This Lemon Chicken Orzo Recipe is made with simple ingredients like tender shredded chicken, orzo pasta, heavy cream, fresh lemon juice, and tangy feta cheese. It’s the perfect creamy, comforting, and delicious one-pot meal the whole family will love!
Creamy Lemon Chicken Orzo
This creamy lemon chicken orzo pasta is an easy and delicious one-pan weeknight dinner packed with yummy Greek flavors. It’s similar to risotto, but easier to make, and is made with pre-cooked rotisserie (or leftover) chicken, saving on dishes and cooking time.
You’ll love this chicken and orzo for its bright and flavorful lemony cream sauce with tangy feta cheese and tender shredded chicken.
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a thin, oval, rice-shaped pasta. It is usually made from semolina flour, a type of flour that comes from durum wheat, however, it may also be made from all-purpose or whole wheat flour.
Orzo is not rice, it is pasta, and it is not gluten-free.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Orzo
Start by cooking the onion in a little olive oil and butter over medium-high for about five minutes. Once softened, stir in the minced garlic and the dry orzo pasta. Combine with the onions. Toast the orzo for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
Add a splash of wine to the pan (optional), then add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and heavy cream.
You’ll want to bring everything to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring often. Orzo sticks to the bottom of the pan, so some stirring is required. Once the orzo is tender, stir in the cooked chicken, parmesan cheese, thawed peas, and crumbled feta cheese. Remove from heat.
Season with additional fresh lemon juice, salt, and black pepper, to taste.
For even more lemon flavor, try adding a little lemon zest. A Microplane grater makes zesting lemons super easy. Bottled lemon juice is not recommended.
Storage and Leftovers
Like most creamy pasta dishes, this chicken and orzo recipe is best enjoyed immediately. If you do have leftovers, keep them stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. You will probably need to add a splash of chicken broth as the orzo will have continued to absorb the sauce as it cooled.
Freezing is not recommended.
How to Serve
More Lemon Chicken Recipes
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
- Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe
- Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe
- Lemon Chicken Piccata Recipe
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
If you try making this Lemon Chicken Orzo Recipe, please leave me a comment below! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback!
Lemon Chicken Orzo
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 small yellow onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 cup orzo pasta - uncooked
- 1 splash dry white wine - optional
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup thawed frozen peas
- 4 oz feta cheese
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Add the olive oil and butter to a pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring often.
- Add the minced garlic and dry orzo pasta, mixing well to combine with the onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often (this toasts the orzo and is a simple way to add extra flavor to the pasta).
- If desired, add a splash of dry white wine to the pan before adding the chicken broth, lemon juice, and heavy cream. If you prefer not to cook with wine, skip it and just add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and heavy cream.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, maintaining some gentle bubbling. Orzo tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, especially if the heat is too high, so stir often.
- Once the orzo is fully cooked, stir in the shredded cooked chicken, parmesan cheese, thawed peas, and feta cheese. Mix well to combine then remove from heat.
- Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste.
- This recipe is best with heavy cream versus lower-fat alternatives like whole milk which may curdle with the high heat and citrus combination.
- I used leftover rotisserie chicken to make this recipe, but any pre-cooked chicken will work including boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
- Orzo is pasta and is not gluten-free. Substitute with a gluten-free orzo alternative, usually made from a combination of corn flour and rice flour.
- For extra lemon flavor, add a teaspoon or so of lemon zest.
- Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You may need to add a splash of water or chicken broth when reheating as the orzo will continue to absorb liquid as it cools.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)