Lemon Chicken Orzo – A Weeknight Timesaver Recipe

November 10, 2016

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Are you always on the lookout for weeknight time saver recipes? I know I am. After a long day at work who wants to come home and cook a full course meal that uses every dish you own. Not me, that’s for sure. This Lemon Chicken Orzo is the perfect recipe for something quick and satisfying that won’t dirty every dish in your kitchen.

I use bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on as they impart tons of extra flavor to this dish. If you are a calorie counter, just remove the skin before plating.

This is a hearty meal you can have on the table in just half an hour. You can pair it with a light spinach salad or a crusty loaf of Italian bread.

Another excellent Weeknight Timesaver Recipe you just have to see!

This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend and have personally used

Lemon Chicken Orzo

You may enjoy Baked Chicken Wings with Honey Mustard and Greek Inspired Pasta Salad

Serves 4

Lemon Chicken Orzo

10 minPrep Time

18 minCook Time

28 minTotal Time

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  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 c. orzo pasta
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 1 T. lemon zest
  • ½ organic lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • ½ c. fresh parsley, chopped, plus some whole sprigs for garnish
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese , to serve


  1. Pat chicken thighs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet with deeps sides, heat olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat. When garlic turns brown, remove chunks from pan and discard.
  3. Place chicken, skin side down, in the heated pan and cook for approximately 4 or 5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Turn and repeat on the other side. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
  4. Pour off excess fat in pan, while reserving approximately 2 tablespoons. Reduce heat to medium and add the orzo pasta to pan. Stir until orzo pasta is coated and slightly toasted. Add chicken broth to skillet and stir to scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and bring chicken broth to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Return chicken breasts to skillet along with lemon zest and slices. Simmer, covered, for approximately 10 minutes or until the orzo pasta is tender. Keep an eye on it during this time to make sure there is enough liquid in skillet to keep orzo pasta from sticking to the bottom. Stir occasionally.
  6. Uncover and continue simmering until most of the excess liquid has been absorbed, approximately 2-3 minutes. Stir in chopped parsley and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese , if desired.
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: Main Dish

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By Mrs. R