Slow Cooker Parmesan Herb Chicken & Orzo

Slow cooker parmesan herb chicken & orzo is an easy, no-fuss crockpot meal with hearty flavors that will please the whole family.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Herb Chicken & Orzo |

It’s feeling very Fall-ish around here. The air has definitely cooled off, the leaves are every shade of red and orange you can possibly imagine, and a huge rain storm just rolled through over the past couple of days giving me the perfect excuse to pull out my favorite grey wanna-be-Hunter rain boots. (Scored those babies for a steal of a deal from Nordstrom Rack last Spring, pretty much lived in them until Summertime came and in typical Utah desert fashion, a lack of rain storms.) It’s feeling like Fall inside my house though too, or rather smelling like Fall. Between the pumpkin harvest candle burning non-stop (thank you Target) and something yummy in the slow cooker all day long, it’s a little slice of heaven up in here.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Herb Chicken & Orzo |

I’m a little bit obsessed with this simple crockpot meal.  Chicken and buttery orzo made all together in your slow cooker with herbs and garlic and melty parmesan cheese?? It just doesn’t get better than this. All you have to do is brown your chicken on the stove for a couple of minutes, then throw it int he slow cooker with your orzo, liquids, mushrooms, and seasonings, and let it cook for a few hours. A few minutes before you’re ready to eat, just stir the orzo and sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the top. Cover it for about 5 more minutes so it gets all melty and ooey gooey delicious and then serve it up! Put it on your menu for this week, you will be so glad you did.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Herb Chicken & Orzo |

4.0 from 22 reviews
Slow Cooker Parmesan Herb Chicken & Orzo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Slow cooker parmesan herb chicken & orzo is an easy, no-fuss crockpot meal with hearty flavors that will please the whole family.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian/American
Serves: 4
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, OR 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ cups orzo pasta (see note)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup shaved or finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • freshly cracked black pepper and herbs (such as thyme or parsley) for garnish
  1. Season chicken with a bit of the Italian seasonings and salt and pepper on both sides. Cook in a large nonstick skillet on the stove over medium-high heat 1-2 minutes on each side until browned on the outsides.
  2. Transfer chicken to a greased slow cooker. Add chicken broth, butter, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper to slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours or on low for 3-4 hours. Stir in orzo, cover and cook for another 30-45 minutes on high.
  4. Uncover and use a fork to pull chicken out of the slow cooker. Stir contents of slow cooker, then return chicken to slow cooker, on top of the orzo mixture.
  5. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over chicken. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes. Serve with fresh herbs and cracked black pepper if desired.
**Some readers have found that the orzo is too "mushy" for their taste when cooked in the crockpot with the chicken. If you are weary of this, I recommend cooking the orzo separately and stirring in at the end. You will only need 2 cups of chicken broth in the crockpot with the chicken if you choose to do it this way and can discard any remaining broth at the end. Also, I recommend if you do cook your orzo separately to just follow package's instructions and use chicken broth instead of water as this will give the orzo more flavor.

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I think you left out the orzo amount and instructions in your recipe!

There is no orzo in the ingredients, or the instructions. How much ddo you use? When is it added.

I’m doing Weight Watchers and the is a great recipe! How much orzo do you use? Thanks!

This looks brilliant, love a good slow cooker meal! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

Hey! This looks delicious & I want to make it this week. I don’t see orzo in the ingredients list though, nor where to add it in. I may just be missing it! Can you help??

    How much orzo is used, and please explain “the orzo mixture”
    Thank you.
    Pat Balch

    It says 1 cup.

    Check instruction 3……add orzo after chicken has cooked for 1-2 hrs on HI or 3-4 hrs LOW.

    Awesome flavours!

It could just be my pregnancy brain, but I can’t seem to find a measurement (or direction, actually) for the Orzo in this recipe – is it missing?

    1 cup orzo

    All you have to do is brown your chicken on the stove for a couple of minutes, then throw it int he slow cooker with your orzo, liquids, mushrooms, and seasonings, and let it cook for a few hours. A few minutes before you’re ready to eat, just stir the orzo and sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the top. Cover it for about 5 more minutes so it gets all melty and ooey gooey delicious and then serve it up!

      Cook everything EXCEPT orzo for a few hours, add orzo then cook 30-45 mins longer, remove chicken, stir, put chicken back in crock on top of orzo mixture, top with cheese, cook 5-10 mins longer then it’s done.

      I’m making this right now and I see what n the notes section that you can do it on the stove and use 2 cups broth. I don’t have a stove so I have to do it in the crock pot. I don’t want it to be mushy so should I use 2 or 3 cups of broth?

On the orzo recipe…how much goes into this?
Really sounds and looks Delish.

hey girl this looks oh so yummy! It has still felt like Summer here in Oklahoma! The temp is a lot better today and this week it’s going to be cooler to (well in the upper 70’s and low 80’s ha)

I would like to make this, but I cannot find orzo listed in the ingredients. I need to know how much to put into the crockpot and when to put it in (1st? Last?) Thank you!

    Maybe she corrected it after your comment. Orzo is listed in the ingredients list right after the chicken broth–it’s 1 cup of orzo. It’s added in step two.

      I am happy to see that she corrected it. Thank you for letting me know!

Hi Tiffany: Sounds like another winner of a chicken dinner to me! Definitely making it later this week for when in-laws come over…. so e-z, and sounds super yummy. Your blog is my go-to resource for all things chicken. We love chicken, and we’ve never been disappointed with any of your delicious chicken dishes.

Andrea, it calls for 1 cup of orzo and you add it in with the rest of the ingredients on top of the chicken. I have this dish in my crock pot right now. 🙂

    Thank you. When I originally posted orzo wasn’t listed, but I see that she’s updated it now!

I made this tonight and followed the recipe exactly. I cooked it on low for four hours. At four hours, when it was time to take the chicken out and stir the orzo, there was really a lot of liquid, and the orzo had just about turned to mush. The result was a very tasty dish, but the orzo was really mushy. I think the next time I make it, I will do it either on top of the stove or in the oven. For me, the longer cook time didn’t work for the orzo.

    U dont add the orzo until after chox is done 1-2 hrs on high or 3-4hrs on low than add orzo cook for 30-45mins on high than take chix out and stir orzo. Add cheese lef melt and than serve

You are totally right. The whole family will love today’s dinner ! 🙂

I like orzo, and the picture was yummy looking, so I made it tonight. I cooked it on low for 3 1/2 hours and then checked it. I checked it before the 4 hour mark because of Ginger’s review. But, just like Ginger said, the orzo even at the 3 1/2 hour mark, was mushy and looked nothing like the picture. The orzo was the consistency of stuffing.
Tiffany, did you cook yours on high? I’m thinking that maybe the shorter 2 hour cook time might work better even though it’s on the high temp?

If I make it again, it won’t be in the crock pot.

    TO KATHY & GINGER: The reason for this is because chicken parts, (& also whole chickens) are being injected with a huge amount of water & sodium…. and only heaven knows what else! That’s why you had excess liquid. It wasn’t anything you did wrong, it was the lousy chicken which we’re now forced to buy! The only way to avoid this, is to purchase Organic Chicken, and yes….it costs a LOT more per lb. I used to roast a 4 – 5 lb. chicken in the oven with no problem. When I recently roasted a chicken in the oven, there was about 8ozs. of liquid left in the roasting pan….that never happened before, and I’ve been cooking for many years. I’m almost afraid to roast my Thanksgiving turkey this year, since it might braise, instead of roasting. I hope this info was helpful to you.

      Well, no, that wasn’t my problem since I always buy organic chicken for the last few years now. And my chicken thighs were pretty small—which organic usually is, since they aren’t all plumped up with salt water.
      So maybe 3 cups of chicken broth is too much for only one cup of orzo?
      My guess is that it was too much broth …. or maybe trying to do the 2 hour cook on high might work better? I do plan to try again some time, because yours turned out and looks so good.

        A point well taken, so I’ll try it again by using less broth. Thanks.

    The reason your orzo is mushy is because you’re putting it in at the wrong time and it is cooking for too long. The directions state to put the chicken, mushrooms, onions, etc in your slow cooker then cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours or on low for 3-4 hours. AFTER THAT AMOUNT OF TIME, you stir in the orzo, cover and cook for another 30-45 minutes on high. Try it this way and you should have perfect orzo. 🙂

I made this last night to have lunches ready for us to grab for a couple days. I did the 2 hour cook time on high and my orzo went to mush as well. It smells delicious and I’m sure the flavors will be great but sadly was not nearly as pretty as the pictures were! Thought I did something wrong as well, but looks to be similar to some other comments about mushy orzo. I never cook with orzo so how much less broth would you recommend for this recipe?
I love all of your recipes and always look forward to getting new emailed menu ideas!


I have cooked this dish twice. The first time, i misread the recipe and cooked on high for 4 hours!! orzo was mush.
The second time….I cooked it on low…checked after 2 hours and still had plenty of liquid left and the orzo was already over cooked. Not sure what i am doing wrong?!

    Your not suppose to put the Orzo in until the last 30 or 45 mins. That’s why it’s mushy

I was so excited to try this recipe, because the photos looked so good and so many other recipes from this site are so phenomenal. Unfortunately, this one didn’t pan out. Like other reviews, the orzo was total mush. Like oatmeal. The chicken was OK, but on the dry side and not super flavorful. During dinner (while I was griping), my husband pointed out “It’s not gross,” but that’s hardly a sign of a successful dinner.

I made this for dinner last night and it was sooo good! not sure why some are saying the chicken is dry and the meal being ” gross” but I can assure you my chicken was crazy moist and sure my orzo expanded but that’s due to my slow cooker being way too awesome on the low We still loved it and it will be added to our slow cooker menu rotation!

I am wondering if the orzo could be added later on..maybe into the 2 hour mark or so for those who don’t want it to be mushy? even though it was on the soft side the meal was in no way a failure of any kind. Perhaps cooking the mushrooms up front might help. I went ahead and cooked until they released their juices and ended up using 2 cups since we love mushrooms in this house.

Anyway, thank you so much for a wonderful recipe that we all loved and will be eating again for sure!

    I love mushrooms too, however I have only grilled them. HOW DID YOU COOK THE MUSHROOMS BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE CROCKPOT? THANKS!

      Hi Molly..I dried fried them in a pan..I just put the mushrooms in there with nothing else added until they released their juices. I allowed them to cook down until they became nice and browned. Hope that helps!

I’m in the middle of making this and the recipe says to season the chicken with a bit of the Italian seasoning. What do you do with the rest of the Italian seasoning?

    I have the same question. Just now making it, and guessed and put it in with the broth and other seasonings. Hope it works out!

i just made this today on high for 2 hours and have the same comments as others – very liquidy and orzo was mushy. But the flavor was great and the chicken was very moist. I will try it again with a few tweaks – not so much chicken broth and I won’t put the orzo until maybe the last 15 minutes.

I made this tonight. It was good, not outstanding, but good for a weeknight meal. But, I have a hard time finding slow cooker meals that are outstanding. Having read other reviews I did the following:
– used 3 organic chicken breasts, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1/2 of the juice from a lemon, and all other ingredients as listed in the recipe
– I opted not to add the orzo. Cooked it separately and added it at the end.

Served with asparagus and French bread!

1 cup orzo

All you have to do is brown your chicken on the stove for a couple of minutes, then throw it int he slow cooker with your orzo, liquids, mushrooms, and seasonings, and let it cook for a few hours. A few minutes before you’re ready to eat, just stir the orzo and sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the top. Cover it for about 5 more minutes so it gets all melty and ooey gooey delicious and then serve it up!

Hi followed this recipe exactly–chicken thighs (I always use them in the slow cooker because I think breasts get too dry) & on low for four hours. The chicken was INCREDIBLE! My one year old had two full pieces & would’ve had more if I let her! The only problem was the orzo was mush…the flavor was fantastic but had the consistency of oatmeal. Any tips on preventing this? I thought maybe adding it in later in the cooking process? Thanks for the great recipe, definitely making it again!

I opted for 2 breasts. Any thoughts if this will change the consistency of the orzo? Feeling skeptical about putting in the orzo. I may cook it separately.

I wish I had read the comments before making this last night! I thought 2 hours was too long for orzo!!! Don’t be out off, the chicken and general flavour was really good. Will definitely do it again but only adding the orzo for maybe 15-20 minutes. I also think it doesn’t need so much butter!

After reading through the contents, and consulting the recipe again, I think that perhaps the instructions were modified based on feedback? I’m going to try this one soon because it sounds wonderful (though it will have to be a weekend meal as it needs a small bit of attention with the multiple steps- no biggie, I have plenty of ‘just put all the stuff in and let it cook for 8 hrs whilst you are at work’ crockpot recipes for during the week). Thank you for the recipe!

Same issue as everyone else, orzo was mush. Should have read the comments before making this. Chicken was good though

Hello. I’m an hearing impaired . I would like to share your opinion. Your recipe look so good and I did cooked last Thursday but the orzo really really coat and overcooked. I want to perfect slow cook for your recipes. Help me!!!

I notice that she states to add the orzo in the last 30-45 minutes of cooking. Perhaps that’s why most of you are having mushy orzo results. Orzo is a pasta, pasta doesn’t need to cook for very long.

She changed the recipe after so many of us had bad results with the original recipe.

Italian dried sesoning or italian dressing dry seasoning? A little confused

    Italian dried seasoning, not salad dressing. 🙂

      So the one that looks a little like Parsley?

        Hi Shaniqua, it’s actually called “italian seasoning” so you should see that right on the label. I use it ALL the time in my cooking. 🙂

Italian dressing dry seasoning?

We had this tonight for dinner. My picky eater hubby LOVED IT!! His exact words were “It’s pretty good. You have to keep this one. Its really good. I really like it. ” The only thing I didn’t do was add mushrooms because I don’t like them. He said next time I make this to add the mushrooms. So thank you for this recipe we thoroughly enjoyed it. 😀🙂

I should have read the comments before trying this recipe out. It smelled really good cooking but mine had way too much liquid in it and the orzo was mushy. Also the chicken was very dry. I cooked mine on low for three and a half hours and then put the orzo in for about another 30 minutes. I wouldn’t waste your time on this recipe.

Sounds great! Any suggestions for doing this in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven? I have a Crock-Pot pot too but the Dutch Oven I could Brown the chicken in the same pot,

After reading the comments, I tweaked the recipe slightly and it turned out perfectly. I cooked the chicken for two hours on high and I used the full amount of chicken broth. I added 1 1/2 – 2 cups of orzo because there was plenty of liquid and cooked for about 20 minutes still on high. I stirred it and could tell the orzo was cooked. The chicken was moist and delicious. Wish I would’ve thought to take a picture. Will definitely make it again!

I made this last week, and it didn’t turn out AT all. There was so much liquid left at the end that it was almost like a soup. Help!

My boyfriend has never been one to try new recipes or even let me cook. Sunday I made this dish and it was a huge hit and success. So much of a success that my boyfriend asked me to make it again so it is currently cooking. This is an amazing dish!

I made this last night and it was absolutely flavorful and delicious. After reading the other comments, I used only 2 cups of broth, 1 1/2 cups of orzo and only cooked for 15 minutes. It turned out perfect! This will be a favorite in my house.

So, I followed the instructions, except I used 3 chicken breasts instead of 4, and omitted mushrooms for my picky fiancé. I also used a little more orzo, probably around 1/6 Cup. I just have to say this recipe is a WIN! My fiancé is incredibly picky. Literally he eats all of my cooking but never comments, and this one did the trick! I’m surprised by all the reviews saying the orzo was soggy, mine was perfect. Wish I could try it with mushrooms, I’ll have to plan a girls night soon so I can. This is probably THE best crock pot recipe I’ve ever used. Thank you for sharing, this will be a regular in my home!

Any suggestions on how it would be best to cook this on the stove or oven? Times and temp?

i added a regular bag of frozen broccoli and it came out great! i think the broccoli helps to soak up the extra water so you may want to add around 1/2 cup extra broth as i had to add a little more towards the end

I made this for dinner tonight, only I did it right on the stove because i waited to long for it to cook in the crock pot. Browned the chicken breast then sautéed the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Added the chicken broth and orzo to the pan and added the chicken breast back in. Simmered until everything was done. for the orzo i used 2c chicken broth to 1c orzo. It was good.

Made this last night – it was perfect. SO good. I fried the mushrooms in butter and added them at the end for a super great extra taste. Thanks for the great recipe! (The orzo was perfect, adding it about 45 minutes before we ate!)

The 3 cups broth with 1 cup orzo can’t be right. I knew something was up and read through these comments for help. I ended up putting the WHOLE box (16 oz) of orzo in and it worked perfectly. 😀

Made this tonight exactly how the recipe says and it was EXCELLENT! My husband even said it was the best dinner I had made in awhile 🙂 thank you for such a yummy recipe!!

Since the orzo can get mushy, wondering if anyone’s tried this recipe with risotto? I’m considering it.

    Have you tried the risotto? I thought the same! Or even just rice 🙂

Hello is it possible to substitute the onions for onion powder we dont like the actual onion but like the taste it leaves. Also what kind of herbs are you talking about?

We enjoyed this recipe but I was taken aback by the amount of liquid in the crockpot. My fiance made it and he didn’t add the mushrooms. He only put 2 cups broth because he wanted to cook the pasta separately. I’m not sure why so wet.
The chicken had great flavor and was very tender. The recipe was easy enough for him which is nice because he’s not a “cook”. Will probably do again, reducing liquid, and maybe adding tomatos/sun-dried tomatos.

I modified this dish by cooking it in the oven. I used boneless/skinless chicken breast and seared ( with olive oil) it in a frying pan as suggested in the recipe. I transferred it to a greased 9×13 baking dish, added all of the other ingredients including 1 1/2 cups of orzo and 3 cups of chicken broth. I baked at 350 for 20 minutes and then bumped it up to 375 for another 25 min. The dish came out super flavorful and savory. Chicken was moist and tender! Orzo was cooked perfectly (to our liking) definitely not mushy at all!
Modification for the win as I was craving this dish and wasnt able to crock pot it!

I cooked this for my family and we all loved it not a bit left over it has now become our goto meal for busy dance nights. Great recipe worked perfect first time every time

This was PHENOMENAL! 🙂 i used probably only just over a cup of chicken broth in the crockpot with the 3 chicken breasts, and added carrots, since i did not have mushrooms. After it was done, i added some cornstarch to the remaining liquid (transferred to a sauté pan) and made a ‘gravy’ to go over the chicken and orzo. (which i cooked separately)

I followed the recipe exactly and added the orzo only for the last 30 minutes. There was SO much liquid!

Okay – I made this tonight for the first time and oh my goodness!! It was SO GOOD! If you actually follow the directions (which are really quite simple) it is such a comforting and yummy and easy meal! Perfect for my boyfriend and I as I do most of the cooking but am currently taking evening classes. This is definitely going into the rotation.

    Made this recipe – doesnt look like the picture, but tasted ok. What are the lIttle red dots in the orzo?? Did i miss a step??

Hi Tiffany, I was looking through orzo recipes and found yours – I really like how it looks! Thank you very much for sharing your secrets lol

The instructions I see say one and a half cups of orzo and that was more than enough. However I was not very impressed with this meal it just didn’t seem to have a lot of flavor although my wife enjoyed it. For some reason it won’t let me give it less than two stars.

Hey! Love this recipe, but we don’t have orzo in my country. Is there anything i can replace it with? Maybe rice or something?

    Hi Ella- You can substitute for rice!

Maybe I did SOmething wrong but my orzo even When mixed Wasnt THe Same colour And I Feel like it SHould CAll for mozzarella cheese Instead Of parmesan based on the photo.

    Not sure about the color! This recipe is meant to have parmesan cheese. Maybe try mozzarella instead if you feel that you’d enjoy it better!!

Pinterest Fail. It didnt look anything like the photo in the recipe. Flavor was just blah.

NORMALLY im told to cook chicken for 8 hours on low in a slow cooker – will 3-4 HOURS be enough to cook the CHICKEN?

Was very excited about this recipe bUt i found it tO be tasTeLess. FOLLOWED all the INSTRUCTIONS listed, but was very dissapointed. I would not reccomend this recipe.