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chicken meatballs over creamy spinach orzo in a bowl

Baked Lemon Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Spinach Orzo

Rachel Riesgraf
Easy to make, bursting with fresh lemon flavor and so delicious! Tender chicken meatballs are baked in lemon and garlic infused butter and served over creamy, cheesy spinach orzo that's all made in just one pot! Serve the meatballs over the creamy orzo and drizzle with extra lemon butter.
4.8 stars
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner
Servings 5 servings


Lemon butter chicken meatballs

  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder & salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Creamy spinach orzo

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 pound orzo (about 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups baby spinach


  • Add the lemon slices in a single layer to an oven-safe skillet, and top with the butter and garlic. Cook on the stove over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Add the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a bowl. Mix until just combined.
  • Roll the chicken mixture into 2 tablespoon-size meatballs and place in the skillet on top of the lemon slices (will make about 18 meatballs). Loosely cover the meatballs with tinfoil and bake for 10. Remove the tinfoil and continue baking another 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, make the orzo. Heat a skillet or pot over medium-high heat with butter and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the broth, milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and mix in the orzo. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente, stirring frequently so the orzo doesn't stick. Add more broth or milk, if needed.
  • Mix the parmesan and baby spinach into the orzo until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted.
  • Serve the meatballs over the creamy spinach orzo and drizzle with the extra lemon butter.
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