Recipe || Orzo with Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

I’ve been pretty obsessed with one pot meals lately. Firstly, I’m still a bit terrified of our oven. Secondly, winter just makes me a bit lazier. And even though one pot meals sometimes take a bit longer to cook (I’m looking at you coq au vin), a warm pot gurgling away on the stovetop just makes me happy.

Sam had never eaten orzo before, and I was happy to introduce him to it. I think of myself as some sort of pasta connoisseur; some people have fine wines and cheeses, I eat pasta. I’m like the Willy Wonka of pasta, guiding Sam along through a journey of tasty things he never even knew he wanted. 

For those of you who haven’t had orzo before, its rice-sized pasta. When it cooks, it becomes quite soft and creamy and it’s almost a cheat-risotto. 

Note: this recipe makes a lot. But when I spend a bit of time cooking, I want to have enough leftovers for at least lunch and dinner the next day, at a minimum. These proportions could comfortably feed four. 


Orzo with Pesto Chicken and Vegetables
1976 calories
149 g
380 g
72 g
181 g
25 g
2349 g
5472 g
37 g
0 g
41 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1976
Calories from Fat 636
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 72g
Saturated Fat 25g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 33g
Cholesterol 380mg
Sodium 5472mg
Total Carbohydrates 149g
Dietary Fiber 21g
Sugars 37g
Protein 181g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 4 chicken breasts (cubed into smallish chunks)
  2. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  3. half a jar of pesto (or about 5 tablespoons)
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 2 cups of carrots, sliced
  6. 2 cups of courgette, sliced
  7. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  8. 2 cups of uncooked orzo
  9. 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  10. 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  11. 3.5 cups of chicken broth
  12. 1 teaspoon of oregano
  13. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  14. 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  15. 1 teaspoon of red chile flakes
  16. 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot (like a Le Creuset). Once the olive oil has heated up, toss the chicken in the pesto and add it to the pot, along with the onions, carrots and courgette. Saute for about 3 minutes. Then add the bell pepper, orzo and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Next, add the tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano, salt, pepper, and chile flakes to the pot. (Your pot will probably be very full by now!) Bring everything to a rolling bubble, then cover and reduce the heat. Cook for around 35 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the orzo has absorbed all the liquid. The orzo has the tendency to stick and burn, so stir every 5 minutes or so.
  3. When it's all cooked, take the pot off the heat and stir in your parmesan. Then serve! I serve each bowl with a touch more parmesan and an extra sprinkle of chile flakes.
Rhyme & Ribbons
All this cheesy goodness gets stirred in. 

‘Tis the season for comfort food! (And there’s nothing better than a one pot meal, right?)

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