Lemon Chicken Orzo

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Some weeknights, you just want to get a little more fancy with your meals. It doesn’t necessarily have to be extra work, just a little extra effort for the presentation. This Lemon Chicken Orzo is a crispy breaded chicken over orzo pasta with a lemon garlic butter sauce. You are going to love the bright clean flavors this dish for sure.

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Lemon and chicken is one of those flavor combinations that work every time. The light bright citrus of the lemon is a perfect match for chicken, especially when you add in the butter, garlic and parmesan of this simple but so flavorful sauce. One tip when you are zesting your lemons, do your best to not get too much of the white or pith of the lemon rind. That is the bitter portions. You really just want to get the yellow outer layer, so turn your lemon often when running over the zester.

Lemon Chicken Orzo

If you do not have a dredging station, three large plates will suffice. The benefit of a set of dredging trays is that they have higher sides on them so that the contents don’t end up all over the countertop. It’s purely a convenience thing and not a necessity. When you are dredging it is important to get an even coating of each layer over each piece of meat. Pressing the meat into the coating helps it stick a little better, which then helps it cook better.

Lemon Chicken Orzo

I used orzo for this recipe mostly because it’s one of my favorite cuts of pasta. But I know it isn’t always available at every grocery. So you could use another cut of pasta for sure. If you wanted to keep the same look of the plate, you could use cut up spaghetti (sometimes sold as fideo). If you just want to keep with the size, you could use ditalini.

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!


Lemon Chicken Orzo

A crispy breaded chicken over orzo pasta with a lemon garlic butter sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked chicken, butter, Chicken, Garlic, lemon, orzo, panko, Parmesan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 lb Orzo Pasta
  • ½ cup Butter
  • 4 Garlic cloves minced
  • 3 Lemons
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp Parsley

For the Chicken

  • 6 Chicken Breasts pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 3 Eggs beaten
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 2 cups Panko
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375degF.
  • Set up a dredging station. Plate 1 – flour, salt and pepper. Plate 2 – eggs, heavy cream, zest of one lemon. Plate 3 – panko, parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic.
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment and place a baking rack on top. Spray rack with cooking spray. Bread each piece of chicken by coating in flour, egg then panko mixtures. Lay in a single layer on baking rack. Lightly spray with additional cooking spray. Place in oven to bake for 45 minutes.
  • After about 20 minutes of baking, start water boiling for orzo. Once at a rolling boil, add pasta and cook as directed on package. Drain in colander and return to pan (away from heat).
  • In a saute pan over medium high heat, add butter. Once melted add garlic and let cook for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the zest and juice of two lemons. Let cook for 3 minutes then add chicken broth, parsley, and parmesan cheese. Let cook for another 3 minutes then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until pasta and chicken are done. Stir occasionally.
  • Slice remaining lemon in half (lengthwise) and then into ¼ slices.
  • Add half of butter sauce to orzo and stir to coat.
  • Place a portion of orzo on plate and place a piece of chicken alongside. Top with two lemon slices and drizzle with sauce.

Custom Instacart Link for this Recipe

Estelle Forrest self-published this cookbook after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:


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11 thoughts on “Lemon Chicken Orzo

  1. I’m really liking the sound of this, lovely fresh lemon and orzo is one pasta I really enjoy

  2. Louise – Hello, I'm Louise, full-time mummy of two beautiful little girls - my little heart warrior Jessica who was born with half a working heart and is living proof that miracles do happen and Sophie, who is heart-healthy and a little bundle of joy.
    Louise says:

    Love crispy breaded chicken and having it with a lemon garlic butter sauce sounds delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever tried orzo pasta though – will have to give this one a try. #MMBC

  3. We sure have enjoyed featuring your post on Full Plate Thursday, 626 this week. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and hope you will come back soon.
    Miz Helen

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