Bursting with Mediterranean-inspired flavor, this Greek chicken orzo is the perfect weeknight dinner! It comes together in one pan in just 35 minutes. Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Mediterranean Inspired One Pot Meal
There’s so much to love about this Greek chicken orzo. From the well-balanced medley of flavors (bright lemons, salty olives, buttery artichokes, punchy onions, fresh herbs… I could go on!) to the fast cook time (just 25 minutes!). Oh, and let’s not forget that it’s a one pot meal!
Why you’ll love it:
- Mediterranean inspired and so fun. It’s a nice change from your typical weeknight salmon or sloppy joes (though you know how much I love those too!).
- A great one-pan dish. The chicken and orzo are cooked right in the skillet (no need to cook the orzo separately), which helps make cleanup easy!
- Flavorful and filling, but still light. This dish is bursting with fresh flavors but it’s not too heavy or rich.
- A great way to get extra veggies on your plate. Peppers, onions, artichokes, and tomatoes…
- Comes together quickly, especially if you prep your veggies in advance.
I first developed this recipe as a way to use up the last of the cherry tomatoes from my summer garden (my summer pasta is also great for this!), but it’s so good, you’ll find me making it year-round.
What You Need
There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe, and that’s because it’s FULL of flavor! Let’s go over a few before we dive in.
- Orzo. I lightly toast the orzo by cooking it in the pan before adding the liquid. It won’t all toast, but giving it a little time on the surface of the pan helps develop the flavor.
- Veggies. Including cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, canned artichoke hearts, red bell pepper, red onion, and garlic.
- Chicken. I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but you can use chicken breasts instead if that’s what your family prefers.
- Spices. Like black pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, and smoked paprika (my secret ingredient in so many dishes, it adds incredible depth of flavor and complements so many of the ingredients).
- Wine. I use a dry white wine (Pinot Grigio, here). You could substitute more chicken broth if you don’t have any on hand. I personally am not much of a wine drinker myself and if I open a full bottle for cooking it always gets wasted, so I love to buy multi-packs of the mini bottles (shown in the ingredient picture above) that way I don’t waste nearly as much!
- Feta + parsley. These are for garnish. While they are optional, they add even more flavor and color to the dish.
SAM’S TIP: Lemon adds a bright, fresh note to this recipe. Just make sure to remove the seeds from the lemons before adding the wedges to the dish, especially if you have little kids.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Greek Chicken Orzo
- Sear the seasoned chicken in an oiled skillet over medium-high heat until golden on each side and cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and once shimmering, toss in the onion and pepper. Cook until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
- Stir in the orzo, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, and lemon, then let this toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help develop the flavor!
- Drizzle in the wine while scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Cook until the pan has been fully deglazed (any browned bits stuck to the bottom have been scraped up!) and the wine is absorbed. This’ll only take a few minutes.
- Stir in the chicken broth and let the mixture come to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Always check that the chicken is completely cooked through before serving; you can do this by cutting into it and visually checking, but it’s safest to use an instant-read thermometer to check the chicken temperature.
SAM’S TIP: I use white wine to deglaze the pan because I love the flavor, but you can always use chicken broth instead if you wish.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it’s really a complete meal on its own, this dish would pair nicely with a side of sliced cucumbers, cubed watermelon, or a salad. And of course, some crusty sourdough bread always works too!
I suppose you could, but your cook time will likely be different. If you do, I’d recommend a longer grain white rice.
This Greek chicken orzo will reheat just fine, but like other dishes, the textures won’t be quite as good as they are when fresh. The chicken might be a tad bit drier and the orzo might become a little softer when reheated.
Greek chicken orzo would also taste absolutely amazing with a spoonful of tzatziki sauce on top! Let me know if you’d like to see a recipe for that in the comments below.
Greek Chicken Orzo
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ lbs (680 g) chicken thighs
- 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
- ½ (160 g) red onion cut into thick wedges
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups (272 g) orzo
- 1 cup (115 g) cherry tomatoes
- 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts drained and quartered
- ½ cup (85 g) kalamata olives
- 1 lemon cut into thin wedges
- ½ cup (118 ml) white wine may substitute chicken broth
- 2 cups (473 ml) chicken broth
- Crumbled Feta cheese for topping (optional)
- Fresh parsley for topping optional
- In a small dish, whisk together salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle over chicken thighs and gently rub into the surface, you won’t use all of the mixture, reserve all excess for later.¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 ½ lbs (680 g) chicken thighs, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, sear chicken on each side until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet to a clean plate and cover with foil.2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Once oil is shimmering, add in onion and pepper and cook until softened.½ (160 g) red onion, 1 red bell pepper
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- Add remaining mixture of spices and stir well.
- Add orzo, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, and lemon. Toast the orzo for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.1 ½ cups (272 g) orzo, 1 cup (115 g) cherry tomatoes, 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, ½ cup (85 g) kalamata olives, 1 lemon
- Slowly deglaze the pan by slowly drizzling wine into the skillet and scraping the bottom with a spatula. Cook until wine is absorbed.½ cup (118 ml) white wine
- Gradually stir in chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and return chicken to pan.2 cups (473 ml) chicken broth
- Cook until orzo has absorbed the liquid and is tender and the chicken is cooked through (should be at least 165F/.75C.
- Serve, topped with crumbled feta and fresh parsley if desired.Crumbled Feta cheese, Fresh parsley for topping
ChickenYou may substitute chicken breast.
StoringStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.