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Cream Cheese and Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Basil

Quick and easy, this chicken orzo recipe is definitely a hit at our house!

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 to 4
Author Janssen Bradshaw


  • 3/4 pound orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces mushrooms quartered
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 to matoes diced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil optional


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and let it cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside (reserve 3/4 cup of water from the pasta).
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, then add the chicken chunks and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, then flip and cook on the other side. Add the mushrooms (the chicken doesn't need to be cooked all the way through) and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the basil, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook about 3 minutes, until the tomatoes are not juicy anymore. Add the cream cheese and stir to coat the vegetables.
  4. Stir in the reserved pasta water, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 2 minutes until thickened, then stir in orzo, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste, top with fresh basil (if desired), and serve hot.

Recipe Notes

(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)