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Chicken Orzo in skillet
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4.34 from 6 votes

Chicken Orzo

Chicken Orzo is a quick, flavorful, healthy weeknight meal. It's loaded with veggies and ready in about 35 minutes. I call it a comfort food meal in one pot.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 4
Author: Cheryl


  • 2 pounds bone-in skin-on thighs; or boneless, skinless breasts or thighs
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce, divided (add if desired: 1/2 teaspoon regular mustard, worcestershire sauce, minced garlic and/or sriracha hot sauce)
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup dried orzo
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth (or slightly less if you like your orzo drier)
  • 4 -5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme


  • MARINATE THE CHICKEN: Put half the BBQ sauce (and optional ingredients if using) in a large ziploc plastic bag. Add chicken. Seal and massage the bag to distribute sauce evenly. Place in fridge for several hours or overnight. SHORTCUT: If you have no time, skip the marinating and just coat chicken with BBQ sauce.
  • SAUTE THE CHICKEN: Heat 2-3 teaspoons oil to medium in a large skillet. If chicken is marinated, dry chicken with a paper towel. Saute bone-in chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until browned. Or about 2-3 minutes per side if using boneless chicken, depending on the thickness. Remove chicken to a plate.
  • SAUTE ORZO, ONION, MUSHROOMS, GARLIC: In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed (or pour off some oil if skin was fatty). Increase heat to medium-high. Add orzo and stir for 2 minutes. Add onion, mushroom and garlic. Stir for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • FINISH DISH: Add broth, the remainder of BBQ sauce, thyme and spinach. Stir until spinach wilts and mixture comes to a boil. Place chicken on top. Reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until orzo is tender and most of the broth has absorbed. Stir the orzo (keeping the chicken on top) half way through to prevent sticking. Toward the end, check to see if you need to add a bit of water or finish cooking uncovered if it appears too liquid-y. Stir and let sit for a few minutes to further absorb liquid if necessary. Chicken should read 160F on an instant read thermometer. Serve.
Calories: 709kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 983mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3017IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg