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Yellow Tomato and Creamy Chicken Orzo Skillet

If you are wondering what to make with yellow tomatoes, then this creamy chicken orzo skillet is for you. Top with seared chicken breasts on a bed of orzo in a luscious yellow tomato sauce for an easy one pan meal in just 45 minutes.

Cast iron skillet with creamy orzo, four chicken breasts, and fresh basil leaves on wooden cutting board.

You don't have to stick to just yellow tomatoes. Any combination of yellow, orange, red or even the black cherry tomatoes are great.

The heirloom tomatoes tend to be sweeter and they work well with a combination of others.

This meal is so simple and easy, you can make it all year long, not just when tomatoes are in season.

I often freeze my extra tomatoes from the garden and make this dish whenever we need a quick meal.

The entire dish can be made in one pan, in about 45 minutes and is a complete meal.


The recipe only calls for a few ingredients. All you need is:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Yellow tomatoes, or heirloom yellow, orange or red of any variety
  • Chicken stock
  • Shallot
  • Garlic clove
  • Cream (optional)
  • Orzo
  • Basil leaves

That's it! Easy, right?


Step 1. Heat a heavy skillet to medium high heat.

Step 2. Pat chicken breast dry with paper towels to absorb excess moisture (helps with a nice browning). Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides using coarse salt and pepper.

Step 3. Once the skillet has heated, add a bit of olive oil or butter (I prefer butter here), and sear the chicken on both sides.

Four chicken breasts searing in a skillet.

Don't move the chicken while it's browning, because that can affect the crust, just let it sit and don't disturb it until it's time to flip them all over.

Once you've acquired a nice sear on both sides, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate. They'll go back in to finish cooking later.

Step 4. In the same pan, still hot, add the tomatoes, shallot, and garlic and sauté. If necessary, add a bit more butter or oil if the pan is too dry to sauté the vegetables.

Sliced yellow, orange and red tomatoes with minced shallot and garlic in a skillet.

Continue to sauté them until the tomatoes have broken down and the shallot is translucent and soft.

Step 5. Add the stock to the pan, along with some freshly torn basil leaves, and stir with a spatula to loosen any stuck bits.

Sautéed tomatoes simmering in chicken stock in a skillet.

Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Step 6. Remove from heat and stir in the cream.

Cream stirred into a light tomato and chicken broth in a skillet.

Add the orzo, nestle the chicken breasts in to finish cooking through, and return to heat, simmering until the orzo is tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Chicken breasts and orzo cooking in a light sauce in a skillet.

Step 7. Remove the skillet from the heat, and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serve chicken on a bed of the creamy, heirloom tomato orzo.

Chicken breasts and orzo in a creamy sauce garnished with fresh basil leaves.

If you tried this recipe, give it a rating using the stars in the recipe card, or let others know what you thought in the comments below!

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📖 Recipe

Creamy Chicken Orzo Skillet

Seared, juicy chicken breasts and orzo pasta in a creamy, garlic and yellow tomato cream sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: chicken, one skillet meals, pasta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 598kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $7.90


  • Skillet


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ½ cups yellow, orange or heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups orzo dry, uncooked
  • 1 cup heavy cream can substitute half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a heavy skillet on medium high heat, sear thawed, salt and peppered chicken breasts on both sides in a butter or olive oil until browned on both sides, don't disturb them while they sear to obtain maximum crispiness and browning. Once the chicken is seared on both sides, remove it from the pan and set aside on a plate. They won't be cooked through all the way, that's o.k., they'll finish in the pan later with the orzo.
    Chicken breasts searing in a cast iron pan.
  • In the same hot pan that the chicken was just removed from, add the minced shallot, garlic and tomatoes.
    Cast iron skillet with minced shallot, garlic and chopped heirloom tomatoes being sauteed.
  • Saute the shallot, garlic, and tomatoes until the garlic and shallot have softened and the tomatoes become soft, break down, and have released their juices.
    Cast iron skillet with cooked tomatoes, shallot and garlic in their juices.
  • Add stock, cream, and uncooked orzo.
    A reddish brown sauce with cream poured in, in a cast iron skillet.
  • Stir in the orzo, and add the seared chicken breast back to the pan; let simmer for 7-10 minutes until orzo is tender and chicken is cooked through.
    A skillet with chicken breast and orzo in a creamy sauce.
  • Give the orzo a light stir, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve chicken on bed of orzo.
    Chicken and orzo pasta in a creamy tomato sauce garnished with fresh basil leaves.


  • Use a combination of yellow and orange tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes for a very mild and subtle tomato taste that doesn't overpower the sauce. 
  • Don't move the chicken while it's searing for optimal crust and browning. 
  • Don't cook the orzo prior to adding it to the stock and skillet, it will cook in the pan. 
  • Chicken won't be full cooked when it's removed after searing; it will finish cooking with the orzo in the cream sauce. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 411mg | Potassium: 1127mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 769IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating

David Corn

Thursday 26th of November 2020

Delicious, fast and easy. Perfect weeknight meal.