If you’re like me and grew up eating broccoli and cheese casserole, you’ll appreciate this One Skillet Chicken and Broccoli-Cheddar Orzo Bake. I took one of my favorite childhood flavor profiles – broccoli and cheddar – and created a one-skillet dinner recipe that’s better(ish) for you and ready in less than an hour.
When I say better(ish), I’m referring to the skim milk, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, which you can swap for a cheese of your choice, and whole wheat orzo. Think of this One Skillet Chicken and Broccoli-Cheddar Orzo Bake as an elevated version of broccoli and cheese casserole. It tastes like comfort – but with better-for-you ingredients. Serve with a simple side salad and enjoy!Print
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breast, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo
- 2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup skim milk or milk of choice
- 8-ounce block reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4-ounce block reduced-fat mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Move an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat a cast-iron or oven-friendly skillet to medium-high heat and add extra-virgin olive oil. Add diced chicken, season with smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and saute until browned on all sides and remove from the skillet. Your chicken will not be cooked through yet.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the diced onion. Saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds. Add whole wheat orzo and saute for another minute or so.
- Add the broccoli, diced chicken, chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in about half of the cheese and simmer for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the pasta is al dente. Turn off the stove and remove from heat.
- Top the skillet with remaining cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted. Top with whole wheat panko bread crumbs (optional), salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Enjoy!
- Reduced-fat pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt well, in my experience. I prefer to buy a block of cheese and grate it myself.
- Prep Time: 15 mins.
- Cook Time: 30 mins.
- Category: One Skillet Dinners
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: broccoli cheddar orzo, one skillet dinner, broccoli and cheese casserole