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Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo. Quick, easy, colorful, and delicious! Baked chicken meatballs with roasted lemon, cooked together with orzo pasta and baby spinach, then finished with melty cheese. This tasty dish is all made in one pan without even having to boil any water. Simply mix, bake, eat, and enjoy!

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

And we’re back with yet another one-pan dinner. I’m loving these easy all-in-one recipes this month. Fortunately, they’ve been turning out so delicious!

It’s been busy over here, and long days mean my time in the kitchen is limited. I was just saying on a call today that I always keep things like this in mind when creating recipes. Of course, that should go without saying that they also need to be incredibly yummy. My intention is for my recipes to be approachable, easy, and so delicious…while also looking pretty!

It’s the combo that makes a recipe worthy of saving!

And these cheesy, garlic meatballs fit the description to a T.

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

My mom mentioned that meatballs sounded really delicious with all the snowy weather and cold temperatures we’ve been having. I thought about sharing another crockpot meatball, but then I had the thought to test out baked meatballs with orzo.

I’ve been enjoying my all-in-one baked dishes so much, so I was curious to test this one out. It’s ended up working out wonderfully and turned into a recipe that everyone has really been enjoying!

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

These are the details

Step 1: make the meatballs

I love to use ground chicken or pork for this recipe. Sometimes I’ll mix the chicken and pork if I have both on hand.

Then, the seasonings: dijon, shallots, garlic, rosemary and smoked paprika. Then mix in parmesan cheese as well.

Mix everything together and roll it into meatballs. Then, place the meatballs in a baking dish with a little olive oil, chopped lemon peel, dill, and chili flakes.

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

Step 2: bake the meatballs

Now, bake the meatballs until they start getting crisp on top.

I like to give them a head start on cooking before adding the orzo. I think this helps them form a nice shape and develop even more flavor!

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

Step 3: add the orzo

Next, mix the orzo with the oil and meatballs in the baking dish. Add water and wine, and then spinach on top.

No need to boil the orzo. As everything bakes together, the orzo will soak up the water and become perfectly cooked. It’s such a simple way to cook orzo pasta!

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

Step 4: add the cheese

Pull the dish out, add a touch of cream, then top with either mozzarella or provolone cheese, then bake again until the cheese is all melty and bubbling up.

It’s going to smell so delicious with the lemon and rosemary, and then all that cheese on top! YUM.

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

Step 5: serve!

Serve the lemon meatballs over the creamy, cheesy orzo. Then I like to add fresh greens and chili flakes on top.

Simple and quick, with very little clean-up, and minimal hands-on time too.

You can serve this up on busy weeknights, but it would be equally great for a small dinner party with friends. Everyone loves this meatball and pasta dinner.

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo |

Looking for other easy weeknight dinners? Here are some favorites.

Creamy White Bean Noodle Soup with Rosemary Bacon.

Mustard Herb Chicken and Creamy Orzo

Crockpot Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch

Slow Cooker Saucy Sunday Bolognese Pasta

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bolognese

Crockpot Garlic Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo

Lastly, if you make this Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Baked Lemon Rosemary Chicken Meatballs and Creamy Orzo

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 679 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
    2. Add the chicken, dijon, shallot, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary, paprika, salt, pepper, and parmesan to a bowl. Mix to combine. Roll the meat into tablespoon-size balls (will make 15-16 meatballs).
    2. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the meatballs, olive oil, lemon peel, dill, and chili flakes. Bake 8-10 minutes, until just starting to get crisp. Reduce the oven to 400° F.
    3. To the meatballs, add the dry orzo. Pour over 2 cups of water and the wine, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Place the spinach on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until most of the water has cooked into the pasta, but not all of it.
    4. Stir the pasta around, mix in the cream, then sprinkle the cheese overtop. Bake another 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. If there's a lot of oil on top, drain off the excess. Top with fresh dill, basil, or micro greens.
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  1. 5 stars
    Amazing, Tieghan!

    The half-and-half was a great substitute for the heavy cream. My whole family loved this dish, and I will be adding it to my “keeper” folder.


    1. Hey Michele,
      Wonderful! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you making it and your feedback! xT

  2. 4 stars
    The meatballs are so flavorful! However, I found the orzo part a bit bland. Next time, when adding the 2 cups of water, I am going to use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of chicken broth for added flavor. I would also put even more spinach than that in…..I thought it was a nice addition, but I wanted more.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your feedback! So glad to hear it was enjoyed! The broth in the orzo will work nicely for you:) xT

  3. I agree with the last comment, don’t waste your time and money making this dish!!! The meal prep overall was time consuming and did not deliver! All those flavors and it turned out to be a very bland meal and just did not taste good! Unfortunately, no one in my family liked it either!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Sorry to hear you did not enjoy this dish. Please let me know if there is something specific that I can help with! Have a great week! xx

      1. Hi thank you for answering. I felt that the meatballs lacked moisture ground chicken breast lacks fat which also adds flavor. The meat balls and oil was off to a decent start the ingredients were good however where this recipe really took a turn for the worse was the orzo segment. Adding water and wine just did not offer any flavor for the orzo to hold onto and absorb. Orzo in general is tough to make flavorful. I felt the wine wasn’t able to enhance the dish due to its inability to be able to burn off the alcohol therefore enable the flavors of the oil and meatballs to marry and get that depth that wine would give to a dish when it’s sautéed with other ingredients. Finally adding the cream and cheese, again too very mild flavors did not help this dish come to full fruition it only offered another level of bland. I tried to save the dish by adding fresh torn basil. When that didn’t resuscitate it, I tried again using fresh squeezed lemon juice. It just was a fail for me I think sun dried tomatoes, artichokes or even mushrooms in oil would have been a great addition to this dish wether in the meatballs or orzo portion of the recipe.

  4. 1 star
    I really love all the elements of this dish but it just didn’t work for me. It’s a time consuming dish with no payoff. I really wanted to love it but there was not one component of this dish that stood out. Honestly, do not waste your time.

  5. Hi Tieghan,

    Can you replace the heavy cream with half-and-half?

    Thanks for all of your amazing recipes.


    1. Hi Michele,
      Sure, that would be just fine for you to do! Please let me know if you give this dish a try, I hope you love it! xT

    1. Hi Colleen,
      Thanks so much!! It’s 1 pound of orzo, so typically that is a standard size box:) I hope you love this dish! xT

  6. I saw that the meatballs were going to cook too long so I cooked the meatballs at 450 for 10 minutes and took out. While they were cooking I cooked the orzo on the stove until done drained and added cream, and chopped spinach and I had left over skinny chopped up asparagus. I poured the orzo mixture over the meatballs and topped with mozzarella and cooked at 400 for 10 more minutes and broiled the top. Really good but the meatballs she’s should have only cooked for a total of 15 minutes at the high heat. Very flavorful!! Thanks Tieghan!!

    1. Hey Linda,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for making this recipe and your comment, I’m so glad it was yummy! Thanks for sharing your notes on what worked well for you! xx

  7. 5 stars
    SO DELICIOUS TIEGHAN! I have saved so many of your recipes and finally tried this one tonight—yum. Once the meatballs were in the oven, I realized I didn’t add the dijon to the meatball mixture (gah!) so I added it to the water and rice. I’m sure it tastes even better where it’s intended in the meatballs ☺️
    My orzo needed more liquid as the others mentioned too, so I just added an extra cup during the final 10 min and it came out perfectly al dente as I like it.
    Thank you for sharing this with us!

    1. Hey Wendy,
      Happy Monday!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe and your comment, I love that it was enjoyed! Thanks so much for your kind message and making so many recipes! xT

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear it was dry, did it just bake for too long? Let me know!! xx

    1. Hi Aimee,
      Wonderful! I am so glad to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Happy Easter! xT