PersonalPoints plan calculates each individual’s Points allowance based on their unique food preferences and goals. This means we’re no longer able to offer exact WW points for our recipes.

The good news is that all of our recipes are still Weight Watchers friendly! If you have any questions about your Points budgets or you’re unsure how a certain recipe will fit into your plan, please reach out to Weight Watchers directly.

Do you need any special ingredients to make this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo?

First and foremost you need a sturdy casserole pot. We use ours at least once a week, and cook everything in it from stews to one pot dishes like this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo.

Next you need allspice. Not mixed spice, ALLSPICE! It’s nothing like mixed spice and really shouldn’t be substituted as such!

If you don’t have any allspice, we urge you to get some. It’s amazing paired with rosemary and thyme.

You also need some orzo which you can find in the pasta aisle at the supermarket (looks like rice!).

Hints & Tips

Below we added some of our communities most common hints and tips. We hope you find them useful.


Awesome Orzo !

Marinaded the spices for 20 minutes and simmered really slowly. Will definitely make this again !

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We love hearing from you, submit any tips or tricks you have for this dish and we’ll review them and add some of them here. Just click here.

‘So easy to make and really delicious. A winner with all the family’

How many calories are in this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo?

There are 437 calories in each portion of our slimming friendly One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo which means it falls into our Weekly Indulgence category.

This recipe is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly!

Step 1

Coat the chicken thighs in the paprika, ground allspice, turmeric and salt and leave for 10 mins. In the meantime chop the vegetables.

Step 2

Spray a large frying pan with some low calorie cooking spray and heat gently.

Step 3

Cook the chicken thighs until they start to brown. Turn them over and brown the other sides.

Step 3

Step 4

Set the chicken aside.

Step 5

Add a few more sprays of low calorie cooking spray to the pan, then fry off the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and mushrooms until the onion is soft.

Step 6

Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and 100ml of the chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pan and place in the oven with a lid on (or covered with foil) for 30 mins at 180C.

Step 6

Step 7

Carefully remove the pan from the oven, add the orzo, parsley and the rest of the stock, stir, and return to the oven for 20 mins with the lid off.

One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

What should you should serve with One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo?

This dish is really substantial enough on its own without any extra accompaniments, but if you fancied something extra you could try any of the following:

Cheesy Garlic Bread

  • 20M
  • 85KCAL

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Greek Salad


  • 10M
  • 94KCAL

Greek Salad

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad


  • 10M
  • 196KCAL

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Whatever accompaniment you choose, don’t forget to account for the extra calories and/or other nutritional values.

Can you cook One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo another way?

You could cook this dish in the slow cooker. Brown the chicken, add to the pot with all of the other ingredients, except the orzo and parsley. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Add the orzo and some extra stock if required and cook for a further 35-40 minutes on high until the orzo is tender.

How do you know when this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo is cooked?

You should cook this dish until the chicken is cooked through, the juices run clear and the orzo is tender.

This should take approx 50 minutes in the oven.

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.

How long can you keep this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo in the fridge?

Once you’ve served it, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any left overs to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.

Can I freeze this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat this One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.

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