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Creamy Chicken Orzo Skillet

Seared, juicy chicken breasts and orzo pasta in a creamy, garlic and yellow tomato cream sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: chicken, one skillet meals, pasta
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 598kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $7.90


  • Skillet


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow, orange or heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 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