Lemon Chicken Orzo pasta is made with some of the freshest flavors of the season, including lemon, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and spinach! Everything cooks in one pot in under 35 minutes.
Easy one pot pasta dinners are the best! This orzo pasta is one of our favorite weeknight meals because everything cooks in one pan, even the orzo. Add fresh lemon, asparagus, spinach and parmesan cheese to create a creamy orzo recipe that everyone loves. You can even adapt this recipe to fit your taste.
How to make lemon chicken orzo pasta
- Cook the chicken. Sauté the chicken with a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Once chicken is cooked through, remove it from the skillet to a plate.
- Cook the orzo and vegetables. Sauté the shallot in the pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the orzo and garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover, reduce heat and summer for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 additional minutes.
- Stir in the spinach or greens. Add the spinach and cook for one minute or until the spinach is wilted. Remove the lid and cook uncovered until no excess liquid remains.
- Stir everything together. Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet with the lemon juice, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.
Tips for making this creamy orzo
- Prep and chop the onion and asparagus in advance to save time. You can also pre-cut the chicken. Prepping the ingredients in advance saves even more time on the night you cook this meal.
- Use a lemon zester to zest fresh lemon. The fresh lemon zest adds the most flavor to this dish. You can adjust and add more or less lemon zest, as desired.
- We love adding greens to this meal, but you can omit the spinach or use kale. Add more or less greens, as desired.
- You can use frozen asparagus but you may need to adjust your cook time slightly to add one or two additional minutes onto the cook time after adding the asparagus. We do NOT recommend using frozen spinach because it retains too much water.
- This dish makes great leftovers. Store the leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This recipe combines a creamy lemon chicken orzo pasta with asparagus and spinach. It’s packed with nutrients and flavor. It’s a dish that consistently receives rave reviews. We know you’re going to love it. Try it and let us know what you think!
Lemon Chicken Orzo Pasta
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup orzo
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh asparagus cut into 1" pieces
- 3 to 5 ounces spinach, or kale
- zest and juice from one lemon
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot add in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the chicken is thoroughly cooked then remove it from the skillet onto a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet then add in the onion. Sauté for one minute or until the onion starts to soften.
- Add in the orzo and garlic and sauté for about a minute. Pour in the chicken broth, stir everything together and bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes and then add the asparagus. Simmer covered for an additional 5 minutes, then add the spinach. Cook for one minute or until spinach is wilted. Remove the lid and if there is any excess liquid remaining continue to cook uncovered for another minute.
- Add the cooked chicken back into the skillet and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese until everything is combined. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.