Prepare to delight your taste buds with our delectable One Pan Chicken and Orzo with Spinach recipe. In this mouthwatering dish, tender chicken is baked alongside creamy orzo pasta, goat cheese, and spinach, creating a satisfying one-pan meal that will be loved by the whole family. If you’re a fan of this recipe, make sure to check out our One-Pot Orzo with Tomatoes, Corn, and Feta next, offering a different but equally delicious flavor profile.
Unlike most of my recipes, which are inspired by personal cravings, this particular dish found its origins in a pan. Yes, this pan right here.
While my kitchen may be small, it is undeniably efficient. Over the years, it has remained largely unchanged, containing the same items in each drawer since the day I wrote this post two years ago. However, I have always had my eye on the Staub pan featured in this recipe. It was a New Year’s sale that finally prompted me to acquire it, leading me to envision a range of one-pan meals to prepare in it.
The good news is that you don’t need an expensive Staub pan to make this delightful dish. You can effortlessly recreate the magic in any oven-safe pan or simply transfer it to a casserole dish to finish baking in the oven.
The recipe begins by searing the chicken on the stovetop, followed by creating a luscious base with orzo pasta. The orzo is cooked using a technique similar to Italian risotto, but with pasta replacing the rice. The seared chicken is nestled into the orzo, and the entire ensemble is baked in the oven, allowing the orzo to become tender and creamy as it absorbs the flavors of the chicken.
During my recipe testing, several crucial tips emerged that I want to share with you. Please refer below for these valuable insights. Ultimately, this dish embodies both beauty and simplicity, making it an excellent choice for entertaining guests or enjoying a cozy weeknight meal with your loved ones.
One Pan Chicken and Orzo with Spinach
For the Chicken:
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Red or White Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dried Herbs (use a mixture of dried thyme, oregano, and basil or just use Italian seasoning blend)
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 20 oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil (I like avocado, grapeseed, or vegetable oil)
For the Orzo:
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 1 cup finely diced White or Yellow Onion
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Orzo Pasta, uncooked
- 5 oz Baby Spinach (if you want the spinach in smaller pieces, roughly chop it first)
- 4 oz Goat Cheese, crumbled (optional; feel free to skip this or use feta)
- Lemon juice, for topping
1Preheat oven 400°F / 204°C,
2In a shallow baking dish, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, dried herbs, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add chicken to dish and turn to coat in herb seasoning. Set aside for a few minutes (or transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for up to a day).
3Heat an oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cooking oil.
4When oil is shimmering, sear chicken on both sides until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Don’t cook the chicken all the way through at this point – it will finish cooking with the pasta.)
5Set chicken on a plate near the stove, leaving pan over heat.
6To heated pan, add butter. When butter melts, stir in onion with a pinch of salt. Saute until onions are soft, 7 to 8 minutes, scraping up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (If the pan looks dry at any point, add a splash of water.)
7Add cream, stock, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer.
8When liquids are simmering, stir in orzo and spinach, scraping down the sides so that all of the orzo is in liquid. Crumble goat cheese over pasta (you can leave it on top or fold some of it in to make an even more creamy pasta. Turn off heat under pan.
9Nestle chicken into the orzo.
10Transfer pasta and chicken to the oven and bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked and orzo is tender, 18 to 24 minutes.
11Squeeze lemon juice over the finished dish.
12You can remove the chicken breast and give the pasta a good stir before serving or just serve the dish straight from the oven to the table. (Stirring all of the orzo ingredients before serving will make it very saucy and creamy.)
Cooking Oil and Olive Oil – I like to use olive oil in the marinade for flavor and a high heat-approved cooking oil like avocado or grapeseed to sear the chicken, but feel free to use one type of oil throughout the recipe if you prefer.