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Creamy Chicken Orzotto 

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This creamy chicken orzotto is a cheesy, velvety one-pot dish that’s comfort food at its best. It has tender chicken and orzo smothered in a creamy Parmesan sauce with a hint of mushrooms and spinach to make this meal wholesome. 

creamy chicken orzotto in a cast iron skillet

This creamy chicken orzotto is a mouthwatering, comforting one-pot meal that’s also super easy to make. It’s made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, it is a quick meal that will take no longer than 25 minutes to serve at the dinner table! 

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What is Orzotto and how is it different than Risotta

Orzotto is an Italian dish similar to risotto but made with pearl barley or orzo which is rice-shaped pasta instead of rice. Orzotti is a specialty of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy. The name is a portmanteau of orzo and risotto. 

orzo in a cast iron skillet sauteing with onions and chicken tenderloins

Orzo may look like rice, but it’s actually pasta. It does a great job at absorbing flavors, and it cooks in just 10-12 minutes over a gentle simmer. So much easier than rice!

I love this creamy mushroom orzotto recipe as the main dish, but it’s also an excellent side dish to serve with chicken, seafood, or simply with your favorite side salad. 

Orzo (or risoni) may look like rice but it’s actually orzo pasta! This means that even though this creamy mushroom orzotto dish looks a bit like risotto, it’s much quicker to make.

Why you’ll love this creamy chicken orzotto

  • One pot meal which is perfect for busy nights
  • If you love Risotto, you will love this recipe! it is much quicker to make than Risotto and just as delicious and creamy
  • Comforting meal that the whole family will love 
  • It is a great way to add in any vegetables you need to use up ( spinach, mushrooms, peas, onions)
  • Makes a great side dish ( or main dish) for any occasion or season

You can keep this meal warm in the instant pot on a “keep warm” function or in a slow cooker which makes it perfect to take to an event or just to keep it warm for dinner time.

More Italian recipes you will love!

Sausage gnocchi soup- perfect for colder months!

Lemon ricotta pasta

Cheesy sourdough pull-apart bread

Bruschetta caprese recipe

ingredients laid on a wooden countertop to make creamy chicken orzo

I make a creamy chicken orzotto dish with only 1/2 cup of cream to keep this dish a bit lighter but trust me — the creaminess is there. The starch in the orzo is a natural thickener that makes the sauce thick without adding loads of heavy cream.

Ingredients for creamy chicken orzotto

  • 1/2 pound chicken tenderloins 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 16 oz orzo
  • 4 1/2 cups organic chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes ( if you want to bring some heat to the plate-this is optional)

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How to make creamy chicken orzotto

Place a large deep pan on medium heat on the stove then add in the 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion to the pan and saute for 5 minutes till the onions are lightly golden and fragrant. Add the pressed garlic and continue to saute for another minute. While the onions are sauteing, chop the chicken tenderloins into small bite sizes ( make sure to remove the tendon from the chicken) then add it to the pan and saute on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. 

chicken sauteing in a cast iron skillet with onions and garlic with a wooden spoon mixing it on the stove

Next, chop the mushrooms into small pieces add them to the pan along with the chili flakes if you are using them, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Then add in 1/2 cup white wine (chardonnay or any dry white wine will work) This will help to deglaze the pan and white wine adds really great flavor! Bring the pan to a boil then turn the heat back to medium heat and let it simmer till most of the wine has evaporated. 

chicken, onions, garlic, mushrooms, coking in a white wine to make orzo risotto

Add the dry orzo to the pan and let it cook with the chicken and mushrooms for a few minutes stirring often. This will roast the orzo and also help it to absorb the delicious flavors! After a few minutes add in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, Then bring to a simmer and cook for 9 minutes till the orzo is al dente. Chop the spinach then add it to the orzo, stir, and continue to cook for another minute. 

orzo added to toast in a cast iron skillet with butter, chicken, and onions.

Add the heavy cream, lemon juice,  and freshly grated parmesan cheese and mix to combine. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens.

orzo cooking in a cast iron skillet with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top

Taste for seasoning and add in a pinch of salt if needed, Serve immediately with some extra freshly grated parmesan cheese. Keep in mind, however, that the creamy mushroom thickens naturally as it cools down.

creamy chicken orzotto in a deep pan

creamy chicken orzotto

This creamy chicken orzotto is a cheesy, velvety one-pot dish that’s comfort food at its best. It has tender chicken and orzo smothered in a creamy Parmesan sauce with a hint of mushrooms and spinach to make this meal wholesome. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound  chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tbl unsalted butter
  • 1 tbl  olive oil 
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic-pressed
  • 16 oz  orzo
  • 4 1/2 cups organic chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup  heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup  freshly grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp  ground white pepper
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish
  • 1 tsp chili flakes ( if you want to bring some heat to the plate-this is optional)

Instructions
 

  • Place a large deep pan on medium heat on the stove then add in the 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion to the pan and saute for 5 minutes till the onions are lightly golden and fragrant.
    Add the pressed garlic and continue to saute for another minute. While the onions are sauteing, chop the chicken tenderloins into small bite sizes ( make sure to remove the tendon from the chicken) then add it to the pan and saute on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. 
  • Next, chop the mushrooms into small pieces add them to the pan along with the chili flakes if you are using them, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Then add in 1/2 cup white wine (chardonnay or any dry white wine will work) This will help to deglaze the pan and white wine adds really great flavor! Bring the pan to a boil then turn the heat back to medium heat and let it simmer till most of the wine has evaporated. 
  • Add the dry orzo to the pan and let it cook with the chicken and mushrooms for a few minutes stirring often. This will roast the orzo and also help it to absorb the delicious flavors! After a few minutes add in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, Then bring to a simmer and cook for 9 minutes till the orzo is al dente. Chop the spinach then add it to the orzo, stir, and continue to cook for another minute. 
  • Add the heavy cream, lemon juice,  and freshly grated parmesan cheese and mix to combine. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Taste for seasoning and add in a pinch of salt if needed, Serve immediately with some extra freshly grated parmesan cheese. Keep in mind, however, that the creamy mushroom thickens naturally as it cools down.
Keyword easy dinner, fall meals, one pan meals, one pot meal, orzo

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