Chicken Meatballs with Peppers and Orzo

Chicken meatballs with peppers and orzo in a bowl.

Chicken meatballs with peppers and orzo = the actual dinner BOMB, like, in a really good way.

This recipe just really gets me excited.

Not to be dramatic but in my experience there’s something magical about the combination of panko and Parmesan loaded quick chicken meatballs (remember these Baked Chicken Meatballs?), tangy tomato sauce with garlic and sautéed peppers, and a silky-creamy-delicious pile of hot orzo on the side. This is the kind of recipe that just calls you straight home to the dinner table, you know?

Basically this recipe has two prep steps.

  1. Roll your chicken meatballs.
  2. Chop your peppers.
Peppers and garlic in a bowl.

Now cook them and combine them.

Add a can of tomato sauce and capers because YUM. So salty and briney.

Chicken meatballs and peppers in a pan.

And pile onto hot, creamy, cheesy orzo.

I made mine creamy with mascarpone cheese but honestly, you don’t need to be that extra about it. Just get something that’s going to creamify the orzo a bit and toss it together while the orzo is hot.

Chicken meatballs with peppers and orzo in a bowl.

Mostly I’d like to go on record and say that this just tastes like heaven in a bowl.

The ideal bite involves a cut piece of golden brown chicken meatball, plus a good coating of tomato sauce, a few pieces of pepper and maybe even some bitey capers, plus a little scoop of creamy, cheesy orzo all up in there to balance it all out.

Yes to that, times 100 more bites.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Chicken Meatballs with Peppers and Orzo:

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Chicken Meatballs with Peppers and Orzo

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Chicken Meatballs with Peppers and Orzo! The BEST combo. Quick chicken meatballs, tangy tomato sauce with garlic and peppers, and a silky-creamy pile of hot orzo on the side.



Chicken Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, and kosher salt


  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 cups sliced peppers (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup capers (optional)
  • one 14-ounce can plain tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less to taste)

Creamy Orzo:

  • 8 ounces uncooked orzo
  • 1/4 cup of something creamy – I used mascarpone, but you could also use cream cheese, goat cheese, cream, or butter
  • kosher salt, Parmesan, and parsley for finishing


  1. Meatballs: Mix meatball ingredients together. Roll into meatballs. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a swizzle of olive oil. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. (Alternatively, you can bake the meatballs – fresh or frozen – at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.)
  2. Sauce: Add peppers and garlic to the same pan, plus a little more oil if you need it. Get all the yummy browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Sauté for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Sauce: Add meatballs into the pan. Stir in tomato sauce and capers. Bring to a low simmer and let it hang out (add a little water if it gets too dry).
  4. Orzo: Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and toss with something creamy. Season with salt, Parmesan, and parsley.
  5. You’re Done: Plate and serve! Top with more Parmesan and parsley because you are just that fancy.


Peppers: I used mini peppers which are small and sweet! You can also use regular bell peppers if you cut them into thin strips or small pieces.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: chicken meatballs, orzo pasta, one pot meal, weeknight recipe, easy recipe

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One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our favorite bell pepper recipes page. Check it out!

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