Slow cooker chicken with orzo and Kalamata olives is a dish with oodles of flavor and the slow cooking makes the chicken so moist and tender. All you’ll need to go with this meal is a nice side salad.
This is a simple but great-tasting dish. I think it would be perfect for company since you can prep the ingredients beforehand… clean up everything…then slow cook the meal for around two and a half hours.
- chicken thigh and leg quarters
- sweet onion
- bell peppers
- chicken broth
- tomato sauce
- Greek yogurt ranch dressing (like Hidden Valley or Litehouse Opa)
- orzo pasta
- Kalamata olives
- fresh spinach leaves
- Greek seasoning
- red pepper flakes
- olive oil
You can substitute long-grain white rice for the orzo but the cooking time may need adjusting. I suggest that you check the doneness of the rice occasionally.
The recipe only requires hands-on attention for about 25 minutes. The rest of the time your slow cooker does its job.
I use this nice programmable Crockpot brand slow cooker which is a 4-quart model. They also make a similar 6-quart model.
The prep time for this includes dicing a sweet onion, slicing up the peppers, and halving some pitted Kalamata olives. (I like halving pitted Kalamatas because all the olives are pitted, except the ones that aren’t. I’ve been surprised more than once by the ones that aren’t).
Next, all that’s required is to brown the chicken and soften the onion and sweet peppers. Throw everything into the slow cooker for 2 hours, then add the orzo and olives and let it cook for another 40 minutes and you pretty much have the finished meal.
The chicken is falling off the bone moist and delicious. The accompanying orzo and vegetables have tremendous flavor.
There are lots of fresh ingredients in the broth so a side salad would be all that you need to accompany the chicken.
This is a dish that can’t miss and everyone from kids to adults is going to love it. Slow cooker chicken with orzo and kalamata olives is a keeper recipe.
Here are some more tasty chicken recipes to try:
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Slow Cooker Chicken with Orzo and Kalamata Olives
- 3 chicken leg and thigh quarters
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Greek seasoning , like Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning
- 1 sweet onion , diced
- 8 oz . mini pepper rings or red and yellow bell peppers sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 oz . can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup greek yogurt ranch dressing , like Litehouse Opa tzatziki ranch or Hidden Valley
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 30 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 3/4 cup orzo
- 3 cups packed spinach leaves , coarse stems removed
- Separate the chicken legs and thighs and place in a large bowl
- Add the olive oil and Greek seasoning and toss to coat
- Heat a large heavy skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium high heat and place the chicken pieces skin side down until the skin is nicely brown, turn and repeat on the second side, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Place the browned chicken into a slow cooker.
- Using the same skillet, on medium heat, add the onion and peppers to soften, 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken broth, tomato sauce, yogurt dressing and the pepper flakes and bring to a boil then pour this over the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Cook on high heat for 2 hours.
- Next, add the orzo and kalamata olives, stir in and cook for 35 to 40 minutes more until the orzo is done.
- Remove the chicken parts and place on a large platter or shallow serving bowl, then stir in the spinach leaves to wilt, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the orzo/spinach/kalamata olive mixture into the serving dish with the chicken.
- Serve right away.
- You can substitute long grain white rice for the orzo. The cooking time may vary, so check the rice for softness occasionally.
- Leftovers can be re-heated but the orzo may have absorbed a lot of the broth. Add more broth as you see fit.
- I used the small bell peppers because they were on sale. Normal sized red, orange or yellow can be substituted.