Deliciously creamy with a hint of Cajun spice, Cajun Chicken Orzo is the perfect one-pot pasta. If you are looking for a family friendly that is quick and easy to cook and makes excellent leftovers, this one is for you!
Who doesn’t love a one-pot dinner? This tasty Cajun Chicken Orzo is a dream dinner for busy weeknights because it’s
- Ready in 30 minutes.
- One Pot for easy clean up.
- Easy – there are no complicates steps, just a little bit of sautéing and stirring.
- Customisable to suit your diet and tastes.
- And as a bonus it makes great leftovers!
The full list is in the recipe card below, but here are a few helpful hints about key ingredients to help you make the best Cajun Chicken Orzo.
- Chicken – This recipe uses 2 chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to make 4 thinner cutlets. This means the chicken cooks quicker and more evenly. You can also use chicken tenders, diced chicken breast or chicken thighs but you may need to adjust the cooking time.
- Orzo – A small pasta shape which looks almost like large grains of rice. You can also use small pastina shapes like ditalini or mini shells.
- Cajun Seasoning – Use your favourite brand or recipe. This homemade cajun seasoning is great.
- Chicken Stock – cooking the orzo in stock adds so much flavour. You can also use vegetable stock.
- Double Cream or Heavy Cream – this Cajun orzo recipe uses just a dash of cream for richness, but you can easily leave it out for a lighter dish or if you need this recipe to be dairy free. Creme fraiche or cream cheese are good substitutes.
- Tomato and bell pepper – you can switch up the vegetables or add in some extra if you fancy.
- Diced onion and garlic.
- Cheese – parmesan is my choice but cheddar also works well.
- Parsley for garnish.
-When searing the chicken, you just want it to be lightly browned so cook for about 2 minutes per side. It will finish cooking with the orzo.
-While the orzo is cooking, make sure to give it a couple of stirs to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
-Go light on the cajun seasoning at first and add more to taste if required. Not all brands/recipes are the same and some will pack a stronger punch than others!
Variations and Substitutions
Add prawns or smoked sausage for extra protein. Cook off at the beginning before you sear the chicken then add to the orzo at the end with the cream and cheese.
You can easily leave out the cream and/or cheese for a lighter dish without skimping on flavour. Cream cheese makes a good substitute for both the cream and cheese.
Add some chopped mushrooms or courgette/zucchini with the diced peppers. You can really experiment with different vegetables depending on your tastes and the season.
Stir in some spinach at the end for some extra greens.
Use vegetable stock and cheese, and leave out the chicken or swap it for a plant based alternative to make Vegetarian Cajun Orzo.
Serving and Storing
I love Cajun Chicken Orzo served with some greens on the side, either in the form of a green salad or some steamed green beans or broccoli.
Garlic bread or some crusty french bread also make a great side for soaking up the creamy cajun sauce.
Cajun chicken Orzo can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until piping hot.
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe as the creamy sauce can split and the orzo will become mushy.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
More Easy Chicken Dishes:
- Tomato, Basil & Chicken Spaghetti
- Chilli Garlic Chicken Noodles
- Chicken and Leek Stir Fry
- Lemon Chicken Pasta
Cajun Chicken Orzo
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 onion diced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 4 tsp cajun seasoning divided
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup double or heavy cream
- ¼ cup grated parmesan or cheddar cheese
- 300 grams orzo
- 500 ml chicken stock
- chopped parsley to garnish
- Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to make 4 thinner cutlets. Pat dry with kitchen paper then drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning over the chicken then rub all over to evenly coat.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over a medium-high heat then sear the chicken, cooking 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the diced onion to the hot pan. Sautee for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly and making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle in the remaining 2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning then stir in the diced pepper, tomato and garlic. After about a minute, stir in the orzo.
- Pour over the hot stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Nestle the chicken pieces into the orzo then allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes until the orzo is tender and chicken cooked through. Give it a good stir every few minutes to ensure the orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove chicken from the pan then stir in the cream and cheese.
- Slice chicken into bite sized pieces. Return to the pan and stir through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.