One Skillet Chicken and Spinach Mushroom Orzo is a quick, flavourful, healthy weeknight meal. Flexible to suit your needs and ready in about 35 minutes. I call it comfort food.
This meal in one pot is really tasty. Even though the cooking time is very short, the flavours from the broth, mushrooms, onions and BBQ sauce blend beautifully and make the orzo delicious. It’s nothing fancy. And it’s very forgiving. Leave out a few things, add in something else – no problem. Perfect for a simple weeknight meal for the family or you and your other half.
You can, of course, use a homemade BBQ sauce, but I just grab what I have in the fridge (and doctor it up a bit by adding a little mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and even a touch of hot sauce). You can also use frozen spinach. Just run it under water in a strainer to defrost and squeeze it out well. How much? Doesn’t really matter. Say two cups frozen.
The important part of this dish is the ratio of liquid to orzo. Much of this will depend on the cooking temperature. I find a slow simmer is good, but it’s easy to adjust – for example, if your orzo is cooking too fast (not yet tender and water almost absorbed), add a bit of water and lower the heat. Of course, you also want to make sure the chicken is cooked. With boneless chicken, this will be no problem. With bone-in, cook it a little longer while sauteing in the first step. And check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. It should be 160F. By the way, heated up leftovers are great too (if you like leftovers which I do – a lot).
- The chicken will be more flavourful if you have time to marinate it, but if you don’t, no worries. You can always pass some extra sauce at the table.
- You can skip the mushrooms and spinach (I personally wouldn’t skip the onions) and serve the dish with a side salad or vegetable if you prefer.
- Use a different marinade/sauce such as Italian or Greek dressing
- Kick up the spice with sriracha or other hot sauce to your taste
- Add a teaspoon of curry for a different flavour