One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo
This hearty One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo is a great slimming friendly meal whether you're counting calories or following a diet plan like Weight Watchers.
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For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!
If it’s a chilly day, then this recipe is one of those dishes that reminds you of summer! Our One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo is ridiculously easy to make and is packed full of vibrant, Mediterranean flavours.
If you’ve never had orzo before then don’t be fooled – it might look like rice, but orzo is actually pasta! We absolutely love it and it makes a really nice change to pastas like penne or fusilli.
This One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo takes about 10 minutes to prepare and you just need to pop everything into a pan and then throw it in the oven – easy!
What diets is this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo suitable for?
This recipe is suitable if you’re gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions;
- Stock cubes
You could also enjoy this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo if you’re dairy free.
Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.
Do you need any special ingredients to make this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo?
First and foremost you need a sturdy casserole pot. We use ours at least once a week, and cook everything in it from stews to one pot dishes like this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo.
Next you need allspice. Not mixed spice, ALLSPICE! It’s nothing like mixed spice and really shouldn’t be substituted as such!
If you don’t have any allspice, we urge you to get some. It’s amazing paired with rosemary and thyme.
You also need some orzo which you can find in the pasta aisle at the supermarket (looks like rice!).
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We used a Le Creuset shallow casserole for this, but a friend of ours swears by the VonShef cast irons ones. They’re pretty damn good.
A good quality frying pan is essential for browning onions and frying peppers. Investing in a good non-stick one should last you for years!
How many calories are in this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo?
There are 437 calories in each portion of our slimming friendly One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo which means it falls into our Weekly Indulgence category.
This recipe is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.
As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.
Coat the chicken thighs in the paprika, ground allspice, turmeric and salt and leave for 10 mins. In the meantime chop the vegetables.
Spray a large frying pan with some low calorie cooking spray and heat gently.
Cook the chicken thighs until they start to brown. Turn them over and brown the other sides.
Set the chicken aside.
Add a few more sprays of low calorie cooking spray to the pan, then fry off the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and mushrooms until the onion is soft.
Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and 100ml of the chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pan and place in the oven with a lid on (or covered with foil) for 30 mins at 180C.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven, add the orzo, parsley and the rest of the stock, stir, and return to the oven for 20 mins with the lid off.
What should you should serve with One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo?
This dish is really substantial enough on its own without any extra accompaniments, but if you fancied something extra you could try any of the following:
Whatever accompaniment you choose, don’t forget to account for the extra calories and/or other nutritional values.
Can you cook One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo another way?
You could cook this dish in the slow cooker. Brown the chicken, add to the pot with all of the other ingredients, except the orzo and parsley. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Add the orzo and some extra stock if required and cook for a further 35-40 minutes on high until the orzo is tender.
How do you know when this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo is cooked?
You should cook this dish until the chicken is cooked through, the juices run clear and the orzo is tender.
This should take approx 50 minutes in the oven.
Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.
How long can you keep this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo in the fridge?
Once you’ve served it, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.
If you allow any left overs to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill. You can keep leftovers of One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.
Can I freeze this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo?
Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;
- Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
- Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.
Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!
How do I reheat this One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo?
From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.
From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.
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One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo
This hearty One Pot Mediterranean-Style Chicken Orzo is a great slimming friendly meal whether you’re counting calories or following a diet plan like Weight Watchers.
- KCals 437
- Carbs 53G
- Coat the chicken thighs in the paprika, ground allspice, turmeric and salt and leave for 10 mins. In the meantime chop the vegetables.
- Spray a large pan with some low calorie cooking spray and heat gently.
- Cook the chicken thighs until they start to brown. Turn them over and brown the other sides.
- Set the chicken aside.
- Add a few more sprays of low calorie cooking spray to the pan, then fry off the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and mushrooms until the onion is soft.
- Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and 100ml of the chicken stock. Return the chicken back to the pan and place in the oven with a lid on (or covered with foil) for 30 mins at 180°C.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven, add the orzo, parsley and the rest of the stock, stir, and return to the oven for 20 mins with the lid off
Looking for Slimming World Syns or Weight Watchers (WW) Points?
With ever-changing plans and point calculations, we have made the decision to remove WW Points from the website - referring to your individual plan or advice from your consultant is always going to give the most accurate results.
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See what others have to say
RebeccaTuesday 31st January 2023
What size of casserole dish is best for this dish? Thanks in advance.
HollyMonday 13th February 2023
Hey Rebecca, We’ve linked a round 26cm or 2L dish with a lid on the recipe page. Any dish that fits the chicken thighs with room to spare for the orzo and stock would be fine, if it doesn’t have a lid you can wrap the dish tightly with foil. Hope that helps!
Maria WhiteSaturday 19th November 2022
Hi had this dish at a friend’s last night and loved it. Glad to see it can be done in the slow cooker but wondered about the timings for the orzo if cooking on low rather than high? X
HollyMonday 21st November 2022
Hey Maria, glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe! We have a slow cooker conversion guide HERE which you may find helpful it includes a time conversion chart for low, medium and high cooking. Hope that helps!
PoppyTuesday 8th November 2022
Could i use a glass oven dish and cover this with foil instead of a china / casserole dish?
SharonTuesday 8th November 2022
Hi Poppy, yes, a large ovenproof glass dish covered tightly with foil will be fine. You can use a large frying pan to saute the chicken thighs, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and mushrooms first. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
VictoriaMonday 17th October 2022
Hi we love this recipe could it be make in the slow cooker rather than oven?
SharonMonday 17th October 2022
Hi Victoria, yes, you can cook this recipe in the slow cooker. Brown the chicken, add to the pot with all of the other ingredients, except the orzo and parsley. Cook on high for 2 – 3 hours. Add the orzo and some extra stock if required and cook for a further 35 – 40 minutes on high until the orzo is tender. Thanks for your question and hope that helps!
LeanneSaturday 15th October 2022
Hi, could this be made vegetarian? If so, what would you recommend in place of the chicken?
SharonTuesday 18th October 2022
Hi Leanne, to make this recipe vegetarian, you could use Quorn vegetarian fillets instead of chicken thighs and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Enjoy the recipe!
LynseyTuesday 16th August 2022
Would it spoil the recipe to leave the tomatoes out?
HollyMonday 5th September 2022
Hey Lynsey, you could swap the tomatoes for some chunks of pepper, courgette or mushrooms or leave out all together and adjust the calories accordingly, hope that helps!
Clair LesslieSunday 29th May 2022
Hi, Would diced chicken fillets work as well as boned thigh fillets?
SharonMonday 30th May 2022
Hi Clair, you could use diced chicken breast, although I think chicken thighs have a bit more flavour than chicken breast. Thanks for getting in touch.
Lyn HorneTuesday 15th February 2022
Paprika mentioned in instructions but not list of ingredients. How much paprika please. I know it is in the book as I have made it loads of times . Am away from home and googled it and was sure that there should be 3 spices.
SharonTuesday 15th February 2022
Hi Lyn, I’ve checked the ingredients list for this recipe and it states 1 1/2 tsp paprika. Yes, you’re right, there are 3 spices:
1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice and 1 1/2 tsp paprika. Hope this helps!
Nicole LoftusMonday 24th January 2022
Hi could you make this in a ninja foodie instead of slow cooker
HollyWednesday 26th January 2022
Hi Nicole, We have an article on Instant Pot conversions HERE which you might find helpful when converting recipes to your Ninja Foodi. There is a time conversion table which gives a rough guide for how to convert recipes. These times are just a rough guide only, so please make sure that everything is cooked through before serving. If not, just cook it for a bit longer. Remember that a lot of converting recipes to work in the pressure cookers is trial and error, so if something isn’t quite right then try again! Hope that helps!
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