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Mediterranean Oven Chicken Risotto

Oven chicken risotto takes away all the standing by the stove and creates a creamy, soft rice with salty feta, bright basil and tart roasted tomatoes in a dinner that will make your family excited to see it hit the table. It’s a great meal for entertaining too!

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a big skillet of oven chicken risotto with roasted tomatoes

“Real” risottos take lots of time to do right—close to an hour. If you watch the experts, you’ll be ready to pull your hair out. You need a pot of simmering broth, added little bits at a time, and needs lots of stirring. And then more stirring and then you need to wonder when it’s done.

What a pain in the biscuits.

This version takes away all that garbage and makes this dinner fast and simple. It’s also great for nights when you have guests for dinner and need something that won’t leave you standing over the stove the whole time.

It also tastes fancier than it is. Love that. Just add a salad or roasted asparagus and it’s a meal!

Start your risotto with the right rice

I grew up thinking rice took 5 minutes to cook and came in a red box. I’d never seen my mom make anything but Minute Rice (8 year old me was super excited when it came out with the plastic boil-in-the-bag thing). Shudder.

So I didn’t know until adulthood that real rice takes a bonkers long time to cook. The rice you need for this recipe is not processed Minute Rice. You need Arborio rice-it’s short and sort of fat and releases a lot of creamy starch when it cooks.

Get Arborio rice for your oven risotto. You can find that in the dry rice and beans section of your grocery store.

Use an oven-safe skillet for a one pan meal

Of course I love cast iron. The one in this picture is enameled but to make a truly one pan oven chicken risotto, use a skillet or dutch oven that can go right in to the oven. I really love this one and have it on my list to buy.

How to make oven chicken risotto by the steps

Step 1: Preheat the oven. Add the dry rice, salt, butter, garlic and onion to your skillet.

Step 2: Add a high quality chicken stock to the pan. It doesn’t matter if the butter is floating in a chunk. Use a homemade stock or try my favorite clean brand. Remember if your stock is salty (or not salted at all) you may need to adjust the seasoning. Taste it.

Step 3: Tightly cover the pan with foil or a lid and transfer to the oven to bake.

steps to make oven chicken risotto

Step 4: While the rice cooks, prep the remaining ingredients (shred the chicken, dice the tomatoes, chop the basil, chunk the feta). After the 35 minutes remove the skillet and rejoice in your perfectly cooked rice.

Step 5: Add your ingredients and stir them in. Feel free to change up the protein (shrimp would be good here!), add sun dried tomatoes or other herbs. Add a drizzle of olive oil over the top. Return the dish to the oven uncovered and bake just to warm things through or stick it just under the broiler for a few minutes.

a skillet of oven chicken risotto before stirring in the chicken

Good ingredients will make your chicken risotto the best–don’t skip them!

This is one dish when you really need every ingredient to be its best. Use a good homemade chicken stock if you can. Get cherry tomatoes if its winter for the best flavor and always buy a good chicken. I don’t love rotisserie chicken’s quality and usually cook my own and shred it.

Get a good feta–go to the cheese counter and get a chunk and not the powdery stuff some stores carry.

What to serve with oven chicken risotto

My favorite side dishes are salads and roasted vegetables. Really this dish has everything in one pan so it doesn’t need much. Give each person a lemon wedge, some good olive oil and a little salt to add to the dish at the table if needed. Since rice is a starch, I stay away from other starches like potatoes. Try these recipes on the side:

a skillet of finished oven chicken risotto
a big skillet of oven chicken risotto with roasted tomatoes

Mediterranean Oven Chicken Risotto

Just mix, cover and bake this delicious oven chicken risotto. Gluten free, and the perfect comforting meal.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil butter also works
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion diced into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 medium garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 2 1/2 cups good quality chicken stock
  • 1 cup Arborio rice uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt *See Note 1
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup feta cheese broken in to bite size pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400. 
  • In a 9×13 baking dish or 10-inch cast iron skillet with high sides, add the butter and place in the oven to melt. About 5 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven and add the onion, garlic, chicken stock, rice, and salt. 
    Wrap tightly in foil and bake until the rice is soft and creamy–about 35 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven and stir in the chicken, cheese, tomatoes and basil. 
    Switch your oven to broil and broil on high until the cheese is just starting to brown and the tomatoes shrivel a bit–5 to 6 minutes. Just keep an eye on it and pull yours out when it's there. 
  • Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. 
    Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. It reheats beautifully!

Notes

Note 1: We tested with homemade chicken stock. If you are using store bought stock or bouillon cubes, they can be very salty. Taste your stock before adding additional salt to the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 654mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 3mg

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