Ready in 40 minutes, this one-pot creamy chicken mushroom orzo pasta is a hearty, healthy, and high-protein meal that is perfect for a cold day.
When the temperature drops, I’m all about comfort food that is good for you. Although pasta doesn’t have the best reputation in the health and wellness place, it is a good source of complex carbohydrates and can most certainly be included in a healthy diet. Especially when it’s paired with the right ingredients.
The combination of chicken breasts, mushrooms, orzo, cream, and parmesan cheese ensures that this one-pot chicken mushroom orzo recipe is complete with protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fats, and micronutrients while being absolutely delicious at the same time.
Why You’ll Love It
- Made in One Pot – Ready in under 40 minutes and made in a single pot, this chicken mushroom orzo recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
- High in Protein – The combination of chicken and wheat pasta ensures that this dish has almost 40 grams of protein per serving.
- Freezes Well – This chicken and mushroom orzo stores well in the fridge, making it great for meal prep, and freezes well, making it great for batch cooking.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken Breasts – The recipe calls for boneless chicken breast, but boneless chicken thighs will also work well.
- Orzo – To add some complex carbohydrates to the dish. If you can’t find orzo, another small pasta shape, such as fregola pasta, stellette pasta, or ditalini pasta, would work well.
- Mushrooms – To add some veggies. While the recipe uses cremini mushrooms, you can use any type of mushrooms you like.
- Thyme – To add some flavor. You can use dried or fresh thyme or swap it for rosemary or oregano if you prefer.
- Onion and Garlic – To add flavor and fragrance. You can use a yellow onion or a white onion. If you don’t have fresh garlic, use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Chicken Broth – To cook the orzo. If you don’t have chicken broth, you can use a mixture of chicken stock and water, or use vegetable broth or mushroom broth if preferred.
- Cream – To add ensure the orzo is rich and creamy. You can use heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk if you prefer.
- Parmesan – To further enhance the creaminess of the dish.
- Olive Oil – To cook the chicken and add some healthy fats.
- Salt and Pepper – To season the dish.
- Fresh Parsley – While optional, some chopped parsley helps to brighten the dish.
To Make it Gluten-Free: Use certified gluten-free chicken broth and gluten-free orzo pasta or arborio rice.
To Make it Dairy-Free: Omit the cream and parmesan cheese.
How To Make Chicken and Mushroom Orzo
- Season chicken. Place the chicken on a cutting board, slice it into 2-inch pieces, and then season with salt and pepper.
- Brown the chicken. Warm the olive oil in a large pan, add the chicken slices, and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until browned. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan, place it on a plate, and set it aside.
- Cook the onions and mushrooms. Add the diced onions to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic and herbs. Add the minced garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and heat for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the orzo. Add the orzo and stir to coat it in the mushroom mixture. Pour in the chicken broth, scrape up any tasty bits from the bottom of the pan, stir to combine with the orzo, and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the orzo is al dente.
- Add the cream and parmesan. Once cooked, pour in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese and stir to incorporate in the mushroom orzo mixture.
- Add the chicken. Return the browned chicken to the pan, submerging it slightly in the chicken broth, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve. Sprinkle with a bit of freshly chopped parsley and enjoy.
The detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
There is a common misconception that whole wheat pasta is healthier than traditional white pasta, however, they have a much more similar nutrition profile than most people think. So, whether you opt for regular or whole wheat pasta, both are great sources of carbohydrates and fiber that can be included in a healthy meal.
This creamy chicken mushroom orzo is a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat. Pairing with vegetables can help to increase the fiber and micronutrient content of the meal. This recipe can be served with:
- Green salad
- Steamed broccoli
- Steamed asparagus
- Green peas
Storage + Reheating
To Refrigerate: Allow the chicken mushroom orzo to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Once cooled, transfer the orzo to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Allow the chicken and mushroom orzo to thaw completely before reheating. To reheat the orzo on the stovetop, place it in a pan on medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons of water, stirring gently, until the water has been absorbed and the orzo and chicken is warmed through. To reheat the pasta in the microwave, place the orzo in a microwave-safe container with 1-2 tablespoons of water and reheat for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the water has been absorbed and the orzo and chicken is warmed through.
More Easy Orzo Recipes:
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- Vegetable and Ricotta Baked Orzo
- Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Chicken Mushroom Orzo
This creamy chicken mushroom orzo is a one-pot dish that feeds a crowd and makes great leftovers too. Serve it with a side of green vegetables for a well-balanced meal.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups orzo, uncooked
- 4 cups chicken broth or water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped, to serve
- Place the chicken on a cutting board and slice each chicken breast into 2-inch-thick pieces, then season it with salt and pepper.
- In a large pan on medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, then add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden browned and mostly cooked. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan, transfer it to a plate, and set aside.
- In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and lightly browned, then add the minced garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Pour the uncooked orzo into the pan, stirring to coat it in the mushroom mixture, then pour in the chicken broth, scrape up any tasty bits from the bottom of the pan, and stir to combine with the orzo.
- Bring the temperature to a bubble, then reduce it to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the orzo is cooked al dente, stirring frequently to keep the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once cooked, pour in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Return the cooked chicken to the pan and continue cooking on low heat for a final 3-5 minutes until the chicken is warmed and completely cooked through.
- The chicken mushroom orzo can be served immediately with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or cooled and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To use Chicken Thighs: Swap the chicken breasts for 1 pound of chicken thighs.
To Use Fresh Thyme: Swap the dried thyme for 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 523 calories
- Sugar: 5 grams
- Fat: 15 grams
- Carbohydrates: 56 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 39 grams