One Pan Pesto Chicken and Orzo with a fresh tomato-basil topping: the ultimate weeknight dinner. Easy, flavorful, and guaranteed to be a family favorite!
This recipe post is proudly sponsored by DeLallo. All opinions are my own.Read more
Why You'll Love this Pesto Chicken and Orzo
In an attempt to savor the end of summer, this recipe truly celebrates the best of the season.
While cherry tomatoes are as sweet as candy and herbs are at their punchy prime, we're combining them in a streamlined, superbly delicious dinner.
You can't beat a one-pan meal that delivers on both nutrition and flavor. The stars of this meal include pesto-marinated chicken, golden orzo pasta, salty-rich Parmigiano-Reggiano, and of course, the fresh tomato topper.
To cut back on ingredients and prep time, I look to DeLallo Simply Pesto, which bottles up fresh flavor with handpicked Ligurian basil and no additives or preservatives.
Serve this Pesto Chicken and Orzo with a simple salad and you have a truly sensational summer dinner.
- Chicken: You can boneless, skinless breasts or thighs in this recipe. Thighs are a little higher in fat, which makes them juicier and less likely to overcook.
- DeLallo Orzo Pasta: Made in Italy with an exclusive blend of the highest quality durum wheat, this small-cut pasta is quick-cooking and super versatile. The production of DeLallo pasta observes older traditions, which preserves the pasta's color, texture and aroma. You can truly taste the difference in quality!
- DeLallo Simply Pesto: One of my favorite DeLallo products, and a staple in my cooking, this jarred pesto is fabulous in dressings and marinades, over pizza, or mixed into soup.
- Onion: To give the dish an aromatic edge. You can use yellow or sweet onion, or shallots.
- DeLallo Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Made from cold-pressed, hand-selected Italian olives, this oil offers beautifully balanced, fresh olive flavor. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols, which offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Broth: You can use chicken, vegetable, or bone broth.
- Tomatoes: I prefer using cherry tomatoes, however you can also use plum, beefsteak, or Heirloom tomatoes.
- Basil: Fresh is best!
- Garlic: You need about 1 teaspoon of fresh garlic, which amounts to 1 large clove.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: For a salty-rich finish.
For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Additions:
- Use Shrimp: If you're trying to up your seafood ante, use shrimp instead of chicken! Sauté the shrimp first, then add it back to the skillet once the orzo is cooked.
- Make Spicy: Add ½ teaspoon chili flakes for a kick of spice.
- Add Spinach: Sneak in some greens by adding 1 to 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach to the orzo mixture.
- Make Dairy-Free: Simply omit the cheese and this recipe is dairy-free (and just as delicious!)
Step 1: Marinate Chicken in pesto, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Cook Chicken on both sides for about 2 to 3 minutes, just until lightly golden.
Step 3: Sauté Onion in a large skillet until soft. Stir in orzo, and cook 1 to 2 minutes to lightly toast.
Step 4: Add Broth and Pesto to pan, and nestle chicken back in. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook until orzo is al dente.
Step 5: Prepare Tomato-Basil Topping by combining tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with a pinch of salt.
Step 6: Garnish Pesto Chicken and Orzo with Parmesan and tomato topping, and serve.
This recipe is meant to be enjoyed as a full meal, however I do love pairing it with a simple side salad. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cucumber Peach Salad: For a double dose of summer goodness!
- Smashed Cucumber Salad: The Feta-Dill Dressing is top-notch.
- Brussels Sprouts Salad: The mix of raw + roasted sprouts is truly elite.
- Warm Brussels Salad: Ready in right around 10 minutes!
More Delicious One Pan Dinners:
If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review!
One Pan Pesto Chicken and Orzo
- Large skillet with fitted lid
- Mixing bowls
- 1.25 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
- ½ cup DeLallo Simply Pesto, divided
- 4 Tbsp. DeLallo Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 ½ cups DeLallo orzo pasta
- 2 ½ cups lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Place chicken in a bowl and season evenly with ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Add ¼ cup pesto and turn to coat. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, arrange chicken in pan and cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes, until golden. Flip, and cook 1 to 2 more minutes; transfer chicken to a plate. (The chicken will finish cooking in the orzo - the only goal here is to get a nice golden sear.)
- Add onion to pan and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in orzo and cook 1 to 2 minutes to lightly toast grains.Add broth, remaining ¼ cup pesto, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and nestle chicken back into pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid, stir, and continue cooking, uncovered, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is al dente, about 1 to 3 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare tomato-basil topping by combining cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Top chicken and orzo mixture with Parmigiano Reggiano, and spoon tomato-basil mixture overtop.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3 days.
- Reheat: Rewarm individual portions in the microwave, or in a skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of water or broth to help rehydrate the orzo, as needed.