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This One-Pot Lemon Chicken with Orzo is a quick and easy way to brighten up your menu any time of year. Vibrant, colorful ingredients and super easy prep make this a great choice for a busy weeknight.
As much as I love the holiday season, I always feel a surge of relief every January. This was the first weekend in two months that hasn’t involved getting ready for guests, shopping for gifts, or cooking BIG meals. The Christmas decorations have been carefully packed away and although the house seems a bit boring without all the lights, it feels good.
Can you relate?
Despite how grey the skies are or how much rain or snow is falling in your part of the world, we can do a lot to brighten things up with a vibrant, fresh meal like this Lemon Chicken with Orzo. It has a summery feel but utilizes ingredients we can easily find anytime of year. This fresh and light dish is low in calories and a great source of lean protein and a bounty of other nutrients.
It’s all done in one skillet and the best part, it’s on the table in about 30 minutes!
I really love to include a bright, cheerful dish like this on my menu during the winter months when lemons are at their peak and we could all use a little sunny pick-me-up.
Be sure to check out the short video at the end of this post (just above the recipe card) to see this recipe in action.
The Ingredients in One-Pot Lemon Chicken with Orzo:
- all-purpose flour
- garlic powder
- thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- low-sodium chicken broth
- orzo pasta
- fresh baby spinach
- grape tomatoes
- lemons (I always pick up Meyer lemons when available)
- fresh basil
- Parmesan cheese
There are so many wonderful ways to incorporate orzo into a variety of recipes from soups, to side dishes, to entrees. It is fabulous in both warm and cold dishes. Take a look at my other orzo recipes to see the versatility of this rice-like pasta.
- Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms and Parmesan – a super tasty side dish choice.
- Orzo Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Spinach, and Feta – potluck perfection. Easily transform this into an entree with some grilled chicken or shrimp.
- Orzo, Grape, and Feta Salad – the first recipe that made me fall deeply in love with orzo.
- Almond Rice Pilaf – I LOVE this pilaf! It is on our menu at least a couple of times a month.
A loaf of French bread or my Cheater Garlic Bread are both great choices to serve with this tasty pasta dish and round it out into a nice meal (don’t forget the wine!).
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One Pot Lemon Chicken with Orzo
This quick and easy One-Pot Lemon Chicken with Orzo is a quick and easy way to brighten up your menu at any time of year.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
- 2 cups packed roughly chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 lemons, divided
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan , divided
In a shallow bowl, mix flour and garlic powder. Pound thicker pieces of chicken to 1/4-inch thickness with the flat side of a meat mallet, if needed. Cut each piece in half (to make smaller serving sizes) and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Dip both sides of chicken in flour mixture to coat lightly and shake off excess.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over MEDIUM heat. Add half of the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and chicken is fully cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and tent with a piece of foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken. When finished, lightly wipe excess oil from skillet.
Return skillet to the heat and add broth and orzo. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 8-10 minutes or until tender. Remove cover and stir in spinach, tomatoes, the juice of one lemon, basil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove the skillet from the heat. Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and sprinkle with about half of the Parmesan.
Cut remaining lemon into wedges. Serve with remaining Parmesan and lemon wedges on the side.
I like to use the finest grate on my box grater when grating the Parmesan for an almost powdery consistency like you see in the images in this post.
Adapted from Taste of Home