creamy spinach artichoke chicken and orzo skillet

by Brittney

This one skillet spinach artichoke chicken bake is a comforting and flavor-packed meal perfect for busy weeknights! 

Crispy chicken thighs, creamy orzo and flavorful veggies — our creamy chicken and orzo is truly an entire dinner in one skillet! And because this one skillet wonder is ready to enjoy in less than an hour and requires minimal cleanup, it has become a staple in our weekly dinner rotation!

If you’re looking for more one pan chicken dinners, you’ll love our chicken sheet pan dinner with beets and carrots!

plate with crispy chicken thigh and creamy spinach artichoke orzo

ingredients and substitutions

Missing a few ingredients? Here are some ideas if you need to make a substitution:

  • Chicken thighs: Juicy bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs are our cut of choice for this dish, but you can definitely use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you’d rather. Chicken breasts will dry out if cooked too long, so just make sure to adjust the amount of time the chicken is in the oven. And if you have thinner chicken breasts, you may just want to pan fry them until cooked through.
  • Artichokes: Both canned and frozen artichoke hearts will work in this recipe. If using frozen, just make sure to thaw before using, then drain and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Orzo: Dry orzo pasta works well here because it cooks quickly and easily absorbs liquid. This is one ingredient you won’t want to substitute!
  • White wine: If you don’t have white wine on hand, you can substitute additional broth.
  • Chicken broth: I generally use chicken broth, but vegetable broth will work just as well here.
  • Heavy cream: While I prefer heavy cream for a richer sauce, half and half will also work in a pinch.
  • Spinach: A few handfuls of fresh baby spinach is my favorite way to add a few greens to this dish. Frozen spinach can also be used, but you will need to thaw it and squeeze out as much liquid as possible before adding to the skillet.
  • Parmesan: A sprinkling of grated parmesan just adds a little more depth to our creamy sauce, but it can be omitted if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Spices: Fresh garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes make up our spice list. Fresh garlic can be subbed for ½ teaspoon of garlic powder and you can cut down on the red pepper flakes if you don’t want that bit of heat.
ingredients to make creamy chicken and orzo

one skillet pro tips

Our favorite thing about this meal is how incredibly easy it is, but we’ve still got a few tips and tricks to make sure your spinach artichoke chicken and orzo is a success:

A 12-inch cast iron skillet is our go-to for this recipe, but really any oven safe skillet or even a dutch oven will work just as well.

The bake time may vary slightly depending on the diameter of your skillet and the size of your chicken thighs. The dish is ready when the orzo is al dente and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F (74 C).

The creaminess of this dish relies on not having too much excess moisture in the pan. Ensuring that your spinach and artichokes (if using frozen) are adequately drained and dry will help make sure your sauce is perfect!

chicken thighs and orzo in cast iron skillet

creamy chicken and orzo: FAQs

How do I store and reheat leftovers?

These leftovers are delicious! They can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to three days. You can reheat your leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a dash of milk or broth to thin the sauce as needed.

Can I freeze this dish?

We don’t recommend freezing this dish, as the creamy sauce won’t hold up well.

What should I serve with this chicken and orzo?

Chicken, pasta and veggies — this is a true one skillet meal that doesn’t require any additional sides! But if you’re still looking for a little something extra, we recommend garlic bread or this easy cucumber and tomato salad.

close up of orzo with artichokes and spinach

And don’t forget to check out these recipes for more weeknight dinner inspiration!

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plate with crispy chicken thigh and creamy spinach artichoke orzo

creamy spinach and artichoke chicken and orzo skillet


  • Author: Brittney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This one skillet spinach artichoke chicken bake is a comforting and flavor-packed meal perfect for busy weeknights!

Ingredients

  • chicken thighs* 4 thighs
  • (bone-in + skin-on)
  • vegetable oil 1-2 tbsp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • butter (divided) 2 tbsp (30 g)
  • quartered artichoke hearts, drained 1 can (14 oz / 400 g)
  • garlic, minced 3 cloves
  • orzo pasta 1 cup (170 g)
  • white wine ⅓ cup (80 ml)
  • chicken broth 1.5 cups (350 ml)
  • heavy cream 1 cup (240 ml)
  • fresh baby spinach 2 handfuls
  • parmesan, grated ½ cup (40 g)
  • oregano 1 tsp
  • red pepper flakes ½ tsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tbsp (15 g) butter and cook the artichokes until lightly charred (3-5 minutes). Set aside.
  4. Add the remaining butter and minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the orzo and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Pour in the wine and cook until the pan is mostly dry.
  7. Pour in the broth and bring the skillet to a simmer.
  8. Stir in the heavy cream, spinach, parmesan, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
  9. Return the chicken and artichokes to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake uncovered until the orzo has absorbed most of the liquid and the chicken is cooked through (approximately 15 minutes).

Notes

Chicken thighs: Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be used in place of thighs, but because they can easily dry out I would recommend adding them back to the skillet for only the last 5-10 minutes or so.

Storing: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

  • Category: dinner
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: global

Keywords: spinach artichoke chicken bake, creamy chicken and orzo

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1 comment

tom April 20, 2022 - 1:45 pm

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