This Creamy Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet is the perfect weeknight meal loaded with flavorful chicken sausage, tender orzo, tons of garlic and leafy spinach easily made in just 20 minutes all in one pan!  

This Creamy Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet is the perfect weeknight meal loaded with flavorful chicken sausage, tender orzo, tons of garlic and leafy spinach easily made in just 20 minutes all in one pan!  
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You all are going to love this cozy, comforting creamy chicken sausage orzo skillet!  An easy one pot dinner made in just 20 minutes with pantry ingredients that is perfect for busy weeknights when you need something quick.  Not only is this hearty dish packed with lean protein, but you also get a boost of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C from the spinach.  This has quickly become a meal the entire family loves and I just simply adjust the spice level for my 4 year old accordingly.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Packed with protein and so much flavor!
  • Easy one pan dinner made in just 20 minutes.
  • Made all in one skillet for easy preparation and clean up.
  • Can be served as a main dish or a hearty side dish.
This Creamy Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet is the perfect weeknight meal loaded with flavorful chicken sausage, tender orzo, tons of garlic and leafy spinach easily made in just 20 minutes all in one pan!  

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • chicken sausage – I used this spicy Italian chicken sausage, but any type of Italian sausage will work in this recipe or you could even use ground chicken, turkey, pork or beef.
  • orzo – orzo pasta is small, rice-shaped pasta that cooks quickly and has the magical ability of soaking up all these delicious flavors!  If you don’t have orzo, any type of small pasta or even rice will work in this dish.
  • garlic – you can use fresh chopped cloves garlic or minced garlic from the jar.
  • chicken broth – feel free to use chicken broth, vegetable broth or any stocks you have on hand.
  • coconut milk – this helps makes this orzo dish extra creamy, but you could also use heavy cream, half and half, or even regular milk.
  • soy sauce – adds a boost of flavor!
  • parmesan cheese – freshly grated parmesan cheese adds to the creaminess of this orzo and adds more flavor.  Other cheese options include asiago, pecorino romano cheese or gruyere.
  • spinach – adds a boost of nutrition and a pop of color.
  • fresh thyme – this is optional, but adds some earthiness and flavor.  Fresh chopped sage, rosemary or parsley would taste great too!
  • seasonings – combination of onion powder, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and black pepper.  Feel free to use as much or as little of the red pepper flakes depending on how much spice you want in this dish.

How to Make Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet

  1. Cook the chicken sausage.  Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken sausage until browned and cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Add in minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, being careful not to burn it.
  2. Add in the orzo.  Add in the dry orzo and toast in the pan along with the chicken sausage and garlic for about 60 seconds.  Pour in the chicken broth (or chicken stock) to deglaze the pan then add in the coconut milk, soy sauce, seasonings and fresh thyme, mixing well.
  3. Cover and simmer.  Bring the orzo mixture to a boil then turn the heat down, cover and let the orzo simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Orzo is ready once it is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Mix in the spinach and cheese.  Stir in the spinach leaves and cook until they are wilted then add in the freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes, if needed, and enjoy this creamy orzo skillet!
This Creamy Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet is the perfect weeknight meal loaded with flavorful chicken sausage, tender orzo, tons of garlic and leafy spinach easily made in just 20 minutes all in one pan!  

FAQS

Can I make this dairy-free?  Absolutely!  Just make sure to use coconut milk (not heavy cream) and leave out parmesan cheese or use vegan parmesan cheese to make this dairy-free.

What if I don’t have chicken sausage?  No problem!  Feel free to use chicken breasts (sliced or whole), ground chicken, ground turkey or ground sausage, or feel free to leave the protein out completely for a meatless dish.

What are some other variations?  You could add in sun dried tomatoes for even more flavor along with sliced mushrooms, bell peppers or green veggies such as broccoli, asparagus or zucchini.

Is orzo the same as risotto?  Orzo is a form of wheat pasta while risotto is a rice dish and while they are cooked very similarly, orzo cooks much faster making it perfect for an easy weeknight meal.

What can I serve with this orzo dish?  I like to serve this with a side salad for even more nutrition along with some crusty bread to sop up all that delicious sauce!

This Creamy Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet is the perfect weeknight meal loaded with flavorful chicken sausage, tender orzo, tons of garlic and leafy spinach easily made in just 20 minutes all in one pan!  

Meal Prep and Storage

Leftovers should be stored in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge and will last up to 3 to 4 days.  Keep in mind, the orzo will soak up all the sauce as it sits overnight so this dish tastes best enjoyed fresh as possible.

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4.62 from 55 votes

Creamy Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet

This Creamy Chicken Sausage Orzo Skillet is the perfect weeknight meal loaded with flavorful chicken sausage, tender orzo, tons of garlic and leafy spinach easily made in just 20 minutes all in one pan!  
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz spicy Italian chicken sausage, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo, dry
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (or heavy cream)
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
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Instructions 

  • Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken sausage until browned and cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Add in minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, being careful not to burn it.
  • Add in the dry orzo and toast in the pan along with the chicken sausage and garlic for about 60 seconds.  Pour in the chicken broth to deglaze the pan then add in the coconut milk, soy sauce, seasonings and fresh thyme, mixing well.
  • Bring the orzo mixture to a boil then turn the heat down, cover and let the orzo simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Orzo is ready once it is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Stir in the spinach leaves and cook until they are wilted then mix in the freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and enjoy this creamy orzo skillet!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4th of recipe | Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.9g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 16.2g | Saturated Fat: 5.6g | Sodium: 1147mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 1.7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

As a self-proclaimed foodie and fitness enthusiast, I have a passion for cooking and a huge desire to show that living a healthy lifestyle can actually be easy and fun!  Feel free to use the meal guide above to find your new favorite meal ideas or the dietary guides to the right to narrow things down even more!

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52 Comments

  1. Sherri Oake says:

    4 stars
    Very tasty but a little too spicy for my family. I will make this again but cut the black and red pepper in half.

  2. Whitney says:

    Way too much thyme … it also turned out very sweet but otherwise good

  3. romina mcnaughton says:

    This was wonderful! I used frozen spinach because that’s what I had – skipped the thyme – even my picky boys loved it. One of them suggested adding mushrooms next time (his favorite), which I think would be great. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. Ashlie Boerma says:

    5 stars
    I made this vegetarian by using vegan sausage and vegetable stock and it turned out great! Seasonings were spot on to me. Easy recipe and came together super quick!

  5. Emily says:

    Loved this! The creaminess from the coconut is perfect. I had big garlic cloves so only used 4 and it was still very garlicky. I also just shook some dried thyme in as I thought 1 tbsp of dried seemed like a lot. Glad I did because it was still super flavorful! Will make again.

  6. Jamie says:

    5 stars
    Delicious easy weeknight recipe! Whole family loved it!!

  7. Diane says:

    Delicious! Everyone in my family enjoyed this. Next time I will double it (at least the orzo) for four people, it just wasn’t enough.

  8. Susan Berry says:

    5 stars
    Delicious. Easy to make and the dish had great flavor.

  9. JT says:

    5 stars
    This dish was excellent. We had it without Thyme as we were out of the herb, but I will try Thyme the next time we make the recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Linda says:

    I made this tonight for my family.
    I doubled the recipe and I wish I would have tripled it. It was so very easy. Tastes amazing and my family is asking for more.
    I will be adding this in my dinner rotation!