One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo is a beautiful meal, and it’s simple enough for your weeknights. 

Overhead shot of skillet with orzo, crispy chicken, and veggies.

This one-pan dinner is a dream.

The colors. The flavors. This One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca is such a gorgeous dinner to serve guests or put on the table for your family. You get crispy seasoned chicken thighs nestled into creamy orzo with juicy tomatoes, castelvetrano olives, and briny capers. Not to mention, prep is easy peasy! And you can easily clean up while dinner simmers together on the stove—which of course means that you get to just relax after dinner. (What’s that like?)

What is puttanesca?

Often seen as pasta alla puttanesca, there are various stories behind how this dish came about—from brothels to restaurants. But in the end, you’ve got the same ingredients in both tales. The idea was to make the best with what you’ve got by throwing it all together to create a simple pasta dish. What the creator had was anchovies, tomatoes, olives, capers, and olive oil; those first four ingredients are what make a puttanesca. This One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca swings things in a different direction, but those signature flavors remain, and it’s a thousand chef’s kisses.

The list of ingredients for this One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca:

  • Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Anchovy fillets
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Capers
  • Castelvetrano olives (typically a puttanesca sauce has black oil-cured olives or kalamata olives, but I absolutely love the flavor of castelvetrano in this mix. They’re sweeter, milder in flavor, and have a wonderful buttery texture.)
  • Chili flakes
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh oregano
  • Orzo
  • Chicken broth
  • Tomato paste
  • White wine

I know, I know. This looks like a lengthy list, but the prep is a cinch and everything comes together very quickly.

Overhead close up shot of crispy chicken thighs in skillet.

Chicken thighs: bone-in vs boneless.

You can absolutely use boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, but you won’t end up with that beautiful golden crispy top. Another really important thing to consider if swapping in boneless thighs is that they take much less time to cook than bone-in. Boneless chicken thighs take about 15-20 minutes to cook through, whereas bone-in can take up to 30 minutes. I always encourage the use of a meat thermometer, but especially when cooking bone-in cuts of chicken. Once the internal temperature reaches 165º F, they’re ready to go. The good thing with darker meat is, even if you do accidentally overcook it a tad, it’s not as unforgiving as white meat.

Overhead process shots of seasoned chicken, seared crispy chicken, and finished product.

Finally, how to make this bomb One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo.

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on the tops/skin.
  3. Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, into the skillet and fry for about 7 minutes per side, or until the meat is no longer pink in the middle. Cook time will definitely depend on the size of the thighs and your cooktop, so keep a close eye on them.
  4. When the chicken is done, carefully transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, olives, chili flakes, and fresh herbs to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and tomato paste.
  7. Add the orzo to the pan along with the chicken broth and white wine; give it a good stir.
  8. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and let everything simmer for 20 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked and has absorbed all of the liquid.
  9. Remove from heat, top with fresh chopped parsley, and serve.

Spatula lifting a portion of chicken out of the skillet full or orzo.

Close up side shot of crispy chicken in skillet full or orzo.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Skillet or braiser (I prefer a cast iron skillet—they give you the best crisp on your meat!)
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Plate or serving platter
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk

Overhead shot of plateful of orzo with crispy chicken on top.

Other easy chicken thigh recipes:

Hope you enjoy!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

Get the Recipe:

One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo

One-Pan Chicken Puttanesca with Creamy Orzo is a beautiful meal, and it's simple enough for your weeknights.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in, If you decide to use skinless and boneless, cooking time for the chicken will be less.
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 TBSP drained capers
  • 1/2 cup castelvetrano olives, sliced in half, You can use kalamata olives or black oil-cure olives instead, if preferred.
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup white wine

Equipment

  • Skillet or braiser (I prefer a cast iron skillet—they give you the best crisp on your meat!)
  • sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Plate or serving platter
  • Mixing bowl
  • whisk

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on the tops/skin.
  • Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, into the skillet and fry for about 7 minutes per side, or until the meat is no longer pink in the middle. Cook time will definitely depend on the size of the thighs and your cooktop, so keep a close eye on them.
  • When the chicken is done, carefully transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate or serving platter.
  • Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, olives, chili flakes, and fresh herbs to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and tomato paste.
  • Add the orzo to the pan along with the chicken broth and white wine; give it a good stir.
  • Nestle the chicken thighs back into the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and let everything simmer for 20 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked and has absorbed all of the liquid.
  • Remove from heat, top with fresh chopped parsley, and serve.