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Chicken Orzo Recipe

This rich and savory chicken orzo recipe is loaded with juicy chicken pieces, fresh asparagus, and ripe tomatoes tossed together with tender orzo pasta in a creamy sauce.

Close up of creamy chicken orzo with asparagus and tomatoes in a large pot with a spoon.

This family favorite chicken orzo dish, featuring crisp asparagus and juicy, ripe tomatoes, is not only simple to prepare but also bursting with flavor. It’s the perfect solution for an effortless weeknight dinner that’s sure to please the entire family, and it even leaves you with delicious leftovers for the days to come.

Why We Love This Creamy Chicken Orzo Recipe

  • Quick and cozy. Have a huge bowl of comforting chicken orzo ready in under an hour. This recipe is one of the best throw-it-together dinners for weeknights.
  • Rich, creamy sauce. Enjoy a rich and creamy sauce that perfectly coats all the ingredients in this dish. It’s easy to make and packed with a robust Parmesan flavor.
  • Customizable. You can customize this dish with your preferred pasta, vegetables, proteins, etc. If you have extra ingredients hanging out in the fridge, this recipe is the perfect way to use them.
Side overhead view of a bowl of creamy chicken orzo with asparagus and tomatoes.

What Is Orzo?

Orzo is a type of pasta made from durum wheat or semolina flour, the same flour used to make couscous and most Italian pasta. Orzo is a little chewy, with a subtle, nutty taste. You’ll find orzo in a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, and it’s a popular pairing with chicken, as in chicken in a pot with lemon orzo and chicken orzo soup.

Overhead view of all the ingredients that will be used to make chicken orzo.

Ingredients For Chicken Orzo

  • Orzo Pasta: You can use whole wheat orzo or white flour orzo, cooked according to the package directions.
  • Chicken: Skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into even-sized cubes.
  • Veggies: Fresh chopped asparagus and ripe cherry tomatoes or any veggies of your choosing.
  • Olive Oil, Butter, and Flour: You’ll whisk them together to form a roux, which is the base for your cream sauce.
  • Chicken Broth: I recommend low-sodium chicken broth, or you can also use vegetable broth.
  • Milk: You can use whole milk, 2%, or skim milk.
  • Parmesan: Freshly shredded is best.

How to Make Chicken Orzo

  1. Boil the orzo. In a large pot of salted water, boil the orzo to al dente.
  2. Cook the chicken and veggies. Meanwhile, sauté the chicken pieces and asparagus in a large skillet with oil. When the chicken is browned, stir in the cherry tomatoes. Set the skillet aside.
  3. Make the sauce. In a separate pan, whisk together flour with melted butter and oil to create a roux. Add chicken broth and milk. Lastly, take the pan off the heat and stir in your grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Combine. Drain the cooked orzo, and add it to the sauce with your chicken, asparagus, and tomatoes. Stir everything together, season to taste, and serve!

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Use leftover chicken. If you already have cooked leftover rotisserie chicken or poached chicken on hand, it makes this recipe even quicker!
  • To cook orzo, you’ll boil it in a pot and drain it the same as you would any other kind of pasta. Most orzo cooks al dente (with a bite) in about 8 minutes.
  • Salt the pasta water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water you’ll use to cook your orzo. The key to flavorful pasta is well-seasoned pasta water.
  • Add lemon. Stir in some fresh lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice to boost the flavors.
  • Different veggies. In place of asparagus, try broccoli florets, celery, carrots, kale, peas, or any other vegetable you have on hand. You might also like this cheesy chicken orzo recipe with fresh spinach.
  • Different protein. In place of chicken, try steak bites or air fryer meatballs. Crumble in some cooked, smoky bacon for extra flavor. Or, try this one pot shrimp with orzo.
  • Herbs. Sprinkle in Italian seasoning, or fresh herbs like parsley, basil, oregano, or cilantro. Add crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
Creamy chicken orzo with asparagus and tomatoes in a large pot with a spoon.

What Can I Substitute for Orzo?

  • Pasta: Make this recipe with penne, fusilli, rigatoni, or long pasta varieties like spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine.
  • Gluten-free: The best gluten-free substitutes for orzo are arborio rice, quinoa, or millet.
  • Grain-free: Replace orzo with prepared cauliflower rice or lentils.
  • Other: Try another grain, like farro and pearl barley.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken Orzo ticks all the boxes for a meal in one, but you can always round out your dinner with homemade focaccia bread or garlic breadsticks. This light and easy Caesar salad, or this Mediterranean white bean salad are also great! I also love to serve it with my easy oven roasted vegetables, these savory roasted mushrooms, or crispy air fryer roasted broccoli.

Close up of chicken orzo with asparagus and tomatoes in a large pot.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • To store, transfer the chicken orzo to an airtight container and refrigerate it within 2 hours of cooking. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until the chicken is hot throughout.

More Chicken Pasta Recipes to Try

Close up of creamy chicken orzo with asparagus and tomatoes in a large pot with a spoon.

Chicken Orzo Recipe

Katerina | Diethood
This rich and creamy chicken orzo recipe is loaded with tender chicken, fresh asparagus, and ripe, juicy tomatoes tossed together with orzo pasta in a creamy sauce.
5 from 5 votes
Servings : 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 cup orzo pasta, cooked according to the directions on the package
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends cut, and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
For the Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup milk you can use skim, 2%, or whole milk
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  • Prepare orzo per directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
  • In the meantime, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken pieces and asparagus; season with salt and pepper and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked and browned on all sides.
  • Add tomatoes and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil and melt butter in a separate large pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with flour and whisk to combine, whisking and cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in the chicken broth until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the milk, and bring the mixture to a simmer; allow to cook for 1 minute or until thickened.
  • Remove from heat, add parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper; stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce with the chicken, asparagus, and tomato mixture. Toss well to combine. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if needed.
  • Serve.


  • Vegetables: Swap the asparagus for other options like broccoli, celery, carrots, kale, peas, or any veggies you have available.
  • Proteins: Instead of chicken, consider using shrimp, steak bites, or crumbled cooked bacon.
  • Herbs: Add flavor with Italian seasoning or fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, or cilantro. For a spicy kick, sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Orzo: If you don’t have orzo, make this recipe with penne, fusilli, rigatoni, or long pasta varieties. 


Calories: 383 kcal | Carbohydrates: 27 g | Protein: 26 g | Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 5 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g | Trans Fat: 0.1 g | Cholesterol: 62 mg | Sodium: 268 mg | Potassium: 734 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 5 g | Vitamin A: 1136 IU | Vitamin C: 23 mg | Calcium: 162 mg | Iron: 3 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken orzo recipe, orzo with chicken recipe, recipe for chicken orzo
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90 comments on “Chicken Orzo Recipe”

  1. Easy too..Pasta takes only about 15 minutes to prepare so very fast and simple… and u make a lot of different recipes with pasta

  2. I made this tonight and was very upset with the results. There was way too much sauce and it looked like white mush at the end (almost like soup!). Additionally, it was so bland! Requires A LOT more seasoning!

  3. Made this tonight. Great flavor but WAY too much sauce! Next time I’ll cut the sauce recipe in half (at least). It (unfortunately) looks nothing like he picture.

  4. I made the creamy chicken orzo pasta. Used three pots (one for pasta, one for sauce and one for chicken and veggies). I don’t like cherry tomatoes so I cut broccoli and asparagus instead and just shredded a rotisserie chicken. Sauce took about 3-4 minutes of whisking at a simmer to thicken but it did. Put cheese on top of chicken and veggies and then poured sauce over using just half. Wasn’t sure how much to use. Ended up using all the sauce. Added tony saccheres seasoning to spice it up a little. Turned out really well. Kids and hubby liked 🙂

  5. Easy too..Pasta takes only about 15 minutes to prepare so very fast and simple… and u make a lot of different recipes with pasta

  6. I tried this recipe and it didn’t turn out well! First- I used three pots so not sure how it was a “almost one pot” dish… One for the pasta, one for the asparagus and chicken to cook, and one for to cook the sauce. After I mixed it all together it was just a big white mess, and it was really bland. I let it sit for a bit (even after I had already let the sauce sit) and it was a little bit better as far as mush goes, but still bland. After eating it I decided to add some lemon juice and more pepper for leftovers. It’s still missing something but the lemon juice definitely helps. It’s a great idea for a recipe- it’s just missing something…

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Oh 🙁 I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I hope you can find something else around here that you can try! I promise, you might find something good. 😉 Have a great week!

  7. Avatar photo

    I only recently discovered orzo and make a warm salad with artichokes, capers, tuna, tomatoes and parsley. I’m loving your dish! I’d use the stand mixer to make homemade pizza dough!

  8. Creamy Chicken and Pasta, what is not to love in this recipe? A great eat and not that difficult to make for me.

  9. I would love to own a Kitchen Aid mixer. I love to bake bread, and I’m getting too old and weak to knead dough, LOL. Seriously, it would be nice to have a mixer to do the hard work for me.

  10. I’ve wanted a KitchenAid FOREVER. Do you know how long forever is? 😉 I’ll be married 30 years this June…..THAT’S how long forever is! LOL! There are 7 of us, so I could use this to shred chicken, mix cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, oh, the possibilities! Yeah, at this point in life, anything like this would be a dream come true!

  11. Wow this looks delicious! Can’t wait to make it sometime!
    I’ve been wanting a mixer for a while… I would definitely use it to make homemade pizza dough!

  12. Hah! I liked your song 😉 I’ve wanted a kitchenaid for a long time. I would make a ton of things, but up at the top of my list would be shredded chicken. I love making big batches of chicken in the crock pot, but using two forks to shred them all takes a while. I’ve seen youtube videos where people use their paddles to shred up the chicken and it’s amazing 😉

  13. I’ve been making bread at home, but it would be so helpful to have a stand mixer to help knead and make a more consistant dough! I would also make more cakes!

  14. This pasta recipe looks delicious!

    I think the first thing I would make would be chocolate chip cookies.

  15. Avatar photo
    Lauren DuBose

    I would make bread for my baby! I hate buying her the store bought stuff, but I also lack the time and patience to hand knead it every time we need bread!

  16. Avatar photo
    Laura Dembowski

    I would actually give this mixer to a friend who has always wanted one. And then I’d tell her to make marshmallows first!

  17. I see all these delicious recipes but only one thing is missing…a dependable stand up mixer! I’m drooling over here!!

  18. I would definitely make a batch of brownies or macarons!

    I made that pasta for a family potluck yesterday, and everyone loved it! Thanks so much for sharing! Happy Easter!

  19. Avatar photo
    Angelica Thode

    I would start with pizza dough! My husband LOVES my homemade pizza but our handheld mixer isn’t strong enough for it. Then I would make a batch or two of my grandma’s cream cheese cookies. My sons go nuts for them! Lol

  20. I would make anything requiring butter and sugar to be creamed because I have never had a nice mixer before to make that easy.

  21. I love orzo pasta. The first thing I would make with a new Kitchen Aid would be a Hummingbird Cake. It’s Spring and it’s one of my favorites. 🙂

  22. That pasta looks amazing!

    For the contest, the first thing I would make would probably be cookie dough, honestly, haha. Haven’t made cookies in a while, yum.

  23. I’ve got to try orzo one day. The dish looks very tasty cause who doesn’t like chicken in a creamy sauce. I just have to leave out the tomatoes (yech!).

    1. Just realized I forgot to comment on what I would make with it. I was too busy drooling at the dish. I would try making macarons like the person before me.

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