Irresistible Marry Me Chicken & Orzo Casserole Recipe Is Rich & Creamy by Donna John

Irresistible Marry Me Chicken & Orzo Casserole Recipe Is Rich & Creamy

Marry me chicken is kind of a phenomenon. Marry me chicken went viral a few years ago, and now has evolved into marry me salmon, marry me meatballs and other creative dishes using the same basic ingredients. I've made several of these recipes, but my favorite now is this creamy marry me chicken orzo casserole-style recipe. This Italian chicken and orzo recipe fabulous!

You need the basic marry me chicken ingredients for this recipe plus a few additional items. Here is your shopping list for this baked chicken casserole recipe: a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, chicken breasts, dried Italian seasoning, butter, garlic, orzo, chicken broth, heavy cream, basil pesto and Parmesan cheese. The one-pan chicken dinner starts on the stovetop and ends with a quick trip to the oven (just 10 minutes). The recipe cooks in about 20 minutes and has minimal prep.

This creamy orzo chicken dish is really rich, so I suggest a crisp  salad on the side or a fresh vegetable. I served mine with broccoli, but it would also be delicious with spinach, broccolini, green beans or asparagus.

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Cuisine: Italian / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 3 tablespoons sundried tomato oil (from the jar of sundried tomatoes)
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into thin bite-sized strips
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (divided)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo (uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)

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Recipe Notes

  • A kitchen tool I use all the time is a bench scraper. It helped get the chopped sundried tomatoes and any oil they released off the cutting board.
  • You can use evaporated milk or half and half instead of heavy cream.
  • I made this recipe in my cast iron skillet, but any ovenproof skillet will work.
  • When the casserole first comes out of the oven, the sundried tomato oil will be at the top of the dish. After it sits for a few minutes, the oil will incorporate back into the orzo. Do not worry about it being oily! 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Heat the sundried tomato oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot oil in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the dried Italian seasoning.
  2. Cook until browned on both sides and just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the butter, remaining Italian seasoning, garlic and orzo. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until orzo begins to lightly brown.
  4. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the heavy cream, pesto, chopped sundried tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine then stir in the chicken and any juices it has released.
  6. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 10 minutes.
  8. Let the casserole sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 483

Total Fat: 31.9g

Saturated Fat: 12.3g

Cholesterol: 96mg

Sodium: 568mg

Total Carbohydrate: 26g

Dietary Fiber: 2g

Total Sugars: 5g

Protein: 24.9g

Vitamin D: 13mcg

Calcium: 159mg

Iron: 2mg

Potassium: 436mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Donna John
Best recipe of 2024 so far!
Elisa Schmitz
This looks incredible, Donna John . I'm wondering if you think I can substitute a different pasta or grain for the orzo? Looking for a gluten-free option!

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