For an easy skillet dinner that’s made in one pan, try this chicken mushroom orzo recipe! It’s a flavorful, balanced meal with healthful ingredients like spinach, garlic, onion, lemon, and parsley as well as whole milk instead of heavy cream. Make this cozy dish for a family meal, date night, or a dinner party.
January is here and with it comes a desire for fresh meals that are both nutritious and delicious. Bonus points if the meals have a high cozy factor! If you’re looking for these kind of meals this month, look no further than this brand new chicken mushroom orzo.
It’s all made in one skillet, meaning it’s very easy to prepare. Plus, the flavors are on point. A generous squeeze of lemon juice, a heavy sprinkle of fresh parsley, and plenty of garlic, onion, thyme, and oregano will have your mouth watering. There’s also a little whole milk and parmesan cheese for good measure.
I loved cooking such a fresh dish to enjoy on a cold winter day, and I hope you do too! If this recipe has you craving more orzo, be sure to check out the Caprese Orzo Salad and Spring Pea Orzo Fried Rice. You may also enjoy the Chicken and Leek Pasta Bake and Lemon Artichoke Chicken (also made in a skillet).
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
- Mushrooms: I used cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bella mushrooms. You can feel free to substitute white button or even shiitake mushrooms.
- Orzo: I don’t recommend substitutions for the orzo. Other types of pasta will not work well considering how the orzo is cooked in the recipe.
- Spinach: Use chopped baby spinach or swap in chopped kale.
- Parsley, thyme, and oregano: I use fresh parsley and dried thyme and oregano. You can use all fresh herbs though if you want.
- Garlic and yellow onion: Substitute red onion or leeks for the yellow onion if needed.
- Lemon juice and zest: The juice helps to deglaze the skillet after toasting the orzo and the zest contributes additional flavor. Feel free to omit the zest if you don’t want your chicken mushroom orzo to be too lemony. You can also use a dry white wine in place of the lemon juice if desired.
- Chicken broth: If you don’t have chicken broth on hand, vegetable broth would also work well.
- Whole milk: You can substitute heavy cream or a plant-based milk like almond milk.
- Shredded parmesan cheese: I like to use a cheese grater on a block of aged parmesan cheese, but you can of course use pre-shredded parm too.
My favorite skillet to use for recipes like this one is the Lodge 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet. Since you won’t need to transfer the skillet to the oven, you can use any type of skillet if you don’t have a cast iron one. I recommend using one that is at least 12 inches wide so that all of the ingredients will fit.
The full recipe card with the ingredients list and quantities, plus the step-by-step instructions, is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the steps.
Prepare the ingredients. Chop the vegetables, cube the chicken, and gather your mise en place.
Cook the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on both sides in the skillet. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the onions and mushrooms to the skillet and cook until the mushrooms start to shrink down. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the orzo to the skillet and briefly cook until toasted.
Pour in the lemon juice to deglaze the skillet, followed by the chicken broth, thyme, and oregano. Let the broth start bubbling then reduce the heat and cook until the orzo is tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in the spinach, parsley, lemon zest, and chicken. Then turn off the heat and stir in the whole milk and cheese. Enjoy!
Storage and Reheating
Chicken mushroom orzo will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, adding broth to the pan if needed, until warmed through. You can also reheat it in the microwave for about a minute or so.
Keep in mind that like most pasta dishes, this recipe is best enjoyed right away. The orzo may get mushy the longer it sits in the fridge.
More One Pan Recipes
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Creamy Chicken Mushroom Orzo Skillet
- skillet (at least 12-inches, preferably a cast iron skillet)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt - to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms - sliced
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 cup dried orzo
- ¼ cup lemon juice - from 1 large lemon
- 2.5 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cups baby spinach - roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Prepare your ingredients. Cube the chicken, slice the mushrooms, dice the onion, mince the garlic, chop the parsley and spinach, and zest the lemon. Gather the other ingredients.
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet (at least 12 inches) over medium heat. Add the cubed chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion and mushrooms to the skillet (keep the chicken juices and remaining oil in there). Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is tender and the mushrooms are cooked down. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the dried orzo to the skillet and cook for a couple minutes until toasted. Pour in the lemon juice to deglaze the pan, using your spoon to remove any orzo that got stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in the chicken broth and add the thyme and oregano. Let the broth start to bubble then reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
- Stir in the chopped parsley and spinach, lemon zest, and the cooked chicken. Cook for a minute until the spinach wilts. Turn off the heat.
- Add the whole milk and parmesan cheese to the skillet and stir well. Serve, garnished with more parsley and cheese if desired. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Feel free to use chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) in place of the chicken breasts if needed.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a skillet, adding a little more broth or other liquid (like water) if needed. You can also warm leftovers in the microwave.
Enjoy this easy meal! – Lizzie