one skillet lemon chicken with orzo

Skillet Lemon Chicken Orzo

  • Author: Kate Morgan Jackson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This easy recipe for skillet lemon chicken orzo is not only scrumptious, it also makes clean-up a breeze!


  • 4 chicken breast halves, pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, rinsed thoroughly and chopped
  • 8 ounces orzo
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice and zest from ½ lemon
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a cast iron or similar large skillet and add the chicken breasts in a single layer. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side (you can check for doneness by using an instant read thermometer – it should read 160).  Remove chicken and cover with foil.
  2. Add the chopped leeks to the skillet along with a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir until the leek starts to get the teensiest bit of brown on it. Add the orzo and the wine and stir until the wine is almost absorbed.
  3. Add the chicken broth and parsley and simmer until the orzo is tender, about 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice and one more tablespoon of butter and whisk. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Return the chicken and any juices to the skillet and turn a few times until everything is nice and coated.
  6. Divide chicken among plates, garnish with lemon zest, parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve it up!



Chicken: We love chicken breasts for this recipe, but you can also use chicken thighs.

Orzo: Can’t find orzo?  Any small pasta will work, including elbow macaroni which is always available!

Leeks: If you can’t find any in your produce section, six chopped scallions or one peeled and chopped sweet onion are both good alternatives.