This recipe for One-Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo combines tender stuffed chicken thighs with tomatoes, cheese, and pasta. It’s creamy, satisfying, and ready within 40 minutes!Jump to Recipe
I’m a big fan of one-pot meals. Less dishes to clean, more flavors to play with, and they always make a big batch. They’re a total win-win for those of us with busy lives.
This recipe is no exception! The beautiful flavors of the Mediterranean are mixed and baked together in the oven to bring you a super satisfying, comforting, and unique dinner.
You can never go wrong when dinner is made with chicken, cheese, and pasta. Every bite is a creamy, tangy, and delicious mix of quality ingredients that won’t weigh you down. It’s a hearty meal the whole family will love.
This special Mediterranean recipe only takes 40 minutes from start to finish and is a must-try when the chilly days hit, just like my Zuppa Toscana Soup. Enjoy it while it’s hot or for lunch the next day!
What is Mediterranean chicken with orzo?
This dinner has all of the Meditteranean flavors you love. A simple and creamy filling is spread on top of flattened chicken thighs, then rolled together and seared to infuse all of the wonderful flavors together. Afterward, just throw the rest of the ingredients in a large pot and let the oven work its magic.
When it’s done, you end up with a creamy and satisfying chicken and pasta dinner!
Ingredients you need
This recipe is special because it allows you to get creative. You can make it easy on yourself and use up any ingredients or leftovers you have on hand. Alternatively, go all out and add more fancy options!
This is what you need:
- Chicken thighs
- Sea salt
- Boursin and Parmesan cheese
- Marinated artichokes
- Roasted bell peppers in oil
- Chicken stock
- Orzo pasta
How to make Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo
Make this recipe in a dutch oven, oven-safe pot, or a large oven-safe skillet or cast iron pan. It’s quite easy to throw together and can be baked in the oven, slow cooker, or Instant Pot.
Here’s how to do it:
- Make the filling: Brown the onions with some oil in your oven-safe dish. Next, combine them with the cheeses, lemon zest, capers, onions, chopped artichokes, and chopped roasted peppers.
- Prepare the chicken: On a cutting board, pound the chicken thighs with a meat tenderizer. Season with salt on both sides. Add in 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on the chicken and roll it up, securing each piece with a toothpick.
- Sear the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In the same pan, add a little more oil and sear the chicken on all sides (3 minutes per side). Turn off the heat.
- Add the rest: Add the orzo pasta, chicken broth, salt, tomatoes, lemon juice, and the remaining cheese filling on top of the chicken.
- Bake: Cover the dish with a lid and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Afterward, remove the lid and bake for an additional 8 minutes. When it’s done, sprinkle with some fresh basil and serve.
Slow cooker instructions
Begin with recipe steps 1, 2, and 3 in a skillet on the stovetop. Add the chicken, broth, salt, tomatoes, lemon juice, and remaining cheese filling into the bowl of a slow cooker and stir together. Cover with a lid and cook on High for 4 to 5 hours or on Low for 7 to 8 hours.
Add the orzo to the pot in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Remove the lid and serve once the pasta is cooked to your liking.
Instant Pot instructions
Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and brown the onions, add to the filling, and mix well. When it’s ready, add a tablespoon to each flattened chicken thigh, roll and secure, the sear for 3 minutes per side in the Instant Pot again.
Turn off Saute mode and add the orzo, chicken broth, salt, tomatoes, and a squeeze of lemon juice on top of the chicken. Lock the lid in place, turn the steam release knob to the Sealing position, then set to pressure cook on High for 10 minutes.
Quick-release any remaining pressure when it’s done, then remove the lid. Give it a quick stir, add any remaining cheese filling, mix, and enjoy!
Helpful recipe tips
- Searing the chicken before cooking it with the pasta will seal in more flavor. Sear each piece for around 3 minutes per side.
- Is your chicken rolling apart after you’ve added the filling? Secure each piece by piercing the top with 1 or 2 toothpicks. Just make sure to remove them before serving.
- Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF (or 75ºC). Using a meat thermometer is the easiest way to check this.
Recipe variations and substitutions
- You can use chicken breasts instead of the thighs if that’s all you have. They can be flattened and rolled in the same way as the thighs, and cooked for the same amount of time.
- Substitute orzo for any other kind of pasta. Small, bite-sized pieces are best!
- Alternatively, use rice or quinoa instead of orzo.
- Add in kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or raw spinach for more authentic flavors.
- Need more protein? Include a can of chickpeas when you add in the broth and pasta.
Leftover Mediterranean chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Make sure any leftovers have come down to room temperature before storing them away so they can stay as fresh as possible.
Reheat the leftovers in a 350ºF oven until warmed through or for a few minutes in the microwave.
More Mediterranean recipes
Join me in my love for Mediterranean food by trying these recipes:
- Greek Chicken Kabobs
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- Low Carb Mediterranean Burger Salad
- Garlic Grilled Shrimp With Mediterranean Salad
- Mediterranean Toast
If you give this One-Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo recipe a try, let me know what you think! Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture, tag it with #lenaskitchenblog on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with!
One-Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo
- 8 chicken thighs pounded out
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté finely chopped onions in your oven-safe pot or skillet until they're slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Combined the cheeses, lemon zest, capers, onions, ￼chopped artichokes, chopped roasted peppers in the pot and mix well.
- Pound out chicken thighs with a meat tenderizer. Season each piece of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt on both sides. Add one heaping tablespoon of filling to each piece of flattened chicken and roll. Secure with a toothpick.
- ￼Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan and sear the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
- Pour the orzo all around the chicken in the pot and top with chicken broth. Season with 1/2 tsp salt. Add tomatoes, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, and add dollops of the remaining cheese stuffing on top.
- Place a lid on your oven-safe dish and cook covered in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 8 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil or other herbs and serve while hot.