This creamy Lemon Chicken Orzo is made with a creamy lemon sauce, rotisserie chicken, and fresh basil on top for a pop of flavor!
This is a super easy pasta recipe with rotisserie chicken, so if you're looking for ways to use rotisserie chicken, I got you. BONUS, it comes together in less than 20 minutes!
- Orzo pasta - or another small variety such as ditalini or small shells
- Garlic - minced
- Onion Powder
- Salt & Pepper
- Chicken bouillon
- Chicken - cooked and shredded
- Milk - whole preferred, 2% will work
- Parmesan Cheese - fresh shredded, not pre-shredded
- Lemons - juice and zest of
- Water - for cooking pasta
- Basil - fresh
COOK PASTA In a cooking pot or large frying pan with a lid, heat butter over medium heat and add in minced garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add in orzo pasta, water, and all spices. Cook until pasta is tender, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta sticking together.
MAKE IT CREAMY Add in fresh grated parmesan cheese and milk and mix well.
MAKE IT LEMONY Add in the juice of one lemon (zest the lemon first!) and mix well. Then add in the cooked shredded chicken and mix into the creamy lemon orzo. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
ADD GARNISH Last, sprinkle the pasta liberally with lemon zest and chopped fresh basil for a lovely pop of flavor to finish.
🍽 Storage & Reheating
This lemony orzo pasta is best served fresh but can be covered and refrigerated once cooled for up to 3 days. To reheat, you can pop it in the microwave for a minute or two. You can add a Tablespoon or more of milk to make it creamier, since the pasta tends to absorb moisture over time.
Freezing: You can freeze this pasta, but it may change the texture when reheated since it has dairy in it. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating.
✏️ Tips & Variations
- Fresh! Use fresh parmesan for the sauce FOR SURE. Using a pre-shredded variety can make the texture of the sauce grainy due to the anti-caking additives in pre-shredded cheese. Fresh basil and fresh lemon zest and juice are always recommended because FRESH.
- MORE CHEESE?? You can substitute (or add to) the parmesan with freshly shredded gouda or white cheddar for an equally delicious pasta sauce!
- No chicken? Use pre-cooked tail-off shrimp or even canned white beans for a different protein option that is delicious!
- More veggies? Toss in some steamed green peas or broccoli to make it a complete meal!
If you try this recipe, make sure to let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Lemon Chicken Orzo
- 1 Cooking Pot
- 2 Tablespoon butter, salted
- 1 Tablespoon miced garlic
- 8 oz orzo pasta, uncooked
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- lemon, zest and juice of (about ¼ cup juice & 2 teaspoons zest)
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- In a medium cooking pot (or large frying pan with lid), melt butter over medium heat and add minced garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add orzo pasta, water, salt & pepper, chicken bouillon, and onion powder and mix well. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Turn to low heat and add in milk and parmesan cheese and mix well. Add in lemon juice and shredded chicken and mix in gently.
- Last sprinkle lemon zest and chopped basil over top of pasta and serve warm. Enjoy!