One-Pot Creamy Chicken Orzo

updated Jun 25, 2020
Snapshot Cooking
One-Pot Creamy Chicken Orzo

This easy orzo dish is pure veggie-packed comfort. Made all in pot, it tastes like grown-up mac 'n cheese — creamy, cheesy, and packed with good-for-you greens and chicken.

Serves4

Prep20 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

This easy orzo dish is pure veggie-packed comfort. Made all in one pot, it tastes like grown-up mac and cheese — creamy, cheesy, and packed with good-for-you greens and chicken.

Instead of a cream- or milk-based sauce, this recipe uses grated Parmesan mixed with some of the pasta’s starchy cooking water to make a thick, cheesy sauce that coats the orzo. The tomatoes, which soften slightly as they cook, add little bursts of juicy flavor. To keep this dish as quick as can be, you’ll stir in store-bought rotisserie chicken — you can shred it while the orzo boils.

Enjoy leftovers as-is, warmed up with a splash of water to loosen up the sauce. Or, stir leftovers into vegetable or chicken stock for a quick and comforting soup. Either way, you can liven them up with more leafy greens, or other quick-cooking vegetables like mushrooms.

One-Pot Creamy Chicken Orzo

This easy orzo dish is pure veggie-packed comfort. Made all in pot, it tastes like grown-up mac 'n cheese — creamy, cheesy, and packed with good-for-you greens and chicken.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 1 pound

    dried orzo

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 1/4 cups

    water, divided

  • 1 pint

    grape tomatoes (about 2 cups), halved

  • 4 cups

    baby spinach (about 4 ounces)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups

    shredded, cooked chicken (from 1/2 rotisserie chicken)

  • 1 cup

    grated Parmesan cheese

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 pound orzo, season lightly with kosher salt, and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted, about 1 minute. Add 4 cups of the water and season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the orzo is al dente and most of the water is absorbed, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, halve 1 pint grape tomatoes (about 2 cups).

  2. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the tomatoes, 4 cups baby spinach, 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded chicken, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and the remaining 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach is wilted, the chicken is warmed through, and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. A creamy, cheesy sauce should have formed, but If it looks dry at any point, add warm water a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.