Garlic Butter Chicken Orzo

This garlic butter chicken orzo is such a treat and couldn’t be easier to make!

Chicken and orzo is such a glorious combination. Today we’re taking it up several notches with the most irresistible garlic butter twist. Follow me…

garlic butter chicken orzo served in large white bowl with fork and lemon wedges

Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs

For this recipe, we’ll be using boneless skinless thighs. They’re much fattier than breast, which is great because we’ll be using the excess fat to help fry the mushrooms (it also adds heaps of flavour to the sauce).

Preparing the thighs

This is optional, but to help the thighs cook through quicker and more evenly, I like to lightly pound the thick parts. You can of course use a mallet, but I just typically use the blunt side of the knife. This will help tenderise the meat a little too. From there, we’ll be seasoning both sides with a simple concoction of store-cupboard spices. Nothing OTT is needed because there’s so much flavour in the buttery sauce, but it’s important to give the chicken a base seasoning.

Cooking the thighs

We’ll be pan-frying the thighs in a little oil and butter. Timings will depend on the thickness of the thighs, but keep in mind they’ll carry on cooking slightly as they rest.

Process shots: season thighs (photos 1&2), fry thighs (photos 3&4).

4 step by step photos showing how to pan fry chicken thighs

Garlic Mushrooms

There was no way I couldn’t add some mushrooms to this recipe. You know it makes sense:

Mushrooms + Garlic ✅
Mushrooms + Chicken ✅
Mushrooms + Butter ✅

We’ll be frying the mushrooms in the leftover fat in the pan. They’ll initially soak it up like a sponge, then as they fry they’ll begin to sweat. As the moisture begins to evaporate, they’ll then start building up a nice crust. Once they’re cooked we’ll be adding the garlic and frying it in a little more butter.

Process shots: remove thighs (photo 1), add mushrooms (photo 2), fry then add butter (photo 3), fry garlic (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make garlic mushrooms

Garlic Butter Orzo

The beauty of this recipe is that the orzo cooks in the same pan as everything else. This means it soaks in all that gorgeous flavour. The excess starch from the orzo also helps create a lovely glossy sauce.

The only other things I add are the following:

  • Parmesan – This is a real flavour booster and helps turn the sauce a little creamy.
  • Parsley – This pairs beautifully with the garlic, butter and mushrooms.
  • Butter – I like to finish with a final knob of butter to turn the sauce silky.

One other ‘bonus’ ingredient is the resting juices from the chicken. As the chicken rests, a pool of juices will form. This is free flavour, so don’t discard it!

Process shots: add orzo (photo 1), simmer in chicken stock (photo 2), add parmesan, parsley and chicken resting juices (photo 3), stir in butter (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make garlic butter orzo

Garlic Butter Chicken Orzo FAQ

What kind of mushrooms should I use?

I use Chestnut mushrooms but you can use any you fancy!

How garlicky is this recipe?

It’s fairly garlicky, but I wouldn’t say it’s OTT. I’d follow the given quantities then increase them next time if you want more.

How do I prevent the chicken from going cold?

I rest it in a bowl with foil to trap the steam. You can also warm it back through in the orzo at the end if you need to.

close up shot of garlic butter chicken orzo in large pan

Serving Garlic Butter Chicken Orzo

One final thing to really take this dish through the roof is to drizzle over some chive butter at the end. This is literally just fresh chives mixed with melted butter. Also, you’ll want to serve with a lemon wedge, just to brighten up the dish and cut through the richness of the orzo (don’t skip this).

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this garlic butter chicken orzo shall we?!

overhead shot of garlic butter chicken orzo in large white bowl on wooden chopping board

How to make Garlic Butter Chicken Orzo (Full Recipe & Video)

garlic butter chicken orzo served in large white bowl with fork and lemon wedges


Garlic Butter Chicken Orzo

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This garlic butter chicken orzo is such a treat and couldn’t be easier to make!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Western
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 840kcal
Cost £3 / $4


  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Deep Pan & Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Fine Cheese Grater (for parmesan)
  • Small Bowl (for chive butter)
  • Large Bowl & Foil or Plate (for resting cooked chicken)



  • 600g / 1.3lb boneless skinless Chicken Thighs (preferably 6 even-sized thighs – see notes)
  • 3/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Salt, Garlic Powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Dried Thyme
  • 1 tbsp EACH: Unsalted Butter, Olive Oil


  • 250g / 9oz Mushrooms (I use Chestnut)
  • 6 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tbsp / 30g Unsalted Butter, divided in two
  • 400g / 2 cups uncooked Orzo
  • 1.125 litres / 4 3/4 cups Chicken Stock, or as needed (see notes)
  • 1 small bunch of Fresh Parsley
  • 50g / 1.8oz Parmesan
  • Salt & Black Pepper, as needed

To Serve

  • 4 tbsp / 60g Butter
  • 1 bunch of Fresh Chives
  • 2 Lemons, halved
  • Salt (if using unsalted butter)


  • Season both sides of the thighs with paprika, onion & garlic powder, thyme, salt & pepper.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large deep pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the thighs and fry both sides until golden and cooked right through the centre (4-5 minutes on each side depending on size). As the thighs cook slice the mushrooms, finely dice the garlic and measure out 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
  • Remove the thighs and keep warm in a bowl covered in foil or with a plate on top. Add the mushrooms to the leftover fat and fry until golden, seasoning with the salt & pepper towards the end. Push them to the outside of the pan, melt in 1 tbsp butter then add the garlic. Fry for 30 seconds or so (careful it doesn’t burn), then stir in the orzo and stock.
  • Bring to a fairly rapid simmer and cook until the orzo is al dente and wrapped in a glossy sauce, stirring occasionally. During this finely dice 3 tbsp worth of parsley, grate the parmesan and finely dice 3 tbsp worth of chives. Melt the serving butter in the microwave and combine with the chives and salt to taste (if using unsalted butter).
  • Once the orzo has cooked, swiftly stir in the parmesan, parsley and resting juices from the chicken, then stir in the final tbsp of butter. Thin out with a splash of stock or hot water if needed then check for seasoning. Add the thighs to warm them back through (optional) then serve individual portions with the chive butter and lemon juice to taste (1/2 lemon per person).



a) Chicken thighs – I recommend using 6x 100g/3.5oz thighs if you can. I like to place them smooth-side-down and use the blunt side of the knife to pound any notably thick parts. This just helps even out the thighs to help them cook through quicker and more evenly. You can also slice off any loose pieces/anything that will cause them to curl in the pan. In all cases, try and get the thighs out of the fridge 15-30 mins before needed, just to help relax the meat. 

b) Chicken stock – I use 2 1/2 stock cubes with the boiling water (1 cube = 450ml water). Try and make this just before needed so it’s nice and hot. The hotter it is the quicker it’ll come to a boil.

c) Consistency – The stock should be the perfect amount to leave the orzo al dente in a thick/glossy sauce. If you need a little more to cook it through then just stir in a splash at a time (sub hot water if you run out of stock).

d) Serving – If you really don’t want to add the chive butter it’s still delicious without (although I highly recommend adding it). The lemon is essential to brighten up the dish and cut through the rich, garlicky flavour. Just work to taste when serving.

e) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 4.


Calories: 840kcal | Carbohydrates: 86.32g | Protein: 45.09g | Fat: 36.22g | Saturated Fat: 17.181g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.746g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.439g | Trans Fat: 0.956g | Cholesterol: 211mg | Sodium: 1858mg | Potassium: 995mg | Fiber: 12.1g | Sugar: 2.71g | Vitamin A: 1503IU | Vitamin C: 7.9mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 3.18mg

For more garlic butter recipes check out my Garlic Butter Chicken, Garlic Butter Salmon and Garlic Butter Pork Chops!

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