Greek Baked Chicken & Orzo
This Chicken and Orzo Bake is simple, satisfying and loaded with big Mediterranean flavors.
There can never be too many baked chicken dinners in your recipe box. They are easy to whip up and can be made to fit so many tastes, seasons and dietary restrictions. More than that, chicken dinners are a filling meal the whole family can get in on.
This Chicken and Orzo Bake is no ordinary baked chicken recipe, though. It’s a colorful, flavorful masterpiece inspired by your favorite Greek flavors. Bold and briny Calamata olives, tender marinated artichokes, smoky-sweet roasted red peppers and tangy feta cheese come together with perfectly seasoned chicken breasts and tiny orzo pasta in this soon-to-be-favorite chicken dinner.
If you’re looking for easy weeknight dinner ideas, start here. For a gluten-free variation, try our Gluten-Free Orzo. For juicer, more flavorful chicken, swap out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs. Like it hot? Spice up this Chicken and Orzo Bake with red pepper flakes.
What Is Chicken And Orzo Bake?
A Chicken and Orzo Bake is a recipe that includes chicken thighs or chicken breasts in combination with the small rice-shaped pasta, orzo. Some recipes call for searing the chicken on the stovetop, and then baking with orzo and ingredients. In this case, we bake the chicken first. Then, we add slices of the baked chicken to a pan with toasted orzo and simmered ingredients with sauce. Chicken and Orzo Bake recipes are a great weeknight meal idea, easy and satisfying.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken And Orzo Bake Recipe
This flavor-packed chicken and pasta recipe is hearty enough to feed a crowd but easy enough to serve up on a weekday. A home-cooked meal is worth the effort, but this chicken dish doesn’t require much. Our Chicken and Orzo Bake recipe only takes 40 minutes from start to finish. If you love Mediterranean dishes—in particular, Greek cuisine—you’re going to love this recipe. The colorful combination of artichokes, olives, red peppers, fresh parsley and a kiss of lemon makes for an unforgettable baked chicken dinner that the whole family is going to love.
The Ingredients You Will Need To Make Chicken And Orzo Bake
Chicken: We prefer to use chicken breasts in this recipe, but chicken thighs are also an option. Chicken thighs are a bit juicier, if that is your preference.
Olive Oil: Use a quality extra virgin olive oil for seasoning the chicken and cooking the orzo and ingredients.
Seasonings: A simple seasoning rub is a great way to flavor the chicken. We use our Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Dipping Seasoning Spice to add a sunny, smoky-sweet flavor. Salt and pepper to your taste.
Garlic: We stick with one fresh clove of garlic for a subtle punch, but use more if you want to heighten the garlicky flavor in this dish.
Pasta: Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta and a great foundation for this bold, tasty Greek chicken dish. Try our Gluten-Free Orzo, to make this dish gluten free.
Chicken Stock: You can choose chicken broth or chicken stock, but the chicken stock has more flavor, which is why we prefer it.
Roasted Red Pepper Strips: These add an incredible smoky sweetness to the final dish. We love keeping a jar or three of these on-hand to add to pasta, pizza, salads and more.
Artichoke Hearts: Everyone loves artichokes and we love having these on-hand in the pantry too. Tender, earthy and mild, artichoke hearts add another dimension to this Mediterranean-inspired chicken dinner.
Lemon Juice: Lemon is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. A squeeze of lemon juice adds just the right bright, fragrant note of sunny citrus to the final dish.
Olives: The Greek Calamata is a prized purple-hued olive known for its distinct color and bold, tangy flavor. Its abundance of flavor makes it an excellent ingredient
Fresh Parsley: Fresh herbs are a great way to finish nearly every dish. Most times, people add herbs to sauces and simmer the fragrant flavors right out of them. Serve this chicken sprinkled with chopped parsley for the best flavor.
Feta Cheese: The final finish to this dish is a generous handful of crumbled Greek feta cheese. You can skip the cheese if you want to make this dish without dairy.
How To Make Chicken And Orzo Bake
1. Bake the Chicken
Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle with sun-dried tomato seasoning. Bake until cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest before slicing.
2. Toast the Orzo.
In a large saucepan, toast the orzo in olive oil and garlic.
3. Combine Ingredients.
Add chicken stock, peppers, olives, artichokes, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
4. Marry flavors.
Reduce the heat and simmer together the ingredients. The orzo will become tender and flavorful. Be careful not to overcook.
5. Finish the dish.
Add in the sliced chicken, olives and parsley. Serve sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop over a low heat. Add a splash of water to prevent it from drying out.
We do not recommend freezing this dish. The pasta and olives do not hold up well and will become mushy upon reheating.
More lemon? Garnish the final dish with fresh slices of lemon. Squeeze more on your chicken before eating.
Don’t overcook the pasta. Go for an al dente texture: tender but with a yielding bite.
Substitutions And Additions
We love getting creative with our recipes and trying new things. Here are some ideas for making this Chicken and Orzo Bake your own.
Make it gluten free with our Gluten-Free Orzo Pasta or rice.
Swap the chicken for roasted or grilled shrimp and make it a seafood pasta dish.
Get your greens! Add fresh spinach in the last couple of minutes of simmering until wilted.
Spice things up with red pepper flakes or sliced pepperoncini peppers.
Add some tangy tomato flavor to the sauce with a ½ cup of Tomato Passata.
What To Serve With Chicken And Orzo Bake
Chicken And Orzo Bake: FAQ
What Does Greek-Style Mean?
Greek-style just refers to the Greek ingredients and flavors featured in this Chicken and Orzo Bake recipe: lemon, fresh herbs, olive oil, Calamata olives and roasted red peppers. If you like Greek cuisine, you might like other Greek-inspired dishes like Greek Pitza and Garden Greek Orzo Salad.
What Is Orzo?
Orzo is a tiny pasta shape, or pastina, that was once known for its addition to soups. Named for its barley shape, this popular cut has transcended its small status and has made its way into a myriad of pasta recipes—from cheesy side dishes and grain bowls to pasta salads and baked pasta recipes. Though it is easily identified as a rice-shaped pasta, it is made with semolina flour as all traditional pasta. It can, however, be used in dishes that call for rice.
Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken Instead?
Yes, to save time, you can use rotisserie chicken in this recipe. Skip the first part of the recipe, since the rotisserie chicken is already cooked. Be sure to remove the skin and the bones from the chicken.
Can I Make This Recipe Creamy?
To make this Chicken and Orzo Bake creamy, stir in some heavy cream (a little at a time) just before adding the chicken to the simmering pan. Be sure the heat is low and that you stir continuously, so that the cream doesn’t burn. Once you achieve the desired creaminess, add in the rest of the ingredients—the chicken, the olives and parsley.
Can I Make This Dish Ahead Of Time?
You can make the components to this dish ahead of time. The chicken can be cooked. Wait to slice until you add it to the orzo mixture. We don’t recommend cooking the pasta all the way ahead of time. For the ideal texture, don’t cook the orzo pasta further than the toasting step. You want to reach that ideal al dente texture for your final dish. Overcooking the pasta will leave it mushy.
Greek-Style Chicken And Orzo Bake
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 teaspoons DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons DeLallo Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Dipping Seasoning Spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup DeLallo Orzo
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- ½ (15.1-ounce) jar DeLallo Roasted Red Pepper Strips, drained
- 1 (12-ounce) jar DeLallo Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons DeLallo Lemon Juice
- ¼ cup halved DeLallo Pitted Calamata Olives
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- Crumbled Greek feta for serving
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Pat the chicken dry. Transfer to a baking dish. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with sun-dried tomato seasoning, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, allowing the chicken to rest before slicing.
- In a large saucepan, heat the remaining oil, garlic and orzo on a medium setting. Stir together to toast the orzo, about 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, peppers, artichokes and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the orzo becomes tender, about 8-9 minutes.
- Stir in the sliced chicken, olives and parsley.
- Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
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