One Pan Chicken and Chorizo Orzo Bake

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One-pan dishes are my jam. Throw everything in a single pan and let the flavours mesh together and simply shine. In this case, it’s some of my favourite Spanish flavours (chorizo and sweet smoked paprika) cooked together in a creamy orzo sauce and finished with a cheesy manchego and cheddar top. Serve my chicken and chorizo orzo bake alongside a greek salad for an easy weekday dinner.

The Inspo

I love to cook Paella. It’s one of the best ways to cater for a crowd during Summer. We crank up our outdoor paella burner and it cooks away while we’re all lazing in the spa on a Sunday afternoon. As much as I love paella, it doesn’t really lend itself to eating the next day. By using orzo instead of Calasparra rice, it becomes much more friendly to reheat.

What you need to get started cooking

  • Pantry staples – olive oil, sea salt, pepper, vegetable stock, sweet smoked paprika, milk
  • Vegetables – onion, garlic, frozen peas, cherry tomatoes
  • Chicken thighs – always better than chicken breasts when cooking into a one pot dish. Way more flavour and less likely to get tough from over-cooking.
  • Chorizo sausage
  • Orzo – a flat, rice-shaped pasta. Great to use in soups and salads. Also known as risoni.
  • White wine – I just use whatever is in my fridge.
  • Cheeses – Manchego and cheddar. Manchego is available from good deli’s and some supermarkets. Make sure you buy extra to nibble on while cooking! When it comes to cheddar I tend to lean towards a extra mature or vintage cheddar.

The details

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
  2. In a frypan, saute the onion and olive oil on a low – medium heat for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  4. In a bowl season the chicken peices in sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Add to the pan and lightly brown the chicken for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the skin from the chorizo and discard. Crumble the sausage into the pan, Saute for 2- 3 minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add orzo and paprika. Give everything a good stir to incorporate and gently cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute.
  7. Add wine and stock. Again give a good stir. Dot the top with the cherry tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat sligtly and simmer for 10 minutes. (Be sure not to let the stock completely absorb. We are going to make a bit of a sauce with it in the next step)
  8. While the orzo is cooking away, grate both cheeses into a bowl and loosely combine.
  9. Remove orzo from the heat, Add milk and frozen peas and stir to combine.
  10. Top with the grated cheeses.
  11. Pop into the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden
  12. Season and serve!

What tools will I need?

Don’t you love a one-pot dinner? Whenever I can get away with little to no washing up is a win! Like always, I favour cast iron cookware, so this was cooked in a 28cm Le Chasseur enamel cast iron skillet. You’ll need a good chef knife for the prep and a grater to grate the cheddar and Manchego for that cheesy top!

How do I serve it?

One-pan (pot) dishes are meant to be placed on the table for everyone to serve themselves. I like to garnish my cheesy chicken and chorizo orzo bake with a few scattered basil leaves. Try adding a Greek or Caprese salad on the side. Feeding a few and want to take it up a notch? Add some corn ribs to the table!

Can I cook it in advance?

Hell yes! This is a great one to start on a Sunday evening for an easy Monday night dinner. Cook step 7. After adding the milk, set it aside to let cool. Then you can add the peas, stir them in, and refrigerate until the next day. When you are ready to cook just top with the cheeses and bake as per the rest of the recipe.

Do you love pasta as much as I do? Here are a few more of my favourite pasta recipes…

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A cast iron frypan of chicken chorizo orzo bake with a spoon already dished out

One Pan Chicken and Chorizo Orzo Bake

  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: One-pan
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Description

Some of my favourite Spanish flavours (chorizo and sweet smoked paprika) cooked together in a creamy orzo sauce and finished with a cheesy manchego and cheddar top. Serve my chicken and chorizo orzo bake alongside a greek salad for an easy weekday dinner.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 500g chicken thighs, each thigh cut into 6-8 pieces
  • 1 chorizo sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 150g cherry tomatoes
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • 80g Manchego
  • 40g cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
  2. In a frypan, saute the onion and olive oil on a low – medium heat for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  4. In a bowl season the chicken peices in sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Add to the pan and lightly brown the chicken for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the skin from the chorizo and discard. Crumble the sausage into the pan, Saute for 2- 3 minutes until fragrant. 
  6. Add orzo and paprika. Give everything a good stir to incorporate and gently cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute.
  7. Add wine and stock. Again give a good stir. Dot the top with the cherry tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat sligtly and simmer for 10 minutes. (Be sure not to let the stock completely absorb. We are going to make a bit of a sauce with it in the next step)
  8. While the orzo is cooking away, grate both cheeses into a bowl and loosely combine.
  9. Remove orzo from the heat, Add milk and frozen peas and stir to combine.
  10. Top with the grated cheeses.
  11. Pop into the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden
  12. Season and serve!


Notes

I usually cook this one-pan chicken dish in a 25 or 28cm cast iron frypan and just bring the whole pan to the table to serve out of. A Greek salad and corn ribs are great sides!

Keywords: one-pan, chicken, chorizo

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