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A fresh, summery dish – perfect for a delicious lunch or light dinner, this Tuscan Chicken Orzo is full of fresh flavors, easy to make on the fly, and even easier to make ahead.
The orzo is perfect in this, little rice-like pasta pieces, covered in a sun dried tomato pesto, with some quickly sauteed veggies, and topped with a seasoned chicken breast. A smattering of parmesan, and … done!
This dish was born from “what’s in the fridge”. I sometimes feel like our best dishes are created from not really knowing what you’re making until you’re nose-deep in the fridge. Rummaging around for goodies, using what you have to make something awesome is so satisfying, right?
I made this to tempt the husband into eating. His appetite had been rubbish at the time with being ill (he had mono, along with the heat exhaustion episode), and I thought if he saw a visually bright and delicious looking plate, he’d make some effort to actually eat. I was right. I returned to
nag I mean convince him to eat a little. He handed back an empty plate and a hopeful look, and asked if there was any more. I’d say “Mission: Accomplished”
I also ate a plate of this, and enjoyed it thoroughly. It is just the right blend of chicken, orzo, and vegetables. The pesto and the tuscan seasoning pair very well, and I really love the fresh arugula in this. If you add it right before serving, it’s still crisp and adds a delicious peppery flavor to the dish. I drank wine with mine (none for the sick-boy!). The kids thought it was a fun lunch, too. Anything they eat without me begging or bribing is a win for me (for the record, they were also not given any wine…)
The orzo is perfect in this, little rice-like pasta pieces, covered in a sun dried tomato pesto. YUM! For the Aussies and Kiwis: Orzo is called Risoni over there.
What delicious meals have YOU created using fridge/pantry ingredients?
Kylee’s Notes & FAQs
What is “Tuscan” vs regular old “Italian” seasoning anyway? I’m so glad you asked.
It’s a basic Italian seasoning, including basil, oregano and rosemary, marjoram, sage and thyme, but adds fennel and garlic. In some blends, sun dried tomatoes are added. See the recipe for the blend I use here DIY Tuscan Seasoning.
Summery Tuscan Chicken Orzo
- 2 cups plain or whole wheat orzo uncooked
- 1 lb chicken breast sliced into thin cutlets
- 2 Tbs tuscan seasoning (recipe linked below)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 red pepper cut into strips
- 1/2 yellow pepper cut into strips
- 12 cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 2.5 oz baby arugula
- 2 Tbs sundried tomato pesto
- 1 Tbs grated parmesan optional
- Cook orzo according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, season your chicken with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with tuscan seasoning.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet, and cook chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken and keep warm.
- In the same skillet, add the red and yellow peppers, and sautee until softened – about 3 minutes.
- In the last minute, add the cherry tomatoes.
- Drain the orzo, add the pesto and stir through.
- Add the cooked vegetables to the orzo, and mix.
- When ready to serve, add the arugula to the orzo mixture, and divide between plates.
- Slice the chicken breast, and place on top of the orzo.
- Sprinkle with parmesan.