My only resolution is to eat more delicious things in 2012 than I ate in 2011.

That sounds fair right? I like to be fair.

So fair that I even took some pictures of broccoli. Oye. It was a complete snafu, I swear.

Clocking in as my least favorite vegetable (well, minus the eight or so that I flat out refuse to taste), these little green trees here are creeping me out more than my weirdo man crush on Alec Baldwin. I don’t know what it is about him that I find so sexy, but if he wanted to hand-feed me broccoli I wouldn’t hate it.

Wait… no… I don’t know.


What I do know is that this chicken made my house smell like 4000 cloves of cheesy garlic (in a delicious way) and my mouth was watering as I scooped it on top of some whole wheat orzo. And then I stared at it. But it just looked so… blah. So uncolorful. So vanilla, if you will. Which honestly… really just makes me want ice cream. Now.

It has been quite dark and dreary and gloomy around these parts the last few days and I’ve craved some color in my life. And something more than the sparkly pink nail polish I painted on only to peel off 34 minutes later and the rainbow sprinkles that dumped all over the kitchen floor TWICE this past weekend because I stuff everything and it’s mother inside my kitchen cabinets. That was fun! Not.

I threw open the fridge door in a frenzy because if the holiday season taught my blood sugar anything, it’s that I’m starving every 20 seconds. But there was um, nothing inside. I didn’t go to the grocery store for almost two weeks, unless I found myself screaming, “I’m out of butter AGAIN” or “how is it possible to eat 3 pounds of cheese in three days?” I didn’t cook ONE meal in nearly fourteen days (maybe longer?), unless you count two handfuls of cereal and three peanut butter blossoms a meal. Which coincidentally, I often did. But seriously… no meals. I don’t know how we pieced together dishes when we weren’t calling for pizza or mooching out of someone else’s kitchen. And it was wonderful.

But inside that crisper drawer? All I found was two week old beef stew (don’t ask), an extremely moldy red pepper half, a bag of slimy carrots that gratefully shared it’s slime with the rest of the drawer, and a half-dead pouch of Trader Joe’s broccoli that I bought with good intentions but no plans. Like usual.

I quickly steamed it, which by the way… made my house smell like utter garbage. So then I threw it under the broiler with olive oil and cheese because the few times I’ve let it cross my lips is after it’s been charred to the holy heavens and back then graciously doused in sea salt. Yes. I know that OMG peoplelovebroccoliwhenroastedwithparmesan! Please don’t remind me. I’m well aware. If I liked vegetables my life would be so much easier. So I prayed this would make it more palatable and I sort of mashed it with a fork or something so it wasn’t so resembling of that one dude’s bean stalk. I was able to choke down a few of the really tiny pieces… after I would cover them in a bit more parmesan. But then I had to start picking it out and decided that 2012 would not be the year of the broccoli. I’m not sure I can ruin another super easy and delicious crockpot meal with such grossness.

Mr. How Sweet agreed, but still declared this his “favorite meal of 2012.” Then he asked why it doesn’t taste like cookies.

Crockpot Parmesan Chicken

serves 4-6

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons dry white wine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese + 2 tablespoons

1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo

3/4 cup vegetables of your choice

The night before, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, cheese, basil, parsley, garlic and 3 tablespoons of wine in a bowl. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag, then pour marinade over top and coat chicken. Keep in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, place chicken in your crockpot with 3 tablespoons of wine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Prepare whole wheat orzo according to directions. Once cooked, combine with remaining olive oil, parmesan and salt and pepper if desired. Cut chicken into pieces/chunks, and toss together with orzo. Add in vegetables of your choice! Top with additional parm.

This is a great meal to make ahead of time and store in the fridge for easy lunches and dinners.

If you’re looking for some healthy recipes this week, I suggest this, this, this and this. And a little cookie bite, of course.

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133 Responses to “Crockpot Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Orzo.”

  1. #
    Nicole, RD — January 2, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    Yum! Always lookin’ for the next best thing to throw in my crock!


  2. #
    Liz J — January 2, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    You had me at crockpot! Looks great! :)


  3. #
    Anna — January 2, 2012 @ 8:20 pm



  4. #
    megan — January 2, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    “I’m out of butter AGAIN???” I didn’t know you were eavsdropping on me this Christmas…my 4 little one’s survived on cereal, toast, cereal and hot dogs for the last 4 weeks…it was ridiculous. Happy 2012…forget the broccoli..just roast Brussels :)


  5. #
    Mansee — January 3, 2012 @ 1:39 am

    My mom taped It’s Complicated for me months ago because she couldn’t believe I had never seen it. I’ve since forbidden her from taking it off her DVR because I watch it at least twice whenever I’m home ( which is about once every couple of weeks). I’m COMPLETELY OBSESSED with the croissant scene ( because it involves pastry AND they are high. It’s just too much awesome). I literally rewind and watch it over and over and over again. And while I do have a tiny little creeper crush on Alec Baldwin, the true love of my life (in that movie) is John Krasinski. Swoooooon. I was home for a week during the holidays – my head almost exploded from all the “It’s Complicated” viewings.

    Okay, I’m done. Happy 2012!

    Oh! P.S. I started my new food blog today and obviously I featured cookies I read about here. Thank you for being such an inspiration!!


  6. #
    Jessica — January 3, 2012 @ 2:30 am

    How do you manage to make Orzo look so sexy? YUM!


  7. #
    Zee — January 3, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    This looks lovely Jessica!


  8. #
    Francesca Holt — January 3, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your dishes and your Humor!! I laugh every time I read your blog. Buon Appetito!!!!


  9. #
    Kat Collins — January 3, 2012 @ 10:19 am

    Perfect recipe for the New Year as I’m trying to get healthy this year. Although, I’m a fan of broccoli, but prefer the stems over the “trees.”

    Saw you in a commercial on TV over the weekend! Pretty freakin’ cool!


    • Jessica — January 3rd, 2012 @ 10:38 am

      A commercial?? I don’t think I’m in a commercial!


  10. #
    Rachel — January 3, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    Oooooooh…. be very careful about using broccoli that’s been in your fridge for days. I once used broccoli that was going a little rubbery with volatile consequences. Broccoli and I have never had the same relationship again.


  11. #
    Holly — January 3, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    omg! that looks delicious!


  12. #
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes — January 3, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    I love Crockin!!! It’s so easy and meat tastes so tender


  13. #
    Jen Marie — January 3, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    Oh, my. I just grabbed a post it and wrote this one down! I NEVER do that!

    I’m doing this immediately.


  14. #
    shannon barnett — January 3, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

    Going to make this tomorrow! Do you put the chicken and the marinade in the crockpot or just the chicken and little bit of wine????


    • Jessica — January 3rd, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

      I put the chicken in, but it had been coated in most of the marinade by then because there truly wasn’t much marinade leftover when it came to the 4 chicken breasts!


  15. #
    honeywhatscooking — January 3, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    this looks amazing!!! now all i need is a crockpot


  16. #
    Katie @ ohshineon — January 4, 2012 @ 1:19 am

    I love you, Jess. But I have to admit, I’m really disappointed you don’t like broccoli. I really like broccoli… like, really like it. I could eat in in place of any rice or pasta in a stir fry dish. I love it. And I love garlic-roasted and cheese-covered broccoli even more.


  17. #
    Brittany — January 4, 2012 @ 1:48 am

    I had to share… my bro-in-law calls the crock pot a crotch pot. IDK Why….



  18. #
    Laura — January 5, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

    I tried this but 8 hours in the crockpot with even more liquid than called for and the chicken still burnt to a crisp! It was so stuck to the crockpot, ugh! I was at work all day so couldn’t check it. I got new chicken breasts, marinated them for 1-2 hours then baked them in a dish with white wine and cut it into chunks with the rest of the recipe – it was very light and tasty but ugh the burnt chicken was so disappointing. I wonder what happened??


    • Jessica — January 5th, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

      So sorry it didn’t work out Laura – are you sure your crockpot was on the low setting? Maybe you just happen to have a really powerful crockpot? Mine actually cooked for a little longer than 8 hours and was okay. Have you used your crockpot for chicken before? Just trying to troubleshoot! I make chicken all the time in my crock and it has never burned so I’m not really sure what to suggest. I know what a pain it is to make a recipe and have it not turn out!


      • Joanna @ things after the rings — January 6th, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

        Yeah, my husband just called and said that this didn’t work out for us either. He said that there is no more liquid in the crock pot and the chicken is shriveled up and really dry. I was nervous this would happen as there was like no liquid in the crockpot this am when I put it all in so I only set it for 6 hours on low. I wonder if my crockpot and Laura’s crockpot are bigger than yours? Would that make a difference?

        • Jessica — January 6th, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

          Hmmm I’m honestly not sure if size would make a difference – I think maybe the amount of heat/power each crockpot has? Mine is a 7qt and is pretty large!

          • Brittany — January 13th, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

            I just tried my version of the recipe out… Its in the Crock now. But I just used 4 frozen chicken breasts from Costco, about 1/2 bottle of Lawrys Herb & Garlic Marinade, Some Italian seasoning, Fresh minced garlic and a little bit of Olive Oil, just a drizzle. Ill let you all know how it turned out. I have only burnt chicken once in the Crock-pot and it was because there wasn’t enough liquid in it.

    • Ming — January 3rd, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

      Laura, it sounds like you pre-baked and cut up the chicken before adding it into the crock pot? That might have been why it dried/burnt – I think the chicken would cook up more moist if left whole and placed straight into the crock pot (instead of baking it first) This dish sounds amazing – we are definitely going to try it out this week, thanks for the inspiration!


  19. #
    Stephanie — January 5, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

    Wow! I made this today, and I have to say- AWESOME!! Thank you so much for the great recipe! I will definitely have to keep this one handy. So easy, and so good! :D (Broccoli happens to be my favorite veggie, btw.) ;) I have two more of your recipes lined up for the rest of the week/early next. Now, I’m even more excited to try them. Thanks again!


    • Kayla — June 20th, 2012 @ 11:11 am

      What method did you use for cooking your broccoli before combining everything together at the end?


      • Jessica — June 21st, 2012 @ 7:18 am

        Pretty sure I steamed mine.

      • Stephanie — June 22nd, 2012 @ 9:19 am

        I think I just tossed mine into the microwave for a couple of minutes before throwing it in… (All I had on hand was frozen, so…)

  20. #
    ashleigh falkin @ — January 5, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    Made this tonight! So good!


  21. #
    Ashley — January 5, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    My whole family LOVED this!! I changed it just a little, because I fell asleep before remembering to put the chicken in the marinade last night—so I just put all the ingredients in the crock pot and also added a can of cream of chicken soup (we like things saucy!)–it was Delish!! I served it over orecchiette pasta instead of orzo, but the garlic-y, cheesy sauce was perfect w/ broccoli. The kids added it to their list of favorites and we will definitely make it again :) Thank you!


    • Angie — January 17th, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

      Made this last night and it was amazing! Also missed the part about the marinade so just threw everything in the crockpot (pierced holes in chicken so they would be flavorful) and both my husband and I said it was one of the best things I’ve ever made!


  22. #
    Michelle — January 8, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    This in the crockpot right now and smells amazing! I’m so excited! You are a food genius.


  23. #
    Kayte — January 9, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    I made this yesterday, and the entire house smelled amazeballs! I prepared the chicken the night before, and then about an hour before being complete, I added chopped up portobella mushrooms. DELISH! A crockpot recipe keeper!


  24. #
    jennifer — January 9, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    i made this tonight. not sure what happened but my chicken was so dried out. had it on the low (10 hour) setting and cooked for about six hours. but as i was picking through the chicken looking for one piece to salvage, i forgot about the broccoli and over cooked it. what the hell? so maybe it’s an off day for me. the saving grace, i put about 3/4 cup parm in the orzo with salt and pepper. made it easier to get down the chicken.


  25. #
    Tabitha — January 13, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    This looks amazing. Thank you for sharing. Love your blog!


  26. #
    Heidi — January 16, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

    Made this tonight – AMAZING! : ) Seriously I am excited to eat the leftovers tomorrow! Thanks!!


  27. #
    Emily Rolfing — February 1, 2012 @ 1:48 am

    i am literally dying over this recipe. Totally blown away. Cannot wait to try! Thank you.


  28. #
    TangoK — February 7, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    I think you are an awesome writer- love the voice in this post- you sound like a friend to have a drink with. Bravo.

    ps. great sounding recipe!


  29. #
    Kristin Crawford — February 14, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    Hello! im very excited about trying this. i am actually making it right now and was wondering about the lack of liquid also. I read a couple of the reviews and saw they mentioned the lack of liquid. i just wanted to make sure it was only the 3 tbs of wine added to the marinated chicken in the crock pot. thanks. i just dont want to ruin it. especially on V-Day! thanks for your help!!


    • Jessica — February 14th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

      It’s going to depend on your crockpot. I only use that much liquid and it’s been successful for others – but a few have needed more liquid. If you can check it halfway through that would be a good idea or if you know you need more liquid, add it!


  30. #
    Kayla — June 19, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    Looks yummy!
    How did you cook your broccoli before adding it in with everything else?


  31. #
    Heather — January 3, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    This is soo good! Has anyone calculated calories, fat, etc.?!


  32. #
    Emily — January 10, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

    I had a ton of liquid left when I made this (used 3 chicken breasts instead of 4) but I hated to just throw away the liquid cause its full of yummy stuff. Any ideas on what to do with it? Also the house smelled incredible when I made this!


  33. #
    Megan — February 5, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    Hi- how much of the Parmesan goes in the marinade? 1/4 cup or 2 tablespoons?


  34. #
    Jaclyn — May 29, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

    I love your photos! Whenever I see them on pinterest I always know they’re yours. This looks delicious!


  35. #
    B — October 13, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and not only was it delicious, but it made my apartment smell amazing! It’s a great fall dish and I look forward to enjoying the leftovers for lunch this week. Thanks for sharing!


  36. #
    Sara — December 9, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

    Just made this tonight. I added probably 2 extra tbsp of wine and 1/4 cup of cream to avoid the burning problem that others have had. It only needed to cook for about 5 hours, and it nicely soaked up the liquid when shredded. Overall pretty tasty, if not a bit bland. Next time I’ll add more garlic and perhaps a few red pepper flakes.


  37. #
    Allison — September 7, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

    Just made this today and it was delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!


  38. #
    Sue — January 26, 2015 @ 11:55 pm

    Trying this for the first time. Chicken marinating now. Can I substitute brown rice for the orzo? I only have rice and don’t want to go to store unless dish will be ruined without the orzo. Thanks!


  39. #
    Lysh — August 16, 2015 @ 1:25 pm

    I’m totally making this this week! What kind of white wine do you recommend? Chardonnay? Or white cooking wine?



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