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Creamy Chicken Orzo

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 326
creamy chicken orzo with carrots, celery, onions and garlic  in  a bowl

Just carrots, celery, onions and garlic flavor this soothingly simple, risotto-like creamy chicken orzo recipe. Grab some crusty bread and call dinner DONE.

Simple, Fast, Cozy.

If you have already-cooked chicken handy—either from a store-bought rotisserie chicken or maybe some poached chicken you cooked as part of your weekend meal prep—this one-pot creamy chicken orzo comes together insanely fast. Like, 20 minutes fast. Even if you need to cook some chicken—we recommend a quick poach—our risotto-y chicken and orzo is still relatively quick to make. And it’s oh-so-comforting. Basic veggies, a little garlic and a hint of creaminess make this one-bowl supper comforting and familiar, in the very best way. Cold season is here, friends, but fear not! This cozy, creamy chicken orzo is sure to heal (or at least soothe).

Ingredients for Creamy Chicken Orzo carrots, celery, onions, garlic

What Is Orzo?

If you’re asking yourself “is orzo rice or pasta?” you’re not alone! Orzo does look a lot like rice, but actually orzo is pasta! Just like all of the other classic Italian pasta shapes that we love, it’s made from semolina flour—although you can find some whole wheat varieties on the market now. Our savory, chicken-y creamy orzo treats the pasta a bit like risotto rice, letting it absorb the gently flavored chicken broth over the course of a quick simmer. However, since orzo is a pasta, it’s even more forgiving than risotto—in other words, it’s easier! Yay for that.

carrots, celery, onions in a soup pot
carrots, onion, celery, chicken stock and orzo in a soup pot
shredded chicken, chicken stock, carrots, onion and celery in a soup pot with a wooden spoon
creamy orzo chicken casserole

8 Ingredients Are All It Takes to Make the Best Orzo Ever.

OK, so it’s just eight ingredients if you give us olive oil, salt and pepper, but those are a given, right? You can’t make anything without oil, salt and pepper. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy, creamy chicken orzo:

  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock
  • Cooked chicken.
  • Orzo
  • Parsley
creamy orzo chicken in a soup pot

How To Cook Orzo

You may have had orzo in summery pasta salads—in the U.S. that seems to be the prevalent way of preparing it. But in our opinion, you haven’t experiences orzo pasta’s full, flavorful potential until you’ve simmered it in chicken stock until it’s all silky and chicken-y and risotto-like. Here’s how to make the very best orzo ever:

  1. Onions, carrots, celery. Sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic after a few minutes of sautéing (you don’t want to overcook or brown it.)
  2. Stock! Pour it in and bring it to a boil.
  3. Orzo and chicken! Add them both, and simmer until the orzo is totally cooked through, and most of the stock has been absorbed by the orzo. Serve!
chicken orzo pasta in a soup pot
close up of creamy orzo soup

Tools You’ll Need:

3 Creamy, One-Pan Pasta Recipes

Cheesy, savory, carb-y comfort. And these recipes are easy, too! Pasta—it’s what you really want for dinner.

creamy Chicken Orzo Soup with carrots and celery in s bowl with a linen

When In Doubt—Chicken Orzo.

In the middle of winter, nothing hits the spot quite like something so wholesome, healthy and cozy as a bowl of this soothing chicken orzo. We hope this easy, creamy orzo recipe hits the spot for you, too. If it does, let us know! Snap a photo of your orzo, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you share it with. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Creamy Chicken Orzo

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 326

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium. Once the oil is glistening, add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes longer.

  2. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.

  3. Once the stock is boiling, stir in the chicken and orzo. Reduce the heat to medium and add the parsley, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

  4. Simmer until the veggies are tender, the orzo is creamy and amost of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories326
  • Protein24 g
  • Carbohydrates44 g
  • Total Fat7 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium211 mg
  • Total Sugars8 g

Creamy Chicken Orzo

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Sarah

    The title is “creamy” chicken orzo, however there’s nothing really creamy about it. I followed the recipe exactly, but mine does not have the creamy consistency shown in your picture. Am I missing something?

    The gluten in the pasta is what creates the "creaminess."

  • Jacky

    Thank you! It wasn’t very flavorful but I enjoyed it. Do you always eat it within a few days? It ended up being so much I want to try to freeze it but not sure if that’s a good idea. How would you recommend it be frozen/stored?

    It goes pretty quick in our houses so we've never had enough to try freezing it. It should be ok to freeze and then fully thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

  • Kim Sanders

    Forgot to get the Italian parsley. Can you recommend a dried herb substitute? Thanks!

    You could try dried parsley or basil. Hope you enjoy Kim!

  • Anne

    Can I make this ahead of time? Anything to do different if so?

    Sure! No need to do anything different. You will just need to reheat before eating.

  • Radu

    Hi there,

    I made last night the recipe, and it is delicious, but, I think there is something wrong with the time on the last step. So for 1 lb of orzo, I added 8 cups of stock, and after 20 min, the consistency was like a soup, not even close to how your consistency looks after 20 min (as you said). I used medium heat after the stock was boiling. It took me around 60 minutes to get to the right consistency. Not sure if I did something wrong, but I will try again soon, and if the consistency is still not ok after 20 min, I think you should rewrite the last bit. Hope this helps.

    Again, the recipe is delicious :) Thank you

    Hmm that is surprising it took that long! Each stove top is a bit different. When you turned it down to medium was it still simmering? You should still have small bubbles breaking through the surface during that 20 minutes. If that wasn't happening your stove top might need to be turned up a little bit during the simmer step. That's the only thing we can think of, hope this is helpful!

  • Matthew Peterson

    This recipe is great. My wife loved it! It is creamy in the sense that the orzo when simmered thickens up the broth. It makes the dish very hearty and pastaly creamy. If you are looking for a dish with classic cream like “Heavy whipping cream dishes” then this one’s not for you. But it is absolutely delicious.

    Thanks Matthew, we are so happy that you loved it!

  • Sara F

    Such a great meal to cook on a cold day! We like a lot of flavor in our house, so I cooked the veggies down in some chardonnay and lemon juice, added fresh Italian herbs, only did 6 cups of stock instead of 8, and - once everything was absorbed - I finished it with two tablespoons of butter and some freshly grated parmesan. Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks Sara, glad you loved it!

  • Kim

    Ahhhhmazing. We are a family of 6, and every.single.one.of.us devoured it. In fact, there sadly wasn’t as many leftovers as I had hoped 😂 the only adjustments I made was adding a bit of cayenne pepper, adding an extra carrot, and waited until the end to add the chicken. A definite keeper. Will find a home in my permanent rotation 🥰

    Thanks Kim! This is so great to hear, we are so happy your whole family loved it!

  • Laura Snider

    I love this recipe! I've been making it for over a year and I still make it fairly often. This recipe was the first time I'd ever had orzo, and now I'm hooked. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    Thanks Laura, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Leonard Mech

    love your chicken recipe

    Thanks Leonard!