Greek Chicken Risotto

Greek Chicken Risotto is easy, delicious and all made in ONE POT!   

This Chicken Risotto is wonderfully simple to prepare, unbelievably flavorful, fool proof and requires no stove stirring babysitting!  Once you make this BAKED chicken risotto once, you will be BLOWN away at how easy is and want to make it again and again!  And of course, your entire family will want you to make it again and again! I’ve also included different creamy chicken risotto variations, so you can mix up the flavor profile because once you learn the technique, the chicken risotto possibilities are endless!

top view of easy, creamy chicken risotto without wine

Chicken Risotto

Remember when I posted my Personal Favorite Recipes of 2016?   That was a crazy hard list to narrow down, but one recipe that hands down made the cut was my Baked Butternut Squash Risotto with Pepper Jack and Pine Nuts. Have you tried it yet?  I could eat it for days.  But now the only problem is it has competition – this Greek Chicken Risotto recipe!

But before I go on about how crazy delicious this creamy Chicken Risotto recipe is, let me firsts say that if you have never made risotto before, it’s time.  The perfect time with this fool proof baked version.  You don’t need to worry about standing in front of your stove for 30 minutes and ladling in cupful after cupful of chicken broth and stirring to the right consistency.  And it’s the perfect time because this easy chicken risotto recipe is a complete meal in-one!

 What sets this Chicken Risotto apart from other easy chicken risotto recipes, is the outstanding flavor from the marinated Greek chicken that seeps into the rice along with not only Parmesan  –  but feta!  The chicken risotto is then topped with your favorite Greek toppings such as tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, more feta – anything your heart desires!   It’s a symphony of Greek flavors and creamy, juicy textures in every bite worthy of an encore!

easy chicken risotto recipe in a white bowl

What Rice is Best for Chicken Risotto?

Chicken Risotto is SO easy to make – you just need the correct rice  – arborio rice.  You can find it at almost every grocery store next to the other rices.  When cooked, the rounded grains of the arborio rice become creamy and chewy due to the high starch content without become mushy.

Please do NOT use any other type of rice or the risotto will not work right and you will end up with a big pot of mushy rice.  Only arborio rice creates creamy rice every time without becoming mushy.

What Chicken is Best For chicken Risotto?

My Greek Chicken is the star of this Chicken Risotto and is one of my absolute favorite marinades.   I first used this chicken in my incredible chicken gyro pizza and have since used it in my chicken gyros, Greek chicken salad, chicken souvlaki and beef souvlaki -because it is AMAZING!.

The marinade is a quick whisking of olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and a plethora of handpicked spices.  You first whisk the spices together of garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, onion powder, paprika etc. and then add some to the marinade and the rest are reserved for your actual risotto.  Double the flavor without double the work!

You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this easy Chicken Risotto recipe.  I usually use chicken breasts because they are leaner and emerge ridiculously juicy in this preparation, but you can use your favorite or whatever you have on hand.

showing how to make chicken risotto by slicing chicken

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN RISOTTO

  • chicken: first, marinate the chicken for 30-60 minutes up to overnight – whatever is more convenient for you! When it’s time to make chicken risotto, cook the chicken in a Dutch oven then remove the chicken without wiping out your pot.  The leftover marinated chicken flavors remain – this is why my risotto is brownish in color – from the leftover balsamic marinade – and this color means FLAVOR!
  • toast rice:  Next, saute your red onion in some olive oil and butter, followed by your Arborio rice for two minutes   Please don’t skip the step of toasting the rice.  This unlocks a pleasant nuttiness and creates a protective barrier around each grain which helps the grains absorb moisture slowly.
  • add broth:  Add 4 ½ cups chicken broth and reserved spices.  Please use low sodium chicken broth so your chicken risotto isn’t too salty.  Using reduced sodium chicken broth leaves wiggle room for you to salt to taste.
  • bake: Now, no more stirring your Chicken Risotto!  Simpy cover and bake 20 minutes or until your rice is on the tender side of al dente.  If you don’ have a tight-fitting lid, then you can use foil, but make sure it is TIGHT otherwise the broth will evaporate before the rice is cooked, leaving you with crunchy rice.
  • stir: Once your rice is baked to delightful creaminess, you remove from the oven and vigorously stir in your Parmesan and feta and ½ cup more chicken broth.  We stir vigorously not just to melt the cheese but more importantly the stirring helps to release the starch that gives risotto its distinctively creamy, rich texture.  Then all that’s left to do is stir in our chicken and warm through and garnish with plenty of freshly chopped tomatoes and EAT!
  • garnish: Garnish with freshly chopped tomatoes, additional Feta, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired. You could even top with a dollop of tzatziki! 
simple chicken risotto in a white pot garnished with parmesan

HOW TO STORE CHICKEN RISOTTO

If you have the pleasure of having Chicken Risotto leftovers, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

HOW TO REHEAT CHICKEN RISOTTO

Chicken Risotto will thicken in the refrigerator so you will want to thin it out with additional chicken broth or water before reheating.   You can reheat risotto easily in the microwave or to reheat larger batches on the stove:

  1. Add risotto and some chicken broth or water to a skillet, about ¼ cup liquid for 1 cup risotto.
  2. Heat over medium heat until warmed through, stirring often.
  3. If the risotto is still thick, stir in additional liquid one tablespoon at a time.
  4. You can also add additional butter and salt to taste as the salt will mellow when refrigerated.
top view of creamy chicken risotto in a white bowl garnished with parrsley

CHICKEN RISOTTO VARIATIONS

You can make ANY type of Chicken Risotto by following the technique of this recipe.  Some ideas for chicken Risotto:

  • seasonings:  mix up the flavor profile of Chicken Risotto by seasoning the chicken differently or the risotto itself differently.  You can use Cajun, Mexican, Italian, Island, etc. spice combinations.
  • flavor add ins:  in addition to spices, you can mix up the flavor profile with lemon juice, fennel, mint, sage, herbs, etc.
  • vegetables:  add any vegges your heart desires!  Asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, Swiss chard, peas, etc. are all fabulous!
  • protein: add bacon to the Chicken Risotto or swap the chicken for shrimp, lobster, salmon, pork, ground beef, Italian sausage, ground turkey, etc.
  • cheese:  swap the Parmesan for other cheeses or add additional cheeses such as sharp cheddar, white cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, etc

What to serve with Chicken Risotto?

I like to serve this Greek Chicken Risotto with warm pita bread, tzatziki or  hummus, fattoush as well as fruit such as grapes or a big fruit salad for a dazzling Mediterranean feast.

up close of chicken risotto without wine in a white bowl

One Pot Baked Greek Chicken Risotto.  Swoon worthy cream, no babysitting and absolutely fool proof.    It’s time.

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Easy, creamy BAKED Greek Chicken Risotto made in one pot! This has become a favorite dinner for my entire family and I love how easy it is! Its bursting with so much flavor and the chicken marinade is outstanding!

Baked Greek Chicken Risotto

Easy, creamy BAKED Greek Chicken Risotto made in ONE POT!   This simple to prepare risotto is unbelievably flavorful, fool proof and requires no stove stirring babysitting!  Your entire family will love this dinner and you will love how easy it is! 
Servings: 5 -7
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Spices

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, dried basil, onion pwdr
  • 1/2 tsp EACH cumin, paprika, pepper, sugar

Marinade

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon reserved Spices (in directions)

Risotto

  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups warmed reduced sodium chicken broth divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

Garnish (optional)

  • fresh parsley
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • feta
  • chopped cucumbers
  • lemon juice

Instructions

  • Whisk all of the spices together. Separate out 2 tablespoons spices and add to a freezer size plastic bag along with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Whisk to combine then add chicken. Marinate at room temperature for 30-60 minutes or refrigerate up to overnight. Reserve remaining spices (“Reserved Spices”).
  • Let marinated chicken sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes if it has been refrigerated. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven (or large oven proof heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid). Once very hot, drain chicken from marinade, pat dry and add to skillet. Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 4-6 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before chopping into bite size pieces. Do not clean pan.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In the same pot chicken was cooked in, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Turn heat to medium high and add red onions. Saute for 3 minutes. Add rice and continue to cook for 2 minutes while stirring.
  • Add 4 ½ cups warm chicken broth and Reserved Spices. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven (do not add chicken). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until rice is tender (but not mushy).
  • When rice is tender, remove from oven and stir in remaining ½ cup chicken broth, ½ cup Parmesan Cheese and ¼ cup feta cheese. Stir vigorously until smooth. Stir in chicken and heat through. For a runnier risotto, stir in additional chicken broth.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped tomatoes, additional Feta, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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14 Comments

  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says

    This sounds fantastic. I love Mediterranean flavors. My daughter suggested I use the salad I just posted as a filling with Greek chicken in a pita or flatbread. I’ll have to try it with your Greek marinade on chicken 🙂 I wish I could make it as a risotto but we are away from home and our kitchen utensils are bare bones. I’ll have to wait on the risotto once we get home. Thank you for the Greek recipe for my chicken. Have a great day xoxo

    • Jen says

      Thank you Marisa! Adding Greek chicken to your salad in pita form will be delicious! I would recommend following my Chicken Gyro Flatbread marinade – basically the same but you don’t reserve the spices to add to thee risotto so you won’t waste any. I’m actually making a Greek salad today too 🙂 I seem to get on a roll of flavors then have to make a few recipes before I move onto something else 🙂 I hope you are enjoying your family!

  2. Catherine says

    Absolutely loved it! My daughter requested it for her birthday dinner next week. Would I need to increase cooking time to double the recipe? Two my kids asked me to double it next time so they could eat more.

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you made it already and your whole family loved it Catherine – thank you! I have never doubled the recipe but yes, I would think you would have to increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes. Sorry I can’t give you a better estimate but I would hate to over estimate and our rice to be mushy. Good luck and happy birthday to your daughter!

  3. Emily says

    Thank you, this was sooo good. Subbed white wine for that 1/2 cup broth (only had a quart) & added mushrooms. Perfect.

    • Jen says

      Love the addition of mushrooms and wine – yum! So happy you loved it Emily, thank you so much!

  4. Layne says

    Incredible! I loved how easy it was and so so delicious!

    • Jen says

      YAY! Thanks so much Layne! This is one of my favorite, easy, flavorful meals so I’m especially glad you tried it and loved it!

  5. Ria says

    I loved this recipe!! great flavors <3

    do you happen to have a recipe on your site or a friend's site for the lemon/yellow rice you get at the Greek restaurants?

  6. Anne McCormack says

    Thanks for posting this delicious recipe. Made this tonight and did not change a thing, it was tasty flavorful and easy to make. I’ll be making this again for sure 🙂

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Anne, I’m so happy it was a hit! I love hearing you enjoyed this recipe as it seems to be a forgotten recipe but one of my favs 🙂

  7. Sheila says

    Thank you so much! I have never had very good results when I tried to make risotto, but this one is sooo easy and sooo delicious! I have made it several times in the past year and each time it comes out great. I usually freeze a couple of servings too and it taste great reheated. Your directions detailed enough that even a novice cook can make a great risotto. Hooray!

    • Jen says

      Hoory is right! Your comment made my day thank you Sheila! I love this recipe so much so it makes me so extra happy when I hear others are making it and loving it! I’m glad you found the recipes detailed and easy and you’ve had success every time! Thanks Sheila!

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