Orzo Risotto with Chicken Thighs

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.


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.

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