Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo | This easy slow cooker meal is ready in just three hours on high and while the cooking method and ingredients list are pretty simple the flavor of this dish is anything but. Onion and chicken slowly cook in a savory sauce of tomato, Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence and red pepper flakes. Add in orzo and olives half an hour before the cooking time is up - it's as easy as that.
I love a good tomato-based, herby, smothered chicken dinner. Add some greens on the side, and also have it done in three hours and I'm ALL. OVER. IT. How about you?
I use my own Homemade Italian Seasoning which you can take a look at - it's very easy to make and lasts a long time in the cupboard. I've also tried this recipe with an Herbes de Provence mix that my sister made for me. Both are so good!
I like to add either a salad or some roasted broccoli on the side, for more of a complete meal of vegetables, some carbohydrates, and protein.
Whatever you decide to serve it with, this is the perfect recipe for a quick to put together meal on a Saturday afternoon when you're not sure what you're going to make for dinner. Maybe you've been out all day shopping or shuffling the kids around to activities. Or maybe you accidentally watched Netflix all day. It happens. Pop this on at 3 and you're all ready for 6 o'clock. And no one will ever suspect about the Netflix thing.
How to Make Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo
Peel and quarter an onion and then peel apart the layers so that you have little onion petals. Layer the onion petals across the bottom of the slow cooker. (Photo 1) Add the chicken chunks, salt and pepper and the herbs of your choice (Photo 2) - I use either my Homemade Italian Seasoning or the Herbes de Provence that my sister made me. Add the tomato sauce on top (Photo 3). Give it all a stir, add the lid and set on high for 2 ½ hours.
After 2 ½ hours, take the lid off and add the orzo (Photo 4) and the olives (Photo 5). Stir and replace the lid and cook for another half an hour - still on the high setting. After three hours, remove the lid, stir and serve (Photo 6).
Questions About Making Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo
Only three hours? Is that right?
Yes, that's right. The chicken is cut into chunks so it doesn't take that long to cook.
Is this spicy?
No, there is only a small amount of red pepper flakes. Leave them out if you like.
Can I make substitutions?
Sure. If you don't like olives, feel free to leave them out. Use different olives if you want to. Or add some diced red pepper in place of the olives. I haven't tried rice in place of the orzo, so I'm not sure if that would work. Try different things out if you want to and leave a comment and let me know what works!
Do I have to use a slow cooker?
No, you can make this in a pot on the stovetop. I haven't done that, but if you try it, just make sure everything is cooked fully. Simmer the chicken in the tomato and herbs until fully cooked. You could even brown the onions and chicken first. Then add the orzo and olives and cook over medium until the orzo is done. You may need to add water occasionally and keep stirring to avoid burning.
Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo
- 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
- 3 chicken breasts (cut into large chunks)
- 660 ml strained crushed tomatoes (tomato passata) (23 oz)
- 2 teaspoons
Homemade Italian Seasoning(or Herbes de Provence)
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup dried orzo
- 12-15 large olives
- Lay the onion petals across the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay the chicken chunks on top. Seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover with the tomato, herbs and red pepper flakes. Add lid.
- Slow cook on high for 2 ½ hours.
- Add the orzo and olives, stir, replace the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Serve with a side salad or green vegetable for a full meal.