This lemon chicken orzo recipe is perfect for a busy weekday dinner idea. Everything cooks in one pan making clean-up a breeze and the combination of pasta with the lemon juice, chicken and feta will be a hit with the whole family.
If you are looking for a meal that is filled with flavor, comforting, and will have you ready to relax in no time, then this Lemon Chicken Orzo dish is the meal for you.
This one skillet wonder features ingredients like spinach, heavy cream, feta cheese, and of course lemon and chicken.
This dish has many different flavors going on that all come together to create something magical.
The combination of lemon with the orzo gives it an unmistakable zesty flavor while the spinach and feta cheese add a nice savory touch.
All of these flavors blend together perfectly when combined with the creamy texture from the heavy cream and chicken broth.
It's truly a delicious blend that will make your taste buds sing!
As the main ingredients of lemon chicken orzo, we used:
Chicken: We used 4 chicken cutlets, but you could use 2 boneless chicken breasts instead.
Orzo: The star of this pasta dish.
Lemon juice: What's a lemon chicken recipe without some lemon juice?
Feta Cheese: Delivers a lovely salty tanginess to the lemon chicken flavors. If you're not a big fan of feta, or don't have it on hand, you can substitute it out for freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Fresh Baby spinach: Adds a bit of color and nutrition to our pasta.
Heavy cream: Makes this a deliciously creamy chicken orzo dish.
We also used:
- Olive oil
- White wine (optional)
- Chicken stock or broth
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
To make lemon chicken orzo, the first step is cooking the chicken. Start by heating up your cooking oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Then season your chicken cutlets or chicken breast generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
Sear both sides of the chicken for 2-3 minutes then remove from skillet to a plate, and set aside.
In the same pan add more cooking oil and add in the chopped onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
Add the orzo to the pan and stir well to coat it with oil from the skillet and to mix it in with the onions and garlic.
If using wine, carefully add the wine to deglaze the skillet. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes or until the wine reduces by half. You could also substitute the wine with broth instead.
Then pour in the rest of the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the orzo is al dente.
Add the chopped spinach and cook for an additional couple of minutes until the spinach wilts.
Add in your lemon juice, heavy cream, and butter.
Keep stirring until the orzo becomes very creamy and cooked.
Next, place the cooked chicken breasts and any accumulated juices on top of the orzo and cover the pan with a lid.
Continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until the chicken and juices are completely cooked through.
Uncover and sprinkle with fresh parsley and crumbled feta. Enjoy!
If you want an even faster meal on the table you can substitute the chicken breast for shredded rotisserie chicken and skip the step of cooking the chicken. Then add the shredded chicken in the last step and give it a stir before sprinkling on the cheese.
To store leftovers, simply put any remaining chicken orzo in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What to Serve with Lemon Chicken Orzo
This lemon chicken orzo can be served as the main dish or as an accompaniment to any other dish you may have prepared.
It pairs especially well with roasted vegetables like potatoes or carrots, but it can also be served alongside grilled meats or fish.
No matter what side dishes you decide to pair with your orzo, they will surely complement each other perfectly!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 chicken cutlets (or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half)
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- ½ cup white wine (or chicken broth)
- 3 cup chicken broth
- 4 cup baby spinach, chopped
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoon butter
- 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Season chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the hot skillet.
- Sear chicken for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
- Add the remaining cooking oil to the skillet along with the chopped onion and garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. until the onion becomes translucent (about 2-3 minutes.)
- Add dry orzo to the pan and stir to coat with the oil from the skillet and mix in with the onions and garlic.
- Carefully add wine to deglaze the skillet. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes or until the wine reduces by half.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a constant simmer. Cover with a lid and cook until the orzo is al dente.
- Add chopped spinach and continue to cook until the spinach wilts.
- Add in lemon juice, heavy cream, and butter; stir well until the orzo becomes very creamy.
- Place the chicken breasts and any accumulated juices on top of the orzo and cover the pan with a lid. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until the chicken and juices are completely cooked through.
- Uncover and sprinkle with fresh parsley and crumbled feta. Enjoy!
If you want to substitute the white wine, you can easily use the same amount of chicken broth instead.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 786Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 266mgSodium: 876mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 50g