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Lemon Chicken Orzo

Lemon Chicken Orzo is a light but filling skillet meal that mixes orzo with chicken in a creamy lemon sauce, along with fresh herbs. You can have this dish on the table in under 30 minutes, making it a great option for those busy nights.

I love making this dish as part of my Sunday meal-prep. It tastes even better the next day as leftovers, in my opinion. You also can simplify the recipe further by using shredded rotisserie chicken instead of cooking chicken breasts.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Skillet

If you love orzo as much as I do, try Cheesy Butternut Squash Orzo, too! Another healthy skillet dinner to add to your rotation is my Cheesy Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet recipe.

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Photo of Lemon Chicken Orzo
  • 15 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes


1 1/2 cups orzo
3 cups vegetable broth {or chicken broth} or you can use water
3 tbsps. butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juiced plus zest for garnish
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper {optional}
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

For the chicken:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsps. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper


  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable or chicken broth (or water) until simmering. Add the orzo in and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
  2. Add the butter and let melt for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the orzo doesn't stick.
  3. Turn heat to low and add the garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, cream, oregano and crushed red pepper (optional), and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce becomes creamy.
  4. Stir in the shredded chicken until mixed well.
  5. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove and serve warm garnished with shaved parmesan cheese, fresh basil and parsley.

To cook the chicken:

In a large Ziplock bag, add the chicken, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Close and massage the spices into the chicken using your hands.

Add 2 tbsps. olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes, flip and cook until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F.

Remove the chicken and put it on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken.

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