Photo of Orzo risotto with chicken thighs by WW

Orzo risotto with chicken thighs

8 - 9
PersonalPoints™ per serving
Total Time
27 min
10 min
17 min
Replace traditional arborio rice with orzo, and you can make a fabulous skillet pasta meal in half the time it takes to make risotto. Our version comes together in less than half an hour, and uses chicken broth instead of cream or cheese. The addition of browned chicken thighs, red onion, and garlic builds lots of depth of flavor, and using frozen mixed vegetables gives you even more of a convenience factor. This easy recipe hits all the right notes and is a cinch to assemble.


Uncooked boneless skinless chicken thigh(s)

1 pound(s)

All-purpose flour

2 Tbsp

Table salt

¼ tsp, divided

Black pepper

¼ tsp, divided

Cooking spray

2 spray(s)

Uncooked red onion(s)

1 small, thinly sliced, or more to taste

Garlic clove(s)

1 medium clove(s), minced, or more to taste

Uncooked orzo

1 cup(s)

Canned chicken broth

2 cup(s), divided

Dried thyme

¼ tsp, or more to taste

Frozen mixed vegetables

2 cup(s), such as peppers and onions, not thawed (about 10 oz)


  1. Cut chicken thighs into bite-size pieces and place in a plastic bag with flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; seal bag and shake to coat chicken.
  2. Coat a very large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, about 2 minutes per side; remove chicken from pan.
  3. Off heat, recoat skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, about 2 minutes. Add orzo; toast in skillet, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  4. Add 1 cup broth to skillet and reduce heat to medium heat; stir and scrape up any browned bits in bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. Add chicken back to pan with thyme, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and frozen vegetables; stir well. Add remaining cup of broth and reduce heat to low; cover skillet and simmer until orzo is tender, chicken is completely cooked and vegetables are hot, about 10 minutes more. Yields about 1 1/3 cups per serving.