Marry Me Chicken Meatballs with Orzo. This one-pan dinner is beyond delicious, super easy to make and ready in 30 minutes. Tender meatballs served with smooth orzo in a sun-dried tomato sauce, made super creamy with a handful of Parmesan and a splash of cream. It ticks all the boxes for a cozy date night at home or a family get-together. It’s so good, like a hug in a bowl.
Discover the joy of this easy one-pot dinner!
This simple pasta dish with Parmesan and cream is a delightful example of how basic ingredients can create a satisfying and flavorful meal. It’s creamy, garlicky, hearty and rich all at the same time. And the meatballs? They definitely add tons flavor!
Marry Me Chicken Meatballs are not only delicious but also a breeze to make. Picture this: meatballs, orzo and a delightful sun-dried tomato sauce, all cooked in one pot, meaning minimal dishes to clean up. It’s a fresh take on the Marry Me Chicken recipe, ready in just 30 minutes! Perfect for busy nights or to impress your guests, maybe even a date.
What makes it even better? You only need 1 cup of cream. No need to drown your orzo in cream. The secret is cooking it in chicken broth, which makes it glossy and rich without loads of cream. Stirring occasionally is key, it prevents the orzo from sticking and enhances creaminess by releasing more starch.
And the best part? It won’t hurt your wallet, thanks to its budget-friendly and available ingredients. Intrigued? Well, let’s get cooking— who knows, it might even secure you a second date!
Let me guide you through the recipe with this easy to follow step-by-step VIDEO or follow along on YouTube.
Let’s Explore What Sets This Dish Apart!
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: These little wonders add a sweet, tangy kick to the creamy Parmesan sauce, striking the perfect balance between richness and a lively tomato twist. TRust me, they’re the secret sauce game-changer!
- Minimal Cleanup: Keeping things simple is my motto, and this one-pot dinner does just that. With only one skillet in action, you’ll not only enjoy a comforting meal but also breeze through cleanup effortlessly.
- Chicken Meatballs: These delicate meatballs complement the indulgent sun-dried tomato cream sauce flawlessly. The result? A burst of flavors that dance on your taste buds.
- Simplicity is Magic: No sun-dried tomatoes or Parmesan? No worries! Your kitchen, your rules—grab cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, or any hard cheese from your pantry and fridge. Flexibility at its finest!
Marry me chicken meatball ingredients
- Ground Chicken: You can also use ground turkey for variation.
- Breadcrumbs: These absorb the meat juices during cooking, ensuring moist and flavorful meatballs.
- Egg: Binds the meat mixture with breadcrumbs and spices, creating well-formed meatballs.
- Seasoning: A mix of garlic powder, dried onion, salt, black pepper, paprika and fresh basil.
Marry me sauce ingredients
- Seasoning: A blend of salt, black pepper and dried oregano.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: The star ingredient. For best results, use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil.
- Garlic and Shallot: Essential for flavor enhancement.
- Orzo: It adds a silky texture to the dish, unmatched by other pasta varieties. If you can’t find it, opt for the smallest pasta variety.
- Chicken Broth: Vegetable broth works as an alternative.
- Heavy Cream: Creates a luxuriously creamy and flavorful sauce. For optimal thickness, avoid using half-and-half or light cream.
- Parmesan: Freshly grated for a creamy texture and rich savory taste. Substitutes: Pecorino, Asiago, Grana Padano, or any hard-aged cheese.
- Tomato Paste: Deepens the flavor profile and adds a subtle, sweet-tangy note to the sauce.
- Basil Leaves: To infuse aromatic freshness, parsley can be a suitable substitute.
- Lemon Juice: To balance the contrast of the dish’s richness, enhancing its overall flavor.
What to serve with marry me chicken meatball orzo?
- Pair with roasted vegetables like broccoli.
- Steamed asparagus or green beans
- A big leafy side salad drizzled with a balsamic dressing.
- Get Veggie Creative: Feel free to boost your dinner by adding extra veggies like spinach for a vibrant burst of green.
- Proper Sun-Dried Tomato Prep: Ensure to drain the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to prevent an excessively oily and clumpy sauce. If your sun-dried tomatoes are oil-free, hydrate them first. Place the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl, add approximately 1 cup of hot water, cover and let them sit for a few minutes until their skin softens and the tomatoes can be easily cut. Drain the water before adding them to the sauce. This ensures a perfect texture and flavor in your dish.
How to store marry me chicken meatballs with orzo?
- Fridge: Store leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: I suggest avoiding freezing creamy orzo because it can develop a grainy texture and get mushy when thawed. As for the meatballs, you can keep them separated and freeze for up to 3 months.
Marry Me Chicken Meatball Orzo
- 1.1 pounds ground chicken
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried onion
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp chopped basil leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil for cooking
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter for cooking
Sauce and orzo
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- 1 tsp salt black pepper, dried oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tbsp chopped basil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan
- chili flakes for serving
- freshly ground black pepper for serving
- Get your prep done before you start cooking: Finely chop the shallot and mince the garlic cloves. Chop the basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Mix until just combined, using your hands. Roll the meat into 2 tablespoon-sized balls. It makes for about 18 meatballs.
- Heat oil and butter over medium in a large nonstick skillet or pot. Add meatballs and brown all over. Remove from skillet. They don't need to be cooked through, we will finish them later.
- Add shallot and garlic, cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add orzo and toast for 1 minute. Stir in salt, pepper, oregano and tomato paste.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. To maintain a simmer, reduce the heat to low. Cook uncovered while stirring occasionally to keep the orzo from sticking, until almost al dente and the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Add cream, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Sprinkle with lemon juice and stir in Parmesan. Return meatballs to the skillet, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Finish off with chili flakes and freshly grated black pepper. Enjoy!