I don’t know about you but the word “Creamy” makes my mouth start to water! It also tells me that the recipe would be a good meal prep dish! Typically anything creamy or with a sauce will reheat really well. This creamy chicken and mushroom orzo was on my meal plan this past week and it was wonderful reheated. But something else pretty wonderful about this recipe…it’s a one pot meal! That’s right, almost effortless clean up! And if you are counting macros like I do, this is a super easy recipe to adjust to fit your macro goals!
- 30 oz Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breast, (about 3 large breast)
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 cups White Mushrooms, sliced, (about 238 grams)
- ⅔ cups Yellow Onion, diced, (about100 grams, or ½ an onion)
- 3 cloves Fresh Garlic, diced, (about 15 grams)
- 2½ cups Water, (about 20 oz)
- 1 cup Orzo, (about 216 grams)
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- 3 cups Spinach, torn, (about 100 grams)
- ½ cup Dubliner Cheese, any white chedar cheese, freshly shredded (about 40 grams)
- Heat a large deep pan to medium heat. While waiting for the pan to heat up season the chicken with pepper and garlic powder. Once the pan is hot, add the extra virgin olive oil to the pan.
- Place the chicken immediately into the pan, leave it there for 2 minutes, then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Both sides should start to become golden brown, but the center will still look uncooked…if not golden, give each side another minute…your pan wasn’t hot enough. Turn the heat to low and cover the chicken with a lid. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, then flip and cover again for another 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes on each side covered, the chicken should be done. But this does depend on the size of the chicken breast…these times are based on 10 oz breasts. It is always best to check the internal temperature of chicken before serving. My rule of thumb is, once covered, cook the chicken for 1 minute per ounce per side, I find that this deliveres a perfect juicy chicken breast every time.
- Once the chicken is done remove from the pan, leaving the juices in the pan.
- Keeping the heat at medium add the mushrooms, diced onions and garlic to the pan with the juices. The chicken juice is going to add a ton of flavor to this dish. Cook the mushrooms and onions, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften and become aromatic.
- After 5 minutes add the water and orzo to the pan. Season with additional salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Bring the water to a simmer and cook down until most of the water has evaporated/soaked into the orzo. Stir often to prevent the orzo from buring on the bottom of the pan. Cooking the orzo typically takes about 8-10 minutes. At this point the orzo should be done.
- While the orzo is cooking us a fork and knife to shred the chicken.
- Add the torn spinach, shredded chicken, and cheese to the pan. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted and the cheese is incorporated into the orzo.
- Serve and enjoy, or portion out into your meal prep containers to enjoy later.
- Are you trying to get better at meal planning?
- Do you find yourself eating the same recipes every few weeks?
- Are you having trouble finding recipes for meal prep?
- Or are you counting macros?
If you are bored of eating the same recipes every week and answered yes to any of these question, then you are going to want to check out my notes below. Tips on how you can incorporate this creamy chicken and mushroom orzo into your meal plan and meal prep. If you are counting macros I have also included notes on how you can easily adjust the protein, carbs, and fats to meet your macro requirements.
NOTES FOR MEAL PLANNING:
Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time. In fact, meal planning can be be fun when you are provided with easy new recipes each week. Meal Planning can also help save money, prevent food waste, and save you time.
The best things about this recipe is it is great reheated, it’s creamy and delicious, it’s a one pot meal, and can be adjusted to fit just about any macro goals.
NOTES FOR MEAL PREP:
When meal prepping recipes it is important to think about the best way to store and reheat your finished meals:
Storing this creamy chicken and mushroom orzo in the fridge will last 5-7 days.
There are a few ways you can choose to store this recipe in your fridge:
- You can store as one large meal or as individual servings. I always prefer individual servings. This allows me to only reheat the number of servings that will be eaten.
- However, if you know you will eat the entire recipe when it is time to be reheated, go ahead and store it as one large serving.
For fridge storage you can use: zip lock bags, plastic containers, or glass food containers. I prefer to use glass container, as this allows me to reheat and eat the recipe right out of the same container. Which in turn saves me time, dirty dishes, and makes clean up easier. It also save on waste, either tossing out the used zip lock bags, or eventually having to replace the plastic containers.
Be sure to allow the recipe to cool completely before closing the container or placing in the fridge. If you close the container or place the recipe in the fridge before it has cooled you could have built up condensation within your container, thus watering down the recipe.
TIPS FOR RE-HEATING AFTER BEING IN THE FRIDGE:
- If reheating only one serving, pop that serving in the microwave for 90 seconds, stirring half way through.
- If reheating as an entire meal, I recommend heating on the stove top. Adding about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water slowly as the ingredients begin to warm. This will add a little more moisture back into the recipe. Cook for about 5 minutes until warmed thru. You could also add a tiny bit more cheese or chicken stock instead of water, this will add additional creaminess and flavor to the recipe.
- However, you can also microwave the entire recipe, but this might dry the recipe out a little. Microwave for 7-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
There are two ways that you can choose to freeze this creamy chicken and mushroom orzo:
- Freeze as individual portions, one serving per freezer safe zip lock bag. Be sure to remove all of the air from the bag. Storing individullly allows you to reheat as many servings as you wish.
- Or, my favorite way to freeze individual servings is in souper cubes. These cubes are reusable, freezer safe, and store the perfect serving size.
- However, you can also freeze the entire entire recipe, to do this just use a larger freezer safe zip lock bag.
Be sure to remove all the air from the zip lock bags.
Allow the recipe to cool completely before placing in the freezer. Failing to allow the recipe to cool completely could result in freezer burn.
When frozen this creamy chicken and mushroom orzo will keep for 3-6 months. Be sure label your frozen meal with the name of the recipe and the date you cooked it. I like to use a piece of masking tape to write on. You don’t want to forget about the delicious recipe you have on hand!
TIPS FOR RE-HEATING AFTER BEING FROZEN:
Going straight from the freezer to the microwave or oven you will want to remove the recipe from the frozen container. You can not microwave zip lock bags, a glass container could crack going from such cold temps to such warm temps, and super cubes are not microwave or oven safe.
- As individual servings, I recommend reheating on the stove and not the microwave. Frozen recipes always defrost better this way. Cook in a medium pot or pan at medium heat for 7-10 minutes until the recipe has defrosted and is warmed thru. You may want to add a tiny bit of water to help loosen up the sauce and ingredients. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, you don’t want to water down the recipe.
- However, you can microwave frozen for 3-5 minutes, stirring half way through.
- Or pull the number of servings you are looking to eat the night before and store in the fridge to defrost overnight. Then microwave for 90 seconds, again stirring halfway thru.
- If frozen as an entire meal, I recommend pulling from the freezer the night before to allow the ingredients to defrost. Then I suggest heating on the stove top. Adding about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water slowly as the ingredients begin to warm. This will add a little more moisture back into the recipe. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until warmed thru. You could also add a tiny bit more cheese or chicken stock instead of water, this will add additional creaminess and flavor to the recipe.
NOTES FOR COUNTING MACROS:
The main source of protein in this recipe is the chicken, making this recipe super easy to increase or decrease the amount of protein per serving.
- Every 1 ounce of chicken has 8.8 grams of protein.
So go ahead, add as much or as little protein as you would like to this recipe.
The orzo pasta in this recipe is what provides most of the carbohydrates. Again, another easy ingredient to adjust in this recipe.
- For every 54 grams (1/4 cup DeCecco brand) orzo there is 41 carbs.
If making adjustments to the orzo, you will also want to make adjustments to the amount of water you cook the orzo in. Using about 2 times water to orzo.
The fat in this recipe comes mainly from the cheese and the oil that the chicken is cooked in.
If you are looking to decrease the fat:
- The easiest way would be to cook the chicken in less oil. For every 1/2 tbsp of oil there is 7 grams of fat. If you remove all the oil you might want to consider using a little non stick cooking spray.
- Or you could choose to reduce the amount of cheese used. Or use a lower fat cheese.
To increase the fat in this recipe the best way would be to increase the amount of cheese, because who doesn’t love cheese! The additional cheese will make the dish creamier and thicker. I would not recommend adding more than triple the amount of cheese.
- For every 20 grams (1/4 cup of the Dubliner) cheese I used in this recipe there is 4.25 grams of fat. But it is important to remember that cheese also contains protein. For the same amount of cheese there is 5.5 grams of protein.
When counting macros and making adjustments to the protein, carbs, and fat in this creamy chicken and mushroom orzo, you will want to keep in mind the number of servings you are making.
Can’t get enough Orzo?
Check out my Spinach and Tomato Orzo Chicken Skillet