Creamy and delicious slow cooker chicken orzo in blush sauce will be your new favorite dish. This chicken and pasta recipe is cooked with broccoli making it the ultimate one-pot crock-pot meal..
This creamy chicken orzo dish will easily win over your whole family! It is the perfect chicken dinner for busy weeknights. I know I can use more of those in my life, how about you?
To make this easy slow cooker meal, you will need these basic grocery store items:
- skinless, boneless chicken thighs - cut into bite sized chunks
- marinara sauce - store-bought or homemade are both great
- diced tomatoes - Italian seasoned, if possible
- chicken broth- adds moisture and flavor
- garlic powder - because everything is better with garlic!
- dried basil - for yummy flavor
- heavy cream - add a delicious creamy thickness to your dish
- dry orzo pasta - regular orzo looks like a large grain of rice, but it is actually rice-shaped pasta.
- broccoli florets - fresh
- salt and pepper - to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil - for garnish
This great recipe just involves a few simple steps:
Preparing your slow cooker
Prepare your slow cooker by coating it in a non-stick agent. Any nonstick cooking spray or oil will work. Olive oil and avocado oil are my go-to coatings.
NOTE: some slow cooker inserts come with a nonstick surface. Use of a non-stick agent is still suggested. However, oil is sometimes recommended over spray to protect the longevity of the non-stick surface. Check the manual for your slow cooker if you have any concerns.
Alternatively, you can choose to use a slow cooker liner.
Start by placing chicken into the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, add in all ingredients listed EXCEPT orzo, broccoli, and heavy cream. Cover and cook on low heat until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉.
This generally takes 3-4 hours in my slow cooker. Each slow cooker is a little different so keep an eye on it the first time you make it.
About 30 minutes prior to serving, add in orzo, broccoli, and cream.
Full fat cream shouldn't curdle. However, I still temper it by mixing a spoonful of warm sauce from my slow cooker into the cream. This will bring up the temperature of the cream.
Stir tempered cream into mixture. Cover, and cook until pasta is al-dente and broccoli is cooked to your liking. We like our broccoli on the al-dente side, so 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time for us.
Once everything is cooked through, sample your dish and add any salt or pepper to satisfy your own tastes. Top with grated parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil to serve.
This orzo recipe is a true stand alone meal. However, a side salad and a heel of crusty bread make perfect side kicks. As does a glass of red or white wine!
This no-fuss crockpot meal is amazing served with mashed cauliflower or cauliflower rice.
Serve this delicious dinner with freshly grated parmesan to allow your diners to top off to their preference. If you are a fan of heat, top your dish with some red pepper flakes.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be used in place of boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. Just remember that chicken breast can be dry or get rubbery if it is over cooked. If you decide to make this dish with chicken breasts, I would recommend cooking them whole first. When they are cooked through, pull out the chicken and shred it. Mix shredded chicken can back into sauce.
- Not a fan of broccoli? Asparagus and green beans would both work well in this recipe. Both will cook faster than broccoli, so keep an eye on them the first time you make this easy meal.
- Frozen broccoli can be used in place of fresh. Allow broccoli to fully defrost and drain well prior to adding it to crockpot.
- Are you a huge garlic fan? Swap out the powdered garlic with 3-4 fresh minced garlic cloves for some fresh garlic flavor.
- If you are a fan of Italian seasoning, a teaspoonful can be added at the beginning of the cooking process.
If you love this recipe, please let me know in the comment section below!
Leftover chicken, orzo, and broccoli should be stored in an airtight container or zip top bag. It will last 3-4 days in the fridge and 3 - 4 months in the freezer. Keep in mind that the orzo will continue to absorb liquid as it sits. This may cause it to get mushier over time.
For best results, defrost frozen leftovers in the refrigerator overnight prior to reheating. If you find that your reheating leftovers are too thick, add in a splash of broth or cream.
😉Hints & hacks
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese is always the tastiest. But, I have used everything from that down to the shelf-stable kind with great results in my crockpot recipes.
- To prep this easy weeknight dinner in advance, mix together all ingredients other than cream, orzo and broccoli. Store in an airtight container or zipper top bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to slow cook.
- The perfect way to store crockpot chicken leftovers is in individual serving-sized containers. This makes for for easy grab-and-go future meals. It is the best complete meal for a busy day.
- I am a big fan of slow cooker liners. I purchase mine in bulk for a less expensive per piece price.
- To confirm that your chicken is ready to serve, use a meat thermometer. Once your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉, it is considered safe to eat.
- In the market for a slow cooker? I love mine!
- Don't forget to plug your slow cooker in and turn it on! 😏
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases and affiliate links.
Slow Cooker Orzo Chicken In Blush Sauce
- Knife and cutting board
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1.5 - 2 lbs chicken thighs cut into bite sized chunks
- 15.5 oz marinara sauce (about 1¾ cups)
- 10.4 oz diced tomatoes Italian seasoned, if possible
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup orzo pasta uncooked
- 2 cups broccoli florets fresh
- salt and pepper to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil for garnish
- grease slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or oil
- Add all ingredients except broccoli, orzo and cream to your slow cooker and stir to combine1.5 - 2 lbs chicken thighs, 15.5 oz marinara sauce, 10.4 oz diced tomatoes, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried basil
- cover and cook on low until chicken reaches in internal temperature of at least 165℉ (this take me about 3-4 hours, but each slow cooker is a little different)
- about 30 hour before serving, add orzo, broccoli, and cream to slow cooker. Temper cream by adding some of the hot liquid from your slow cooker to it before mixing it with the contents of your crockpot. Although full fat cream shouldn't curdle, this step still makes me more comfortable. cover and continue to cook1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup orzo pasta, 2 cups broccoli florets
- When pasta is cooked through and broccoli is as soft as you like it, taste test an add salt and or pepper to your likingtop with grated parmesan and chopped fresh basilsalt and pepper to taste, freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil for garnish