Cheesy Chicken Orzo

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Often times, simple meals are the best meals. Cheese, chicken and pasta – what’s not to love about a quick and easy weeknight meal that they whole family is going to enjoy. Cheesy Chicken Orzo is the perfect busy weeknight meal. It does not take a long time prep and cook. It does not use a ton of dishes to make. And it one that will keep and easily warm up, if people have differently things going on and have to eat at different times.

Cheesy Chicken Orzo

I use a sharp cheddar most of the time, because that is my family’s preference. You can certainly use a medium or mild cheddar in this recipe. If you want to take it to the next level you could try a pepper jack. Just don’t go for a mozzarella or plain Monterey jack, as it will not have much of a flavor with such a mild cheese.

Cheesy Chicken Orzo

The spinach is the just the right amount of veggie boost this dish needs. And it is great that you do not have to cook it separate, as the pasta will be hot enough to wilt it just enough to incorporate it into the meal. If you don’t care for spinach, you could do broccoli instead but you would want to steam it before adding it in, as the broccoli will not cook through very well with just the heat from the rest of the meal.

Cheesy Chicken Orzo

You can totally make this recipe without the chicken and have it for lunch or as a side dish for something else. Literally, just omit the chicken from the recipe, leaving all the other ingredients for great flavor. If you are trying to make it vegetarian, you can of course use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth as well.

Cheesy Chicken Orzo

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!


Cheesy Chicken Orzo

A super simple cheese, spinach and chicken orzo dish
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, Chicken, chicken and pasta, orzo, spinach
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 lb Chicken Thighs boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • lb Orzo
  • ½ Yellow Onion diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 cup Cheddar shredded
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 cup Fresh Spinach chopped.


  • Start water boiling for pasta.
  • In large sauce pan over medium high heat, add oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes then add chicken, Sprinkle with thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until chicken is cooked through.
  • Add butter to chicken. Once melted, add flour and cook for 3 minutes. Add in chicken broth and stir until fully incorporated. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer another 5 minutes.
  • Add orzo to boiling water. Cook as directed on the package. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water.
  • Add heavy cream to chicken. Stir to fully combine, then add in cheese. Once fully incorporated remove from heat. Next add cooked orzo and spinach and stir to combine.

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:


Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:


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7 thoughts on “Cheesy Chicken Orzo

  1. Laurie – Tennessee – Off grid living on 26 rural acres in East TN, building our off grid homestead cabin, DIY life, herb gardening, greenhouse, plant based healthy lifestyle Youtube @ Blogger at
    Laurie says:

    I don’t often think of orzo, but this does look yummy!

    Thanks for sharing it at the Homestead Blog Hop


  2. suzanneholt – Minnesota – Wife, mom of 2, & Norwex Senior Vice President Sales Leader. I’m always looking for practical ways to green up our family and help you do the same.
    Suzanne says:

    This looks so good! What a great meal for a weeknight or to make for guests!

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