My Debut Cookbook 'Comfy' Is Out Now. ORDER HERE!
Chicken/ Hearty Dinners

Spanish Style One Pot Chicken Orzo

November 13, 2023 (Last Updated: November 14, 2023) by Chris Collins

This Spanish Style Chicken Orzo is not only bursting with flavour, but is all made in one pot, making it THE perfect weeknight dinner!

I really don’t do enough one pot meals on this blog and quite frankly I don’t know why. I hate washing up just as much as the next person. I guess this time around I just couldn’t face the dishes 😂 Anywho, thank god I couldn’t, the result is beyond delicious. Follow me…

close up shot of spanish chicken orzo in pan garnished with parsley

Chicken Orzo

Chicken and orzo is a match made in heaven. If you’re bored of chicken and rice, orzo is the perfect sub. For this recipe, we’ll be using boneless chicken thighs. These work great because they’re much more fatty than chicken breast. They’re also more difficult to overcook and dry out!

Spanish Chicken

I’ll use the term ‘Spanish’ fairly loosely, just so I don’t anger people 😂 But for me, the flavours and ingredients in this dish offer a nice Spanish ‘kiss’. Starting with the chicken itself, I highly recommend marinating it, even if just for 30 minutes. This will inject flavour into the thighs and tenderize the meat. Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade:

  • Olive Oil & Lemon Juice
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper

I suggest marinating overnight, but like I said, even just whilst you prep the other ingredients will benefit.

Process shots: add marinade ingredients to bowl (photo 1), whisk then toss in thighs (photo 2), add to pan (photo 3), fry (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make spanish chicken

One Pot Chicken Orzo

The perfect thing about this dish is that the orzo cooks in the pan with all the other ingredients. No pre-cooking needed. The starch from the orzo actually helps to create a silky, creamy sauce which goes down an absolute treat. Almost like a risotto.

How spicy is this dish?

It’s got a kick since the chicken is coated with cayenne pepper and chorizo can sometimes be spicy. Having said that, you can always reduce the cayenne pepper in the marinade if you’re not good with spice!

Process shots: fry onion and pepper (photo 1), fry chorizo and garlic (photo 2), fry tomato puree (photo 3), add orzo (photo 4), add stock, olives, sun dried tomatoes and seasoning (photo 5), simmer and stir (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make spanish orzo

close up shot of spanish chicken with orzo garnished with parsley

And there we have it! All my top tips for making the most glorious chicken orzo.

If you like the sound of this Spanish chicken orzo definitely make sure you check out my Spanish Chicken Tray Bake!

Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?

One Pan/Pot Chicken Dinners

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this Spanish Chicken Orzo shall we?!

spanish chicken and orzo served in large white bowl

How to make One Pot Chicken Orzo (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of spanish chicken orzo in pan garnished with parsley

Spanish Style One Pot Chicken Orzo

This Spanish Style Chicken Orzo is not only bursting with flavour, but is all made in one pot, making it THE perfect weeknight dinner!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 960kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $4


  • Large Bowl & Cling Film (for marinating)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Deep Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for stock)

Ingredients (check list):


  • 600g / 1.3lb boneless skinless Chicken Thighs (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice only
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1.5 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper


  • 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
  • 1 small Red Pepper, finely diced
  • 150g / 5oz Spanish Chorizo, diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 400g / 2 cups uncooked Orzo
  • 1.125 litres / 4 1/2 cups Chicken Stock, or as needed (see notes)
  • 75g / 1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 50g / 1/3 cup Mixed Olives, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Parsley, to serve


  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the seasoning, oil and lemon juice. Toss in the chicken thighs until fully coated, then cover and marinate in the fridge for as long as you have time for (up to overnight). Even 20mins or so as you prep the other ingredients will benefit. Bring close to room temp before frying if marinating in the fridge.
  • Place a large deep pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and fry both sides until lightly charred and cooked right through the centre (around 5 mins each side depending on size). If they start charring too aggressively just lower the heat slightly. Remove and place to one side, leaving the excess oil behind.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add in the onion and pepper. Fry until soft and golden, then add the chorizo and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes longer. Stir in the tomato puree and fry for a minute, then stir in the orzo. Pour in the stock then add the olives, sun dried tomatoes, oregano and smoked paprika. Give it a good stir and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Reduce heat slightly and allow everything to bubble away until the sauce thickens and the orzo is al dente, stirring fairly regularly. If the sauce dries out before the orzo has cooked, just stir in more stock a splash at a time. If you run out of stock just use boiling water. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Add the chicken back in to warm it through (alongside the resting juices) then garnish with parsley, serve up and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Chicken - highly recommend thigh over breast for the extra fatty flavour!
b) Stock - If you're sensitive to salt I recommend using low-sodium stock as this recipe uses quite salty ingredients.
c) Updated recipe - I updated this recipe on 13/11/23. The main change was going from bone-in thighs to boneless. I find them much easier to pan fry and easier to ensure they're cooked through. I've also increased the amount of stock and now pour it all in at once (much easier!). Also new video and photos 🙂
d) Calories - Based on sharing 6 thighs between 4 people (hefty portions!)

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Spanish Style One Pot Chicken Orzo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 960 Calories from Fat 336
% Daily Value*
Fat 37.34g57%
Saturated Fat 11.187g56%
Trans Fat 0.091g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.272g
Monounsaturated Fat 17.029g
Cholesterol 306mg102%
Sodium 306mg13%
Potassium 1382mg39%
Carbohydrates 84.06g28%
Fiber 6.6g26%
Sugar 6.57g7%
Protein 69.7g139%
Vitamin A 3150IU63%
Vitamin C 29.7mg36%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 6.5mg36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'





Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    Rosie Tripodi
    November 7, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. The family absolutely loved it, they were all fighting over for the leftovers. They are absolutely looking forward for me to make it again.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 7, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      So happy this went down well, Rosie! Thanks so much for the review 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Martin lewis
    February 1, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    5 stars
    Love the silky orzo. We add king prawns and olives for that extra wow.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 2, 2022 at 12:42 pm

      Oooo bet the king prawns are awesome with this!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    This is so good!!! I usually only use your recipes when trying to find something new! Delicious every time. Would you be able to make some dessert recipes??

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 20, 2021 at 10:35 am

      So glad the recipe went down well, Cayla! I don’t do desserts unfortunately! I wasn’t blessed with a sweet tooth at all. Just savoury for now 🙂

  • Reply
    November 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    j’aime beaucoup la recette “Spanish Style One Pot Chicken Orzo” est-ce que quelqu’un pourrait me la traduire en français S.V.P.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 24, 2020 at 10:47 am

      Hi Dominique, I don’t offer translations on this site, but you can always copy the recipe into something like Google Translate which might work 🙂

  • Reply
    June 9, 2019 at 4:24 am

    5 stars
    I tried so many “Spanish rice” skillet recipes with chicken thighs and never liked them until now. I love this recipe. I think the addition of sun-dried tomatoes really took it over the top – I drizzled some oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into the rice before serving. Great dish.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      June 9, 2019 at 10:34 am

      That’s awesome to hear Jack! Thanks for coming back and sharing the feedback 🙂

  • Reply
    May 24, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Oh my this looks delicious!

    • Reply
      May 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm

      Thanks Karly 🙂

  • Reply
    May 23, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    5 stars
    So easy and tasty! Love this recipe!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Thanks Kim 🙂

  • Reply
    Anita @ Daily Cooking Quest
    May 23, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    5 stars
    I love preparing new food to celebrate long weekend like the coming Memorial Day weekend, and I think I just find what I want to cook this time. Thanks for sharing this lovely one pot chicken orzo recipe. 🙂

    • Reply
      May 24, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Thanks so much Anita! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 23, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    5 stars
    And now I have dinner for tonight lol. Thank you. I was looking fr something like this!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Enjoy!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara Welch
    May 23, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner and had smiling faces all around the table! Delicious, indeed!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2019 at 11:12 am

      So glad you enjoyed it Sara!

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    May 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    5 stars
    My stomach is growling in response to reading this post. Wonderful flavors in the recipe — and I love that you used cayenne (I’m a sucker for spice). This would make a great weeknight dinner for the whole family.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Thanks Lisa! So perfect for a weeknight dinner!