This is the type of meal I could eat day after day and still be disappointed when there are no leftovers! Risoni (orzo) are small, oval-shaped pasta which take on a risotto-like texture in this recipe. This Creamy Tomato Chicken and Risoni requires very little preparation, cooks quickly and easily all in the one pan and is absolutely delicious, perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen!

Creamy Tomato Chicken Risoni Orzo

This dish is loaded with comforting flavours of garlic, Italian herbs and sun-dried tomatoes, in a creamy, Parmesan cheese-filled sauce. I add spinach in the last few minutes of cooking (yes to no chopping!) but the recipe includes loads of vegetable options so you can cater to your family’s tastes. Once prepared, this dish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated, ready for when you need it.

How do I perfectly cook one pan of pasta?

To make a one-pan pasta dish (where the pasta is cooked in the pan), it’s important that you use a heavy-based piece of cookware such as a heavy-based casserole dish (cast iron) or a thick-based, deep frying pan. Thin cookware will not heat evenly and may leave you with too much or too little liquid. The liquid needs to be simmering the entire time (gently with small bubbles). If it isn’t, modify the heat by turning it up or down slightly to maintain that simmer.

Can I use chicken thigh fillets?

Yes! I often prefer to make Creamy Tomato Chicken and Risoni (Orzo) with chicken thigh fillets as I find them even more juicy. Modify the chicken cooking time to 10-12 minutes, as chicken thighs can take a little longer to cook.

What other vegetables can I use?

You can use up to 2 cups of vegetables of choice in this recipe. Firm vegetables can be added just after the onion in step 3. Finely diced zucchini/courgette, capsicum/bell pepper, mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, shredded kale or broccoli would all work really well with this recipe. You could also try adding ½ cup of frozen peas at the same time as the spinach!

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Creamy Tomato Chicken Risoni Orzo

Creamy Tomato Chicken Risoni (Orzo)

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5 from 11 reviews

Creamy Tomato Chicken Risoni (also known as Orzo) is the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner, all made in the one pan with maximum flavour! The chicken is seasoned in a flavour-packed seasoning before being topped on perfectly cooked, creamy risoni that takes on a risotto-like texture, all with minimal prep and minimal washing up!

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Chicken 

  • 2 chicken breasts, halved lengthways to make 4 schnitzels
  • 1 tsp garlic, freshly minced
  • 1 tsp Italian herb mix (or substitute with dried oregano)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp salt flakes
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water

Risoni 

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (75 g) sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup (200 g) risoni/orzo (uncooked)
  • 2 cups (475 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (240 ml) thickened/heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups (60 g) baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup (50 g) Parmesan cheese, plus extra to garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a shallow dish, combine the chicken with the garlic, Italian herb mix, sweet paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil. Use your hands if needed to ensure the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade. 
  2. Heat a large, deep pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken for 8 minutes or until just cooked through, turning once halfway. Add 1/4 cup of water in the last 2 minutes of cooking to help deglaze the pan and lift all the delicious drippings. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate. 
  3. To the same pan, add the butter. Once melted, add the sun-dried tomatoes, risoni, chicken stock, thickened cream, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low so that it is bubbling gently. Cook for 10-12 minutes, uncovered, stirring regularly (see note 1 below for tips). 
  5. Turn the heat off and remove the pan from the heat. Stir through the spinach leaves and the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pan to heat through (slice it first if desired), then cover and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving (see note 2 for tips on how to get the perfect consistency). 
  6. Serve sprinkled with parsley, optional.

Notes

Note 1 – To make a one-pan pasta dish (where the pasta is cooked in the pan), it’s important that you use a heavy-based piece of cookware such as a heavy-based casserole dish (cast iron) or a thick-based, deep frying pan. Thin cookware will not heat evenly and may leave you with too much or too little liquid. The liquid needs to be simmering the entire time (gently with small bubbles) so that the pasta cooks through. If it isn’t, modify the heat by turning it up or down slightly to maintain that simmer.

 

Note 2 – If you feel the risoni is too stiff (it’s not saucy and is clumping together more than what you would like), simply add 1-2 tablespoons at a time of boiling water from the kettle, stirring the sauce rapidly. This will loosen the mixture.

MAKE AHEAD

Creamy Tomato Chicken and Risoni can be made ahead of time, ready for when you need it. Prepare as per the recipe, store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Upon reheating, you may find that the oils separate from the cream, but the taste is equally delicious! This recipe is not suitable to freeze as the chicken dries out upon reheating.

LEFTOVERS

Creamy Tomato Chicken and Risoni tastes even better the next day! Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Upon reheating, you may find that the oils separate from the cream, but the taste is equally delicious! This recipe is not suitable to freeze as the chicken dries out upon reheating.

 

Recipe Source – Recipe inspired by Half Baked Harvest Creamy Sun Dried Chicken and Orzo which you can view here.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: chicken
  • Method: Pan, skillet, frying pan
  • Cuisine: Italian