Skillet Chicken Thighs with Broccoli Cheddar Orzo – juicy golden brown chicken thighs with cheesy orzo and broccoli all cooked together in one pan!
Skillet Chicken Thighs with Broccoli Cheddar Orzo
A wholesome budget friendly one-pot meal that is so delicious and satisfying! Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs seared until golden brown then simmered with toasted orzo, minced garlic, chopped onion, and chicken broth. Partway through cooking, the broccoli is added to the top to steam, then stirred into the orzo along with shredded sharp cheddar cheese. So many flavors in just one-pot! This recipe is easily doubled for a bigger family or to make excellent leftovers! Skillet chicken thighs are one of my favorite family dinners because they have so much flavor. Perfect for a snappy skillet dinner!
Ingredients for Skillet Chicken Thighs and Orzo
- Chicken Thighs – 4 Bone-in, Skin On Chicken Thighs, about 1/2 pound each for a total of two pounds. If the chicken thighs are smaller you can use more to equal around 2 pounds.
- Olive Oil – for browning the chicken and the orzo
- Onion – diced yellow onion
- Garlic – freshly minced if preferred
- Orzo – 1/2 a pound (8 oz) of dried orzo pasta
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth – or substitute equal parts water and chicken bullion according to package directions.
- Broccoli Florets – quartered or halved depending on size. You want about 1 inch florets so they cook evenly.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – about 1 1/2 cups of freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- Salt and Pepper – kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
How to Make Skillet Chicken Thighs with Broccoli Cheddar Orzo
- Season and pat dry the chicken thighs, then starting with skin side down, sear on both sides until golden brown.
- Set chicken thighs aside and sauté onions, garlic and orzo in the same skillet.
- Deglaze with chicken broth and return chicken thighs to skillet to continue cooking. Cover and cook on medium heat.
- Partway through cooking time, top with chopped broccoli florets to steam.
- Ensure chicken thighs are cooked to 165 degree then remove from skillet. Stir together orzo, steamed broccoli, and shredded cheddar. Adjust seasoning and serve.
How to Double the Recipe
This recipe is easily doubled for more servings.
- Double all ingredients.
- Use a 6 quart dutch oven,
- Brown the chicken thighs in two batches.
- Cooking times will stay the same.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
There are two options for storing and reheating leftovers. My preferred method with this particular recipe is to store the chicken thighs and broccoli cheddar orzo in separate tightly covered containers. For crispy chicken thighs, reheat chicken thighs in an air fryer then microwave or warm orzo on the stove top. It’s absolutely delicious! Alternatively, you can simply refrigerate the chicken and orzo together and reheat on the stove over low heat or microwave until hot. Refrigerate all leftovers promptly and consume within three days.
More Skillet Dinner Recipes
- Skillet Enchiladas
- Skillet Garlic Butter Flank Steak
- Skillet Ravioli Lasagna
- One Pot Cajun Chicken Alfredo
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin on chicken thighs 4 large chicken thighs about 1/2 pound each
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz dried orzo (1/2 of a 16 oz package of orzo)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound broccoli florets large florets quartered, medium florets halved
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Pat chicken thighs dry and season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Carefully place chicken thighs skin side down in hot oil and brown 4-5 minutes on each side. Skin side should be crispy and golden. Chicken thighs do not need to be cooked through at this point. Remove thighs from skillet and set aside.
Add two more tablespoons of olive oil to pan and sauté onion until they start to soften, then add orzo and toast over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes stirring constantly so garlic doesn't burn. Add chicken broth to pan and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to deglaze and scrape skillet. Bring broth to a boil and stir in orzo. Return chicken thighs to skillet. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer covered for 8 minutes. After 12 minutes add layer of broccoli over chicken and orzo and recover. Continue cooking another 8 minutes until chicken thighs reach 165℉ and the broccoli is tender.
Remove chicken thighs from skillet. Stir orzo and broccoli together with shredded cheese. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
5 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights
My five FAVORITE recipes for busy families!
- Quick to make
- Light on your budget
- Easy to clean-up
- and...most important...absolutely DELICIOUS