Skillet Chicken with Cheesy Orzo and Zucchini Recipe

Skillet Chicken with Cheesy Orzo and Zucchini Recipe

How To Make Skillet Chicken with Cheesy Orzo and Zucchini

Enjoy a juicy skillet chicken, tender veggie and pasta, and loads of cheese all in one plate with this flavorful and filling one-pan dinner recipe.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



  • 2tbspolive oil,as needed
  • 2lbschicken breasts,(4 to 6 pcs), boneless, skinless
  • 1cupyellow onion,chopped
  • cupsdried orzo
  • 2cupszucchini,(2 medium), cubed
  • 2tspfresh thyme,minced
  • ½tspsalt
  • 3cupschicken broth
  • 1cuphalf and half,or whole milk
  • ½cupcheddar,grated
  • ½cupfontina,or Havarti, grated


  1. In a very large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.

  2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

  3. Sear the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side or until browned but not cooked through. (It should still be just barely pink in the center if cutting into one of the pieces to test.) Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil if needed (if there is still about a tablespoon of oil left in the pan, skip it).

  5. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes until they start to become tender. Add the orzo and stir for another minute to coat it with the oil and onions.

  6. Stir in the zucchini, thyme, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the chicken broth, raise the heat to medium-high and allow the liquid to come to a simmer for about 3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.

  7. Stir in the half-and-half and bring it to a simmer for about 2 minutes.

  8. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer gently for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the orzo is almost tender. Much of the liquid will be absorbed, but it should still be fairly runny at this point.

  9. Sprinkle in the cheeses in batches, stirring after each addition until the cheese is all melted. Taste the orzo after all the cheese is added and add additional salt if needed.

  10. Tuck the browned chicken into the top of the orzo mixture, and drizzle over top any juices that accumulated from the chicken as it rested.

  11. Cover the pan and simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F with a digital thermometer) and the orzo and zucchini are tender.

  12. The orzo mixture will have thickened slightly but should still be quite saucy, like a very loose risotto.

  13. Serve the chicken and orzo hot from the pan.


  • Calories: 598.27kcal
  • Fat: 32.27g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.28g
  • Trans Fat: 0.29g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 13.03g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.40g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.73g
  • Fiber: 1.74g
  • Sugar: 6.70g
  • Protein: 45.43g
  • Cholesterol: 139.27mg
  • Sodium: 642.08mg
  • Calcium: 216.84mg
  • Potassium: 733.53mg
  • Iron: 2.07mg
  • Vitamin A: 139.02µg
  • Vitamin C: 10.40mg
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