This Greek Meatball and Creamy Orzo Skillet is an easy, delicious, and healthy weeknight dinner the whole family will love. It features seasoned chicken meatballs, creamy, lemony orzo, chunks of salty feta, a bright tomato cucumber salad, fresh herbs, and peppery arugula. Served with an irresistible lemon tahini dressing.Jump to Recipe
A one pan dinner plan
I love a good easy clean-up, less mess meal that still packs a flavor punch. After a long day working, who wants to come home to make a fancy, complicated meal? Not me!
My new obsession is orzo skillet meals. First, in the skillet, you cook whatever protein you prefer, like a meatball or chicken breast. Next, you simmer the orzo with broth in the same pan. Add seasonings, extra flavorings, and serve with whatever toppings, and your’e done. Easy peasy. Plus, extra delicious!
We literally make this Greek Meatball and creamy orzo skillet weekly. It contains so much flavor, texture, and color. It’s addictive. Plus, this is a one pan plan so perfect for a quick but flavorful weeknight meal.
Here’s the main ingredients you will need to make this dish:
- ground chicken, the base of the meatballs. It’s a versatile, inexpensive, and lighter protein that takes on flavor well, so creates a delicious and perfectly seasoned meatball.
- greek yogurt and egg, both work together to keep the meatballs moist and help bind them together.
- breadcrumbs and seasonings, I use panko breadcrumbs to create a light and tender meatball. I also pack these meatballs with flavor by using a combo of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and Italian seasonings.
- orzo, one of my favorite pastas! It looks like rice but it’s actually a small-cut pasta. It’s versatile, easy and quick to cook, and fun to eat – making for a delicious, addictive meal.
- chicken broth, I prefer to use a low sodium chicken broth as the base liquid for the orzo to add extra flavor to the dish. The orzo absorbs the chicken broth (which = flavor) while slowly simmering on the cooktop create a tender, flavorful pasta dish.
- greek yogurt and parmesan cheese, we up the creamy factor of the orzo with a combo of greek yogurt and grated parmesan cheese. The greek yogurt also adds healthy fat and protein, so it’s a chicken dinner win!
- tahini, the star ingredient in our dressing. It’s tangy, bold, and creamy, so creates the perfect, luscious dressing.
- balsamic vinegar, to add a touch of sweetness and acid to the dressing.
- maple syrup, tahini tends to be a bit bitter, so a touch of maple syrup (honey or agave also work) helps tame that bitter bight and creates a balanced and delicious dressing.
- olive oil, it’s use throughout this recipe, but especially helps bring richness and smoothness to our dressing. I also use it to cook the meatballs so they achieve a nice golden brown crust. Finally, it’s used in our cherry tomato salsa for a well-dressed and well-balanced salsa.
- cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, the three main ingredients in our salsa. They add extra veggie goodness plus brightness to round out this otherwise rich dish.
- parsley, dill, and arugula, for herbaceous, green goodness to add extra nutrients and vibrance to the dish.
How to make this one pan plan
Here’s a super quick guide on how to make this meal. Full directions below.
- Make and cook the meatballs. Mix up the ground chicken and eggs, greek yogurt, panko, and seasonings and form into balls. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook the meatballs until golden brown and fully cooked through. Remove from the pan.
- Simmer the orzo. Heat more olive oil in the same pan used to cook the meatballs. Add in orzo and toast until slightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Add in your chicken broth. Bring to a boil than back down to a simmer over medium heat. Allow to cook until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is tender.
- Season the orzo. Add greek yogurt, lemon zest and juice, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to the orzo and mix until well-combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Create the delicious sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients and thin out with cold water. It comes together so easily and adds a ton of extra flavor!
- Whip up the salsa. Combine the veggies, herbs, S&P, lemon juice, and olive oil and gently toss to combine. It’s so simple but you don’t want to skip it. It’s bright and vibrant so helps cut through the richness of the dish.
- Build your bowls. Use arugula as your base. Add in the orzo and meatballs. Top with the salsa, feta, extra herbs, and fresh lemon slices.
- Serve and enjoy! So delicious!
How is this dish lightened up?
- whole wheat orzo, I like to use whole wheat orzo as it’s packed with more fiber and protein but still tastes delicious and leads to a tender pasta.
- chicken meatballs, I use a lean ground chicken for the meatballs, which contains less fat but still creates a moist, flavorful meatball.
- homemade dressing, the sauce for this dish is absolute magic! Better yet, it’s homemade so I only use wholesome real ingredients and unrefined sugar so it’s so much better for you than a store-bought kind. I always recommend making your own sauces and dressings to avoid highly processed and unwanted ingredients. Plus, they taste so much better made from scratch.
- extra veggies, I pair this dish with a tomato, onion, and cucumber salad and arugula to pack in more nutritious veggies and greens!
More easy weeknight meals
This Greek Meatball and Creamy Orzo Skillet is an easy, flavor-packed, and wholesome weeknight meal that will earn a spot in your weekly dinner rotation – it’s that good!
If you make this Greek Meatball and Creamy Orzo Skillet, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest, cuz sharing is caring!
Greek Meatball and Creamy Orzo Skillet
Tomato cucumber salsa
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small cucumber seeds removed and diced
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 1 l2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon greek yogurt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup Italian panic crumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/3 cup
- 3 cup broth
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup graded parmesan
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Feta for topping
- Tomato cucumber salad for topping
- Arugula for bowl
Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Splash Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 tablespoons cold water
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the salsa, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well-combined. Place in fridge to chill while making the remaining components of the dish.
In a large bowl, add the ground chicken and remaining ingredients. Gently mix with your hands or a spoon until all the ingredients are well-combined. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, portion out the mixture and roll into balls.
Heat a large skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 4-6 minutes a side. Remove from the pan.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the orzo and toast for 2-3 minutes. Add in chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower to a simmer over medium heat and cook until pasta is cooked through, 12-15 minutes.
Once the orzo is cooked and the broth absorbed, mix in the greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to the orzo. Stir until well-combined. Add the meatballs back in and nestle into the orzo. Cover and allow to absorb sauce while you prepare the rest of the meal.
For the tahini sauce, combine the tahini through Worcestershire sauce. Thin out with cold water as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
To build the bowls, first add arugula to the bottom of the individual bowl. Top with desired amount of orzo and meatballs. Serve with tomato cucumber salsa and chunks of feta. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing. Enjoy!
For extra flavor, you can brown lemon halves and use as a finishing touch.