Easy Creamy Chicken Orzo (video)

creamy chicken orzo pasta recipe with cranberries

One of my favorite new dinner recipes – creamy chicken orzo pasta with dried cranberries and glazed pecans. This easy chicken recipe will knock your socks off! Everything about this easy and simple orzo recipe is simply incredible! Let’s start with the creamy cheese sauce made with white wine, chicken broth, cream, loads of Parmesan cheese and just a touch of lemon juice for freshness. And to add flavor the sauce, I add loads of finely diced mushrooms, shallot and garlic. I also use finely diced chicken thigh to make sure that every bite has a bit of chicken.

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All About Orzo Pasta

Orzo pasta can sometimes be mistaken for rice, but it’s actually a type of Italian pasta! It’s also sometimes called ‘risoni’ and is shaped to resemble grains of barley. It cooks just like any other pasta and is great to use in place of rice in many recipes. Using orzo instead of rice yields a creamier and more flavorful dish in my opinion; pasta is hard to overcook and it doesn’t get mushy and sticky like rice can be. Try using orzo in soups and salads, too!

Easy Chicken Dinner

Chicken and pasta recipes are among my favorites when I need a quick dinner dish! This creamy chicken recipe fits the bill perfectly! You can use either chicken breast or chicken thigh for this recipe – both would work well. And cooking the orzo pasta with chicken broth adds so much incredible chicken flavor! Try using broth for cooking other starches, like rice, buckwheat or other pastas.

creamy chicken orzo recipe with cheese

All Those Toppings!

What takes this creamy chicken orzo recipe to the next level is the topping: sweet and tart dried cranberries and sugar-glazed diced pecans. The flavor combination will be like a sweet and savory symphony for your tastebuds! I absolutely love the flavor combo and I think you will, too! I purchased the pecans already glazed, but you can also make your own. Pistachios, macadamias and almonds will also work well for this recipe.

creamy chicken pasta recipe with orzo and cranberries

More Recipes!

Looking for more chicken recipes? I’ve got you covered with tons of delicious recipes! Check out some of my other recipe you’re sure to enjoy!

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Creamy Chicken Orzo Pasta recipe with video

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Creamy Chicken Orzo Recipe (video)

20 mins prep + 30 mins cook
6 servings
Quick and easy chicken orzo in a creamy sauce, with a bit of lemon juice, cranberries and pecans!

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, about 6 thighs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 white mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 pound orzo pasta

Instructions

  • Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Cut the chicken thighs into small, bite-sized pieces, then add to the hot pan. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Fry for 7 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and browned. Remove the chicken into a clean bowl and set aside.
  • Into the same pan, add the 2 tablespoons butter. Once the butter is melted, add the diced mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Saute the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes, until the shallot is translucent and mushrooms reduced. Season the mix with salt, pepper, paprika and thyme. Add the white wine and allow the mixture to come up to a simmer, cooking for a few minutes until the wine is reduced.
  • Add 2 cups chicken broth, the cream and return the chicken to the pan. Add the orzo pasta and stir. Cook the pasta covered for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If all liquids evaporate but the pasta is not ready, add more chicken broth.
  • Once pasta is cooked, add the grated parmesan cheese, parsley, chopped pecans and dried cranberries. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the pasta. Use a spatula to thoroughly mix everything together and cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Nutrition

Calories: 877kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 1432mg | Potassium: 790mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1092IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 268mg | Iron: 3mg