This Brown Butter Chicken and Vegetable Orzo has juicy chicken marinated in Greek dressing, sauted vegetables and orzo, all tossed in a thyme brown butter sauce.
I am not great at naming recipes. I basically make a list of the top few ingredients in a particular recipe, and use that as its name. Looking at the name of this dish, it makes me sad that I can’t come up with something creative that still explains the dish. Simply listing the ingredients does not do this dish justice. It should be called “Juicy chicken, perfectly sauted vegetables, and orzo tossed in a thyme brown butter sauce.” But obviously that’s way too long.
Last summer my husband wanted to make a new, nonspecific chicken and vegetable dinner. I said I would make a brown butter sauce with noodles for it. The dish turned out quite well, but it needed some tweaks. For example, I simply browned the butter, and it didn’t stick to the noodles very well.
I forgot about that dish for a few months until recently. I wanted to recreate it with a more savory sauce. My husband and I ended up making it a few times recently, until we reached a dish that was full of delicious flavor.
Brown Butter Chicken and Vegetable Orzo
This Brown Butter Chicken and Vegetable Orzo is a straight forward, easy dish that is great for a weeknight dinner. I can’t imagine anyone having too much difficulty with it, but here are a few tips:
- Orzo is an excellent pasta for this dish as it’s easy to eat with the chicken and vegetables. However, if you don’t have it or can’t find it, spaghetti noodles or other small pastas work as well.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours. The longer it’s marinated, the more flavorful it becomes.
- Make sure that the brown butter is almost amber before you add the garlic. If you cook the garlic too long, it gets a bit of a burnt flavor.
- We have made this dish with a variety of vegetables. Don’t be afraid to switch things up so that you can include your personal favorites!
Brown Butter Chicken and Vegetable Orzo
- 1.5 pounds chicken breasts cut into ~1 inch sized cubes
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tbsp. fresh basil chopped and packed
- ½ cup Greek dressing
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 bell pepper chopped (I used ½ of a green pepper and ½ of a yellow pepper)
- 2/3 cup onion diced (I used 1/3 cup red onion and 1/3 cup sweet onion)
- 2 cloves fresh minced garlic
- 1 lemon divided
- ½ zucchini cut into ~1/4” x 1.5” pieces
- 1 ½ cups baby tomatoes
- ½ pound asparagus cut into 2-3” pieces
Brown Butter Sauce and Orzo
- ½ pound dried orzo
- 2-3 cups chicken broth
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tbsp. fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic gloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp flour
Chicken and Vegetables
- In a container that can be covered, mix together lemon juice, basil and Greek dressing. Add chicken and stir to ensure chicken is evenly coated. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onions, garlic, and juice of ½ of a lemon. Saute until softened, Remove from pot and set aside.
- If the pot is dry, add another tbsp olive oil, otherwise, you may skip this. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Next, add another tbsp. of olive oil. Then, add asparagus, zucchini, and tomatoes. Saute until softened and tomatoes are blistered.
Orzo and Brown Butter Sauce
- Cook orzo according to package directions (consider substituting about ¼ of the water needed with chicken stock).
- While orzo is cooing, make the brown butter sauce. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Continue to stir until butter begins to turn amber in color.
- Stir in garlic, salt, thyme, and parsley. Continue to stir for another 1-2 minutes, or until butter begins to turn a deep amber in color.
- Remove from heat and stir in flour.
- Stir together cooked chicken, vegetables, orzo, and juice from remaining ½ of lemon. Pour brown butter sauce over dish and stir well.
If you enjoyed this Brown Butter Chicken and Vegetable Orzo, you might enjoy these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:
Links to items used to make this recipe: