This Toasted Orzo with Chicken is a mouthwatering dish you can easily prepare for lunch or dinner. It brings together the nutty goodness of toasted orzo pasta with perfectly seasoned, tender chicken pieces, making a dish that’s both comforting and full of flavor.
First, we toast the orzo to perfection, giving it a delightful crunch that goes well with the tender chicken. Then, wee cook the chicken until it’s juicy and tasty. The orzo is then simmered together with a blend of aromatic herbs and vegetables, adding a burst of savory goodness.
Whether it’s a cozy dinner or a special gathering, our Toasted Orzo with Chicken is a simple yet elevated meal that everybody will love.
What is orzo
Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like small rice grains. Despite its rice-like appearance, orzo is made from wheat semolina or white flour, similar to traditional pasta. It is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines and can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to main courses.
How to cook orzo
Cooking orzo is simple and similar to cooking other types of pasta. Boil a pot of salted water, toss in the orzo, and stir to avoid sticking. Let it cook for around 8-10 minutes until it’s tender. Taste to check if it’s done, then drain the orzo in a colander. If you want it to cool quickly or plan to use it in a salad, give it a rinse under cold water. Your orzo is ready to shine in various dishes, hot or cold, your choice.
If you want to use toasted orzo in your recipes, first heat a bit of olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the orzo. Toast it for about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, until it turns golden brown. This step enhances the nutty flavor of the orzo. From here add the water or vegetable stock and continue cooking until tender.
How to make this Toasted Orzo with Chicken
Begin by cutting the chicken into long strips. Season both sides with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Set aside.
Next, toast the orzo by heating olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the orzo pasta, stirring constantly, and toast for about 5-7 minutes until it turns golden brown. Transfer the toasted orzo to a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the seasoned chicken in the pan and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side until it achieves a golden brown color. Ensure the chicken is cooked through, then transfer it to a plate.
Add chopped onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until it softens. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute until fragrant. Toss in red pepper and cook for an extra minute.
Stir in tomato puree, dry oregano, basil and chili flakes if used, cooking for 2 more minutes while stirring constantly. Add the toasted orzo and pour in vegetable or chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes, allowing the orzo to become tender and the liquid to be almost absorbed. Arrange the cooked chicken on top of the orzo and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to warm through.
Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices, then savor this delightful dish alongside a fresh salad.
Hope you will try this easy and flavorful dish. If you do, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram. I would love to see how it turns out for you. Enjoy!
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Toasted Orzo with Chicken
For the chicken
- 1 ¼ pound (600g) chicken breast , cut into strips
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- garlic powder
For the Orzo Pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound (500g) orzo pasta
- 1 medium onion (about 6 oz – 180g)
- 5 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 red pepper (about 4 oz – 120g)
- 1 cup (240g) tomato puree
- 5 ½ cups (1,3 liter) vegetable stock
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp dry basil
- Salt and freshly round black pepper
- Chili flakes , optional
- Cut the chicken into long strips.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Set aside.
How to toast and cook the orzo.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the orzo pasta, stirring constantly, and toast for about 5-7 minutes until it turns golden brown.
- Transfer the orzo to a bowl and set aside.
How to cook the chicken.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet and add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 4-6 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for another 4-6 minutes until golden brown. Check if the chicken is cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Sauté the vegetables and simmer the orzo
- Add the onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute until fragrant.
- Add the red pepper and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato puree, dry oregano basil and chili flakes if used, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the toasted orzo and vegetable or chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the orzo is tender and the liquid is almost absorbed.
- Arrange the chicken on top of the orzo and cook for 2-3 minutes more to let it warm through.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, and lemon slices and enjoy alongside a fresh salad.