One Pot Greek Chicken and Orzo


One pot Greek chicken and orzo packs a creamy, cheesy punch with a hint of lemon, butter, and Italian seasonings under perfectly seasoned, tender, marinated chicken thighs cooked all together in one pot for easy clean up

overhead three quarter view of one pot Greek chicken and orzo

For more one-pot meals, check out my posts for One Pot Curry Chicken and Rice, One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta, and One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta

It’s no secret that I love orzo just about as much as humanly possible. It’s the perfect pasta for one-pot meals too! I wanted to make something Greek (there’s just something so magical about all of those garlicky/lemony/buttery/herby flavors, I just can’t get enough!) and there’s plenty of fresh herbs in the garden, plus lemons at the farmer’s market and I had chicken thighs thawing so it all just seemed to be pointing toward the direction of making a Greek orzo and chicken dish. Sometimes ingredients talk to me like that, and I’m not complaining about it. 

overhead view of one pot Greek chicken with herbs and creamy orzo in a pan

Why this Recipe Works

Here are only a few reasons why this one pot Greek chicken dish gets an A++ in my book:

  • One pot — cooking everything in one pot is just so nice! You cook in it, you serve out of it, and you only have one dish to clean up after dinner. It doesn’t get any better than that! 
  • Chicken thighs — I know a lot of people prefer chicken breasts to thighs but I think thighs are just as delicious. They’re more flavorful, and cook up just as tender and juicy as a chicken breast. Plus, they cook quickly, making them ideal for this orzo dish. 
  • Orzo — Speaking of orzo, this little, teeny pasta is perfect for this Greek dish. It’s widely available in grocery stores, it cooks up fast, and it is great at taking on the flavors of whatever it’s cooking in, which in this case is savory chicken broth. 
  • Keeps well — If you have leftovers, consider it a bonus! Just reheat in the microwave for about a minute or so to enjoy this dish again for lunch or dinner the next day. 

up close view of uncooked chicken thighs with spices in a clear glass bowl

Here’s How you Make it

Let’s walk through how to whip up this tasty one pot Greek chicken and creamy orzo recipe.

  1. First make the marinade by whisking together the Greek yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Add the chicken to the marinade bowl and toss to coat, then cover the bowl and chill the whole thing in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  2. When you’re ready to cook, add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, add the marinated chicken to the pan (throw out the unused marinade), and brown the chicken on both sides for 2 minutes. Remove the chicken and set on a plate. 
  3. To the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  
  4. Add the orzo to the pan, stirring it for another minute or two until it gets lightly browned, then add the chicken broth, dried oregano, and lemon juice, and bring it all to a boil. 
  5. Turn the heat down to a high simmer. Add the chicken back in right on top of the orzo. 
  6. Cover the pan and cook for about 25 minutes all together till the chicken is done and the orzo is soft. 
  7. Transfer the chicken to a plate and fluff the orzo. Garnish chicken and orzo with parmesan and fresh herbs if you like, and serve. 

one cooked chicken thigh on a plate with orzo and a fork

 Ideas for Customizing this Dish

  • Add sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, or mushrooms to the orzo while it cooks. 
  • Stir in fresh basil into the orzo at the end when it’s done cooking. The basil will wilt as you fluff the orzo. 
  • For more protein and texture, add a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas to the orzo while it cooks. 
  • Use butterflied chicken breasts or pound three medium-size chicken breasts to 1-inch thickness instead of chicken thighs. 
  • Sprinkle feta over the top of the dish right before serving. 
  • Shred the chicken thighs and mix back into the orzo before serving. 

fork on a white plate with shredded Greek chicken thigh and orzo with spinach

What’s an Alternative to Orzo?

No orzo? No problem. You can still enjoy one pot Greek chicken with acini de pepe (another type of tiny pasta), or use ditalini or orecchiette. 

You can also use white rice instead of the orzo, as rice cooks to the same ratio as orzo (2 cups of liquid to 1 cup of orzo/rice). 

Expert Tips

  • If you have stuck on orzo and you are finding it hard to clean the pot during dinner clean up, do what I do: Fill the pot with hot (can be boiling) water in the sink with half a cup of baking soda and leave it to soak for an hour or so — clean up will be a breeze! 
  • Substitute lemon juice from a bottle if that’s all you have. It’s not as lemony fresh but it will work just fine! 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

overhead serving spoons in skillet with chicken and pasta and lemons

Most Popular One Pot Meals

Did you make this dish? Please rate the recipe below! 

overhead three quarter view of baked chicken and orzo with herbs in a pan

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

marinating time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

  • In a medium bowl whisk together marinade ingredients. Add chicken, toss to coat, cover tightly and chill for 30 minutes.

  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Use tongs to transfer marinated chicken to the pan (discard excess marinade) and brown for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

  • In the same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in garlic for 1 minute til fragrant.

  • Stir in orzo pasta for 1-2 minutes til lightly browned. Stir in chicken broth, dried oregano, and lemon juice and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to a high simmer. Add chicken back to the pan on top of the orzo.

  • Cover and cook for about 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through and orzo is soft.

  • Transfer chicken to a plate, fluff the orzo with a fork. Garnish chicken and orzo with parmesan if desired, and serve.

  • Easily swap chicken thighs for chicken breasts (one medium chicken breast per person)
  • If you have stuck on orzo and you are finding it hard to clean the pot during dinner clean up, do what I do: Fill the pot with hot (can be boiling) water in the sink with half a cup of baking soda and leave it to soak for an hour or so — clean up will be a breeze! 
  • Fresh lemon juice will give you the best flavor – always opt for fresh if you have it but a squeeze of bottled lemon juice will do in a pinch. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

Calories: 702kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

 



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