Lemony Orzo and Chicken Thighs

chicken thighs on orzo with lemon in cast iron pan

From my kitchen to yours, try this insanely delicious Lemony Orzo and Chicken Thighs! It’s J’s most requested dinner. If I ever ask him what I should make. The answer is always chicken thighs and orzo. 

This recipe was inspired from a recipe on Bon Appetit’s website. I modified it a bit to suit my tastes and the ingredients I had in the fridge. I like recipes that are simple and don’t require much when I’m trying to avoid the grocery store. 

I served this dish with steamed green beans, but I’ve also made it with mushrooms mixed into the orzo and a few handfuls of chopped spinach for a truly balanced one (ish) pot meal. 

Bon Appetit!

Lemony Chicken Thighs and Orzo

Print Recipe
Serves: 3-4 Cooking Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 6 chicken thighs (bone in skin on) - about 1.5 lbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 heaped cup orzo
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • zest of 1 lemon (or 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • parsley or green onion, chopped finely for garnish



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.


Heat a 9-inch skillet over medium-high heat (ideally cast iron) with 2 teaspoon oil.


Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in the hot oil. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the skin is golden brown. Flip over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and place on foil lined baking sheet. Cook in oven for 15 minutes.


While the chicken is cooking, return the same skillet to the heat over medium. If there has been a lot of fat rendered off the chicken, pour into a small glass. Keep about 2 teaspoons worth of oil left in the pan.


Add the onions and cook the onions until translucent.


Add the orzo and cook for 1 to 2 minutes stirring often to give the orzo some colour.


Add the chicken broth and lemon zest. Cook stirring occasionally until all the broth is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes). Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice.


Once the chicken is cooked through, place on top of the cooked orzo and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


Serve with your choice of veggie! Green beans, broccoli, bok choy, or simply stir in some chopped spinach to the orzo.


You can substitute chicken breast or boneless meat.

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