This Spanish Style Chicken Orzo is not only bursting with flavour, but is all made in one pot, making it THE perfect weeknight dinner!

I really don’t do enough one pot meals on this blog and quite frankly I don’t know why. I hate washing up just as much as the next person. I guess this time around I just couldn’t face the dishes 😂 Anywho, thank god I couldn’t, the result is beyond delicious. Follow me…

close up shot of spanish chicken orzo in pan garnished with parsley

Chicken Orzo

Chicken and orzo is a match made in heaven. If you’re bored of chicken and rice, orzo is the perfect sub. For this recipe, we’ll be using boneless chicken thighs. These work great because they’re much more fatty than chicken breast. They’re also more difficult to overcook and dry out!

Spanish Chicken

I’ll use the term ‘Spanish’ fairly loosely, just so I don’t anger people 😂 But for me, the flavours and ingredients in this dish offer a nice Spanish ‘kiss’. Starting with the chicken itself, I highly recommend marinating it, even if just for 30 minutes. This will inject flavour into the thighs and tenderize the meat. Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade:

  • Olive Oil & Lemon Juice
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper

I suggest marinating overnight, but like I said, even just whilst you prep the other ingredients will benefit.

Process shots: add marinade ingredients to bowl (photo 1), whisk then toss in thighs (photo 2), add to pan (photo 3), fry (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make spanish chicken

One Pot Chicken Orzo

The perfect thing about this dish is that the orzo cooks in the pan with all the other ingredients. No pre-cooking needed. The starch from the orzo actually helps to create a silky, creamy sauce which goes down an absolute treat. Almost like a risotto.

How spicy is this dish?

It’s got a kick since the chicken is coated with cayenne pepper and chorizo can sometimes be spicy. Having said that, you can always reduce the cayenne pepper in the marinade if you’re not good with spice!

Process shots: fry onion and pepper (photo 1), fry chorizo and garlic (photo 2), fry tomato puree (photo 3), add orzo (photo 4), add stock, olives, sun dried tomatoes and seasoning (photo 5), simmer and stir (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make spanish orzo

close up shot of spanish chicken with orzo garnished with parsley

And there we have it! All my top tips for making the most glorious chicken orzo.

If you like the sound of this Spanish chicken orzo definitely make sure you check out my Spanish Chicken Tray Bake!

Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?

One Pan/Pot Chicken Dinners

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this Spanish Chicken Orzo shall we?!

spanish chicken and orzo served in large white bowl

How to make One Pot Chicken Orzo (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of spanish chicken orzo in pan garnished with parsley

Print

Spanish Style One Pot Chicken Orzo

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This Spanish Style Chicken Orzo is not only bursting with flavour, but is all made in one pot, making it THE perfect weeknight dinner!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 960kcal
Cost £3 / $4

Equipment

  • Large Bowl & Cling Film (for marinating)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Deep Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for stock)

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 600g / 1.3lb boneless skinless Chicken Thighs (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice only
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1.5 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Orzo

  • 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
  • 1 small Red Pepper, finely diced
  • 150g / 5oz Spanish Chorizo, diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 400g / 2 cups uncooked Orzo
  • 1.125 litres / 4 1/2 cups Chicken Stock, or as needed (see notes)
  • 75g / 1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 50g / 1/3 cup Mixed Olives, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Parsley, to serve

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the seasoning, oil and lemon juice. Toss in the chicken thighs until fully coated, then cover and marinate in the fridge for as long as you have time for (up to overnight). Even 20mins or so as you prep the other ingredients will benefit. Bring close to room temp before frying if marinating in the fridge.
  • Place a large deep pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and fry both sides until lightly charred and cooked right through the centre (around 5 mins each side depending on size). If they start charring too aggressively just lower the heat slightly. Remove and place to one side, leaving the excess oil behind.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add in the onion and pepper. Fry until soft and golden, then add the chorizo and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes longer. Stir in the tomato puree and fry for a minute, then stir in the orzo. Pour in the stock then add the olives, sun dried tomatoes, oregano and smoked paprika. Give it a good stir and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Reduce heat slightly and allow everything to bubble away until the sauce thickens and the orzo is al dente, stirring fairly regularly. If the sauce dries out before the orzo has cooked, just stir in more stock a splash at a time. If you run out of stock just use boiling water. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Add the chicken back in to warm it through (alongside the resting juices) then garnish with parsley, serve up and enjoy!

Video

Notes

a) Chicken – highly recommend thigh over breast for the extra fatty flavour!

b) Stock – If you’re sensitive to salt I recommend using low-sodium stock as this recipe uses quite salty ingredients.

c) Updated recipe – I updated this recipe on 13/11/23. The main change was going from bone-in thighs to boneless. I find them much easier to pan fry and easier to ensure they’re cooked through. I’ve also increased the amount of stock and now pour it all in at once (much easier!). Also new video and photos 🙂

d) Calories – Based on sharing 6 thighs between 4 people (hefty portions!)

Nutrition

Calories: 960kcal | Carbohydrates: 84.06g | Protein: 69.7g | Fat: 37.34g | Saturated Fat: 11.187g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.272g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17.029g | Trans Fat: 0.091g | Cholesterol: 306mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 1382mg | Fiber: 6.6g | Sugar: 6.57g | Vitamin A: 3150IU | Vitamin C: 29.7mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 6.5mg

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