Here is my one-pan take on the viral Marry Me Chicken. You might wonder how this Tuscan-inspired dish got its name, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s said this dish is SO delicious that whoever you make it for is bound to propose! I wholeheartedly agree that the flavours of this easy, low-cost dish are absolutely irresistible! Tender, juicy chicken is cooked in a cheesy, creamy sauce flavoured with garlic, herbs and sun-dried tomatoes. I have added risoni (orzo) and baby spinach to my recipe to round out the dish to an even more fulfilling meal. There is virtually no chopping required (or washing up!) – just throw it all in the one pan for stress-free cooking.

Marry Me Chicken Risoni (Orzo)
Marry Me Chicken with Risoni is my one-pan take on this dish that has taken the internet by storm. However, instead of boneless, skinless chicken breast, I use diced chicken thighs so the meat stays extra juicy and tender.

Marry Me Chicken Risoni (Orzo) is always a winner at my house as it saves me time in the kitchen, and I know my family will enjoy the tasty homestyle flavours. Even better, you can vary the ingredients to use up what you have in the fridge or pantry, and the vegetables can easily be “hidden” (by cutting them small) if you have fussy eaters. Although delicious year-round, this comforting meal is the ideal winter warmer. You might want to make a double batch, as the family will be fighting over the leftovers the next day!

What can I serve with Marry Me Chicken Risoni?

This is really a full meal in a dish, but you could serve it with some 5 Minute Cheesy Garlic Bread or Freezer Friendly Garlic Bread. If you wanted to up the vegetables, I would simply add more vegetables to the actual dish (see the customising tips below).

Can I customise Marry Me Chicken Risoni to suit my family’s tastes?

You could easily add other vegetables to this dish, such as small broccoli florets, sliced asparagus, sliced green beans, peas, shredded kale or diced zucchini (courgette). You could also use other small pasta shapes instead of risoni (orzo), but check them and cook for a little longer if required. Boneless, skinless chicken breast can be used instead of thighs. If you wanted, you could even spice up the dish by adding 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes at the same time as the garlic, or spice lovers could sprinkle their portion with chilli flakes at time of serving.

Marry Me Chicken Risoni (Orzo)
The cheesy, creamy sauce in this Marry Me Chicken with Risoni is flavoured with garlic and herbs, with pops of tangy sun-dried tomatoes. You can easily vary the ingredients to suit your taste.

Tips for cooking “one-pan pasta” with success

To make a one-pan pasta dish (where the pasta is cooked in the pan with the sauce), it’s important that you use a heavy-based piece of cookware, such as a heavy-based (cast-iron) casserole dish or a heavy-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.

Marry Me Chicken Risoni (Orzo)
My version of Tuscan-inspired Marry Me Chicken has added risoni (orzo) pasta and shredded baby spinach to make this comforting dish an extra satisfying and nutritious family meal.

What are some other quick and easy one-pan dinner ideas?

If you enjoy this comforting quick chicken dish, you’ll probably love:
Creamy Tomato Chicken Risoni (Orzo)
Creamy Chicken Pesto Gnocchi
Crispy Sesame Chicken and Fried Rice
Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini

Print
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Marry Me Chicken Risoni (Orzo) in deep rim bowl

Marry Me Chicken Risoni (Orzo)

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Made with simple, low-cost ingredients, this deliciously moreish Marry Me Chicken with Risoni (Orzo) is comforting and family-friendly. Taking only 30 minutes, it’s the ideal, stress-free meal for busy weeknights.

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

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ tsp salt, plus extra to taste 
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • ½ cup (80 g) roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil (see note 1)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 cup (200 g) risoni (orzo)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (250 ml) thick (double/heavy) cream
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup (50 g) grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan with a lid over medium–high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes until browned.
  2. Stir through the salt, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, thyme and sweet paprika.
  3. Add the risoni, chicken stock, dijon mustard and thick cream. Bring to a gentle simmer so that it is just bubbling.
  4. Cover and cook for 12–15 minutes or until the risoni is fully cooked – removing the lid to stir the risoni frequently, to stop the sauce from sticking to the base of the pan (see note 2 for help with the consistency).
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, add the spinach and parmesan and season to taste with extra salt and pepper (you may need no extra salt depending on how salty the chicken stock is).
  6. Sprinkle with extra parmesan just before serving and enjoy!

Notes

Note 1 – Use the leftover sun-dried tomato oil in place of the olive oil in the recipe to cook the chicken for extra flavour! The sun-dried tomatoes can be substituted with fresh, diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste (concentrated puree). Alternatively, pump up the flavour and use store-bought red pesto or even basil pesto!

Note 2 – If you feel the risoni is too stiff (it’s not saucy and is clumping together more than 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:

Dice the chicken and refrigerate it in an airtight container, ready for when you need it (up until the chicken expiry date).

Leftovers:

Refrigerate 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 risoni changes texture and turns mushy.

Recipe source:

My source of inspiration for this recipe was Kale Junkie. You can view the original recipe here. I made adjustments to the seasoning, liquid to risoni (orzo) ratio and also chose to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which I find stay juicier and more tender throughout the cooking process.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: mains, pasta, quick and easy, one pan, chicken
  • Method: pan
  • Cuisine: American, Australian