This is a simple recipe with a spicy kick for garlic lovers. It is my combination of a much loved linguine and clam sauce dish and a recent introduction to orzo pasta. I have several variations for this recipe. Add more red pepper for extra spice. Substitute the chicken for clams or shrimp. Substitute the spinach leaves for diced tomatoes. I've also added spices such as basil, rosemary and oregano bringing a distinct Italian flavor to the dish.



Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo pasta, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the garlic and red pepper 1 minute, until garlic is golden brown. Stir in chicken, season with salt, and cook 2 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned and juices run clear. Reduce heat to medium, and mix in the parsley and cooked orzo. Place spinach in the skillet. Continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

351 calories; 10.6 g total fat; 38 mg cholesterol; 164 mg sodium. 40.4 g carbohydrates; 22.3 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (609)

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870 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 373
  • 4 star values: 307
  • 3 star values: 123
  • 2 star values: 43
  • 1 star values: 24
Rating: 5 stars
This is a lovely alternative to rice. For those of you who say it is too bland here is what I do: use a deep skillet and sautee the garlic then add the orzo and chicken broth instead of water. Sautee the chicken separately with garlic and serve it on top. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I am only giving this 4 stars because I had to modify it just a little bit. I brought a small pot of chicken broth to a boil and cooked the orzo in that. I had planned to drain off any extra broth but it ended up soaking all in and making the orzo really nice and creamy. I sauteed the garlic and red pepper in olive oil then added the pieces of chicken. When the chicken was finished I added the orzo to it and stirred letting it sit on low heat for about 10 minutes. The result was YUMMY! My husband really liked it and has asked for it again. Thanks for sharing! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I love this recipe because it's fast and delicious. We love strong flavors and the red pepper makes it great. I add at least 1 clove more of garlic plenty of salt and spice according to my taste that day. You can slant this recipe either Greek or Italian to your tastes. If going Greek add 1 tsp. oregano chopped Greek olives and crumbled feta (before serving) if desired. To swing it Italian add basil instead of oregano and serve with shredded parmesan. I've made this several times sometimes subbing diced Italian-style tomatoes when I don't have the spinach. Either way spinach or tomatoes you can't go wrong with this easy delicious recipe! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
The recipe here was overall a great base. I took the suggestion of cooking the orzo in chicken broth and added oregano for my spice. I diced the garlic in order for the flavor to come out more (along with adding a few extra gloves in order to prevent any blandness). I went with tomatoes instead of spinach and found it was quite the hit. I served this with peas and corn which provided enough extra "color." It was a HUGE hit with my family; however my one caution would be to NOT overcook the orzo. I did that a bit and although it was still delicious that would have made a difference. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
this was great with some changes. chicken broth for orzo. lemon juice and rosemary mixed in in the end. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy! Very easy to make and full of flavor. I did find it a tad oily though so next time I will only use half the olive oil. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I loved this and will be making it again. I added cayenne as well as onion yellow pepper and a whole head of garlic. I first browned the orzo in oil then added the rest. I also browned the chicken first and set aside then added at the end. Used chick broth as well. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I picked 4 stars but wpuld have been closer to 3.5. It is not bland but a littel one dimensional. I added pepper. I would add more lemon and a bit of lemon zest next time. I agree that it was a bit oily. I would do 1.5 tbs next time. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
People ask me to make this all the time! When I don't have fresh basil ground works fine. Diced tomatoes also taste good with this. Read More