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Mar 16

Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus

Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus

I am so excited about this Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus. I know I’m always excited about food, but I seriously want to start making this weekly. This pasta dish is an easy, one-pot recipe that tastes bright, fresh and perfect for Spring or Summer (or those of us looking out at the snow and wishing it was). With pasta, chicken and vegetables I found this dish very filling and the lemon and garlic flavors had me swooning. You can also bulk it up further by adding extra veggies (e.g. stirring in a couple handfuls of fresh spinach at the end) if you have some on hand.

A satisfying serving of this Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus is just 368 calories or 6 WW Points. To view your current WW Points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here! It’s perfect for a weeknight meal or to make ahead and eat for lunches throughout the week. Even better still, you can warm up your leftovers or eat them cold like a pasta salad – it’s delicious both ways!

Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus

Looking for more tasty, lightened up one-pot meals? Check out my recipes for Beefy American Goulash, Rustic Sausage and Potato Skillet, One-Pot Cincinnati Chili Bake, Sausage and Tortellini Tomato Soup, Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet, Beef Stroganoff, Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini Skillet, Beef Taco Soup, Cheesy Chicken Veggie Pasta Skillet, Spicy Taco Gnocchi Skillet, Chicken and Chorizo Salsa Skillet, Best Turkey Chili, Sausage Tortellini Skillet, Spaghetti and Meatball Soup, Spicy Sausage Pasta, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Bacon, Cheddar and Beer Risotto, Barley Beef Skillet and more in the One-Pot category of my recipe index.

Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus
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5 from 12 votes
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Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus

This pasta dish is an easy, one-pot recipe that tastes bright, fresh and perfect for Spring or Summer!


  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light butter, I used Land O’Lakes
  • 6 oz uncooked wheat orzo pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups reduced sodium fat free chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh asparagus spears cut into 1” pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Additional salt to taste


  • Combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a small dish and stir to combine. Place the chicken pieces in a gallon zip-top bag and add the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake/massage it around until the chicken pieces are coated.
  • In a large saute pan, bring the oil over medium heat and then add the chicken. Stir to coat with the oil and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are cooked through and begin to brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a side plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe out the inside of the skillet.
  • Place the skillet back over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat. Spread the orzo across the surface of the pan and allow it to cook for 2 minutes until a few of the orzo pieces begin to brown. Add the garlic to the pan and stir. Allow to cook for another minute.
  • Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to simmer and cover the pan. Simmer covered for 4-5 minutes and then add the asparagus. Stir and re-cover. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes and basil along with salt to taste. Stir together and then add the reserved chicken to the pan. Stir to combine and serve.


To view your current WW Points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!
WW Points per (1 & ½ cup) serving: 6 (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per (1 ½ cup) serving:
368 calories, 38 g carbs, 4 g sugars, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 33 g protein, 6 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
MyWW SmartPoints per (1 ½ cup) serving: (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Green: 8 SmartPoints/ Blue: 6 SmartPoints/ Purple: 2 SmartPoints (if using wheat orzo, if not then use Blue points)
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
9 per (1 ½ cup) serving (PP calculated using a WW PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below)
adapted from Taste of Home

57 comments on “Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus”

  1. This looks so good, and I think it could be made with shrimp instead of chicken, as well.

  2. Another hubby-approved meal! He had seconds…and then thirds!
    We both really enjoyed it. Will definitely make this again.

  3. This is so delicious! I actually made it for my lunches this week! Thanks, Christine

  4. This was so delicious! Tastes like spring or summer. I threw the whole pound of asparagus in and I think next time will add a bunch of zucchini or squash too. The more veggies the better, right? Great dish to kick off spring.

  5. I made this last night, it was the perfect meal for the first day of spring!! Hubby and toddler approved, and I love that it’s all made in one pan. I will definitely be making this dish again!

    • Seven years later, I am still making this recipe. Every time it’s as good as the first time. My toddler is now a 9 year old who’s pickier now than she was back then, but she’ll still eat this one. 

  6. I made this last night for dinner and just couldn’t get enough of it! Perfect spring-time meal. Absolutely delicious!

  7. This was delicious and very easy. Made enough for me to share with a neighbor who is also doing WW! Still have 3 more meals even after sharing. Thanks so much for a great recipe. I will be making this again!

  8. I modified this a little to make it Weight Watchers Simply Filling (omitted the flour and light butter, and just used olive oil from my Misto) but I could not find wheat orzo anywhere! Ended up substituting Farro instead. Came out great! Thanks!

    • I hope    Believe it or not WHOLE FOODS carries the orzo.  The whole WHats. It comes in a big plastic square jar 

  9. I made this for dinner yesterday and followed the recipe exactly. My husband & I loved it. It was wonderful as written, but the next time I make it I think I’ll increase the amount of vegetables. Thank you!

  10. Oh my gosh, this was SO delicious! So many wonderful flavors that work so well together. Will be making this again soon! I used green beans because I don’t like asparagus, 🙂 and it was so good! My BF loved it, too! And such a generous portion for the WW SmartPoints! Thank you!!

  11. My husband and I both loved it, the first time and as leftovers! I may add more veggies the next time I make it, but there will be a next time!

  12. This dish is delicious! Very light and flavorful. Thank you Emily!!!!

  13. This dish is delicious! Very light and flavorful. Thank you Emily!!!!

  14. I was starting to get bored of my typical roasted asparagus, this seems like a much more interesting recipe.

  15. Delicious! My husband and I had it for dinner last night and are having it for lunch today. Love it! I can also picture adding some feta cheese to this, if you have the WW SP for it. Thank you!

  16. OMG! I am struggling to get started on WW and stick to it. Tracking is my nemesis. I made this the night before last and it was so dang delicious. I left out the asparagus and added a bit of avocado the second day I had it. It was so good!!

  17. I just made this dish and my hubs and I loved it! I added mushrooms. Thanks!

  18. I make this dish about once a week now. Good dish that uses fresh seasonal produce and pantry staples. Easy to throw together. Even my two year old eats it. We add a sprinkle of parmesan at the end.

  19. I have made his dish twice so far and we love it. It taste so fresh! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. You directions are always spot on.

  20. Thank you Emily for another healthy delicious recipe! This was very simple & quick to make and DELICIOUS! My fiancée loved it and he is overly judgmental when he knows its a “healthy” meal. Very good, this will be a regular weekly meal! Onto the next recipe 🙂

  21. My son-in-law went back for seconds, and told me it was “freakin’ good.” A major compliment.

  22. We made this without asparagus as my husband doesn’t like it (booooo!) and it was a hit! My mom keeps asking us to make this again. I think it’s safe to say this will be in regular rotation. Thank you Emily!

  23. THIS RECIPE WAS DELICIOUS! I took some of the leftovers for friends to try and am going to make another batch this week!

  24. I cook on the weekends. My bride of 25 years loved it! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Thank you for the recipe! Even my very picky husband loved it! This is a new staple at our house!

  26. This recipe was excellent! My boyfriend loved it and was so surprised when I told him it was a lightened up recipe. My only failure was in not having fresh basil on hand but dried basil worked, I just added it sooner. I bet it will taste even better with fresh basil! Definitely a new favorite.

  27. Was excellent as published. Next time I will try no meat, will add a bunch of spinach and note lemon juice. I really don’t like much meat.

  28. I made this for dinner tonight and loved it. One thing though is that when I put in the figures as listed it comes out to 9 Freestyle SP, not 6. Other than that I followed your recipe as written and it came our great. Will most certainly make it again and again.

    • Hi Karen, I think this answer from my FAQs will help you!

      “I ran the nutrition information you posted through the points calculator and it doesn’t match the SmartPoints value you listed for the recipe – which one is right?”

      The best way to calculate the SmartPoints for a recipe is to use the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website. The recipe builder recognizes zero point foods and does not assign them a value in the overall SP calculation, however these foods still contain calories, sugar, etc. If you plug the nutrition information for the recipe into the SP calculator it will count the nutrition information for these foods in the overall points per serving, often giving you a completely different result than the recipe builder

  29. I’m back again! I made this last night after a long break from cooking, and it reminded me how much I like cooking no asparagus again, since husband still isn’t a fan, so we just cooked the orzo for 15 minutes. Didn’t have fresh basil so we added a tablespoon of dried basil, and an extra tablespoon of lemon juice because I wanted it lemony! Turned out AMAZING.

    Thank you again Emily for sharing this and all of your recipes! They’ve really helped in my weight loss, and I’m down 60 pounds!

  30. Emily your website is inspiring me every week to continue this journey. Thank you! 

  31. It is so SO rare to find a dish that is just as delicious hot as it is cold, but this one hits the nail right on the head. Love the versatility of it! I doubled the salt and added the zest of the lemon I juiced, as well. Yummmm!

  32. I am always so happy when asparagus is in my grocery store because I love this recipe! Thank you for the time you take to make such tasty health conscious food.

  33. This dish is amazing. It full of fresh vegetables (I added spinach and zucchini). The lemon flavor makes it fresh and zesty. I literally could have eaten the entire pot by myself. I can see this with a side of fish too!  So simple and quick to prepare. Directions are perfect!

  34. Thank you for this recipe. The meal was divine, I threw in some mushrooms because I didn’t have enough asparagus. We will keep making this! 

  35. I love this recipe, and my boyfriend loves only having to clean one pot! 🙂 My only recommendation would be to cook the asparagus less than 10 minutes, but maybe mine were small or I just like them a little less tender. I’d maybe suggest 5 minutes instead.

  36. This dish was amazing, the fresh basil is a must. I also added a handful of parm cheese!

  37. I am so glad I found this recipe.  Love the WW points totals.  Easy to follow, directions were spot on.  I didn’t add the tomatoes but substituted with frozen artichoke hearts and doubled the asparagus.  This recipe has so many options.  I am following you on Facebook now too.5 stars

  38. This was AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing. We added a little Parmesan to our plates. My only suggestion to those making it would be to double the recipe because you’re going to want leftovers 🙂5 stars

  39. First time making this recipe.  Delicious and came together so quick. Looking forward to leftovers for lunch. This recipe will be on repeat at my house.  5 stars

  40. Love it!! On our regular meal rotation. Thanks for a great recipe 5 stars

  41. So delicious!! This will be on our regular rotation for dinners!5 stars

  42. This recipe is a 10/10. So quick and easy. Love it for lunch leftovers too. 5 stars

  43. This is the perfect spring meal! I added a yellow pepper and some red onion, figuring the more veggies the better! I don’t really like asparagus so I steamed some broccoli to add to my portion. I also threw mine over a cup or so of spinach for even more veggies. It was absolutely delicious!

  44. This was delicious, flavorful but light. And so easy to make! This will be a regular dish for me.

  45. Delicious!  So fresh and flavorful.  Added this to the dinner rotation.   Perfect for a light meal. 5 stars

  46. Super flavorful and easy to make! My husband makes it and we both enjoy eating it! We’ve made it several times already. 5 stars

  47. Loved it! 
    So fresh and light! Thank you!

  48. I just printed this recipe out to make this coming week. Love all your recipes! I am wondering if I couldn’t double this and freeze some portions. Has anyone done this?

  49. So good ! Have made this a couple times. This time I added Italian seasoning to the flour mixture for the chicken. Everyone is asking for more ! 5 stars

  50. Delicious! I didn’t put the flour on the chicken to cut points for WW. It was definitely a keeper!5 stars

  51. Made this, loved it, recommended the recipe to friends. What’s not to love about something so easy that tastes so great?! Thank you for sharing!!5 stars

  52. Fantastic, easy meal! I’ve made it twice, subbing different shortcut proteins (chicken sausagevone time, can of garbanzo beans the other), and zucchini instead of asparagus, and loved it both times. Versatile and tasty!5 stars

  53. I love this dish! I double the asparagus and tomatoes. Even my plain Jane eating college boy loves this. Light and bright with the lemon. This one is a home run!

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