Disclaimer: Major pesto kick happening right now and I can promise you many more pesto inspired recipes to follow… First up, creamy basil pesto chicken, which is a complete meal (see all the delicious orzo happily immersed in the creamy basil sauce? No need to cook anything else).
Sometimes, I find it hard to get excited about chicken. I mean it’s chicken. I never even order it when I go out to restaurants! I’m just going to come clean here too and say I’ve been reading through other blogs to see what they’re all saying about chicken and the consensus is that chicken is easy to cook, it tastes good, even in it’s simplest form, and there are a million and one ways to prepare it (believe me I just checked), which is why it’s a great dinner option. So I present to you another “winner winner chicken dinner.”
Let’s discuss… We have a pesto marinated, okay really just brushed on top, chicken, sun-dried tomato orzo pasta, all smothered in a creamy pesto sauce. It comes together in a creamy dreamy, pesto-y pasta, skillet. All you have to do is scoop up some chicken and orzo and walk straight to the dinner table or couch (no judgment!).
We’re gonna just sidebar here because in my world it’s Spring Break, and not the good MTV Spring Breaks of yesterday or the “let’s head to Panama City Beach” kind either. I’m talking both kids, all day, er day, looking at me to entertain them (which again if I’m being honest is me just refereeing the two of them), kind of spring break. Let’s just say it’s NOT boring, so why would I make a boring dinner? I’m actually using the dinner “prep” time to zone out and have some me time if that is even a thing while cooking dinner in the presence of toddlers.
Even the colors of this dish are bright and pretty so really there’s nothing boring at all about this chicken! Then there’s the pesto, so-much-pesto! This is the kind of dish you make and feel like you’re dining out (if you’re the type that orders chicken in restaurants) because once again this is a dish that tastes fancy, but is so NOT fancy.
FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY
Well, it’s my birthday (er tomorrow is) and this year I’m in the mood to celebrate, but not in the close down the clubs and eat pancakes at the diner on the way home kind of celebrate like I used to do way before kids and that whole “age” thing kicked in. I’m thinking the kind of celebration where we all celebrate and I give you a gift and maybe we’ll eat cake.
So I’m giving away an Instant Pot because it’s been my single most favorite addition to my kitchen as of 2018 and I want you to have one too. Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter giveaway below (basically sign up for the newsletter or click the button if you’re already signed up and that’s it!).
Giveaway is only open to U.S. residents because of shipping (sorry about that).
If you love basil and pesto recipes try these next:
- Prosciutto Mozzarella Pizza
- Walnut Pesto Chicken
- Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Baked Balsamic Chicken
The perfect chicken flavored with a basil pesto sauce mixed in with sun-dried tomato orzo pasta, and made in one skillet also makes for the perfect dinner.
- 1 pound Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breast
- 2 tablespoons Basil Pesto
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 3-ounce bag Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 1 cup Orzo Pasta
- 1 1/2 cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Basil Pesto
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Flour
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
- Parmesan Cheese
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Chicken: Brush both sides of the Chicken with the Basil Pesto (you can also season with salt and pepper) and heat the Olive Oil and Butter in a large skillet or braiser over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook on each side for 6 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Sauce: While the chicken is cooking prepare the sauce. Whisk the Basil Pesto, Garlic Cloves, Flour, Heavy Cream, and Salt and Pepper together (I prefer to do this all in a single measuring cup. Fewer dishes, holla!).
- Pasta: After removing the chicken scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet and toss in Orzo pasta. If you don’t have any remaining oil add another tablespoon. Let brown for a little less than a minute and then add in the Water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat slightly to medium, stirring frequently so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. Continue to cook for about 9 additional minutes or until the pasta is al dente and the water mostly absorbed.
- Pour the sauce mixture and sun-dried tomatoes into the orzo and stir to mix. Cook for about 1 minute or until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken back into the skillet and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Garnish with fresh Parsley, Parmesan Cheese, or fresh Basil Leaves.
If you want to cut the calories down then you can use Whole Milk or do half Heavy Cream and half milk.
- Serving Size: 1 Breast and 1/2 cup Orzo
- Calories: 543
- Sugar: 9g
- Sodium: 191mg
- Fat: 40g
- Saturated Fat: 18g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 31g
- Cholesterol: 157mg