Creamy Lemon-Pepper Orzo with Grilled Chicken

If you love risotto but want something quicker, this simple orzo takes half the time. Rich cheese and cream are switched out for tangy Greek yogurt and goat cheese for equally satisfying creaminess. Sweet green peas, fragrant fresh tarragon and basil scream spring--though this dish is a year-round classic. Get your fork--and appetite--ready.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
Save Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature

1 large clove garlic, minced 

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 cup whole-wheat or other whole-grain orzo

1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed and patted dry

2 ounces finely crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as basil and tarragon

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil; prepare a grill or grill pan for medium heat.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl until well combined. 
  3. Rub the chicken thighs with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Grill until nicely marked and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for at least 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the orzo to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions for al dente, stirring in the peas during the last minute of cooking. Drain the orzo and peas, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Stir the orzo and peas into the yogurt mixture, along with the goat cheese, 3 tablespoons of the herbs and at least 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, until well combined. Transfer to a platter. 
  5. Thinly slice the chicken and arrange on top of the orzo. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and the remaining 1 tablespoon herbs.

Creamy Lemon-Pepper Orzo with Chicken and Fig Salad

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Casserole

Lemony Shrimp Scampi with Orzo and Arugula

Lemon-Pepper Roast Chicken