Are you looking for a satisfying and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken, fresh vegetables, and delicious pasta? Look no further than this scrumptious Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables recipe.
This mouthwatering dish features the perfect blend of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates, making it a well-rounded and nourishing option for any mealtime. Let’s dive into the recipe and learn how to create this delightful dish!
1 cup cooked orzo (You can find high quality orzo pasta here: cooked orzo)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant and translucent.
Add the chicken breast pieces to the skillet and cook until they are browned and cooked through. Season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano for added flavor.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
In the same skillet, add the diced red bell pepper and zucchini. Sauté them for a few minutes until they are slightly tender.
Add the cherry tomatoes to the skillet and cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing them to soften and release their juices.
Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and stir well to combine all the ingredients.
Finally, add the cooked orzo to the skillet and toss everything together until the ingredients are well mixed and heated through.
Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
Serve the Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables in a large serving dish, garnished with fresh basil leaves for a pop of freshness and color.
Nutritional Benefits Recipe for orzo with chicken and vegetables
Not only is Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables a delectable dish, but it also offers several nutritional benefits. This recipe provides a well-balanced mix of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
The chicken serves as an excellent source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. It also contains important minerals like iron and zinc, promoting healthy bodily functions.
The vegetables in this recipe add a vibrant and nutritious touch. They contribute an array of vitamins, including vitamin A, C, and K, as well as dietary fiber. Additionally, they contain antioxidants that help protect the body against oxidative stress and support a strong immune system.
Secrets to Perfect Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables
Cook the orzo al dente: It’s essential to cook the orzo until it is “al dente,” meaning it’s cooked but still slightly firm to the bite. Overcooking can result in a mushy texture, so keep a close eye on it while boiling.
Marinate the chicken: To infuse the chicken with flavor, marinate it before cooking. You can use a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight for a more intense flavor.
Sauté the vegetables: Sautéing the vegetables before adding them to the dish enhances their flavor and texture. It also ensures they are cooked to perfection without becoming too soft or losing their vibrant colors.
Add fresh herbs: Adding a handful of fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, to the dish just before serving can elevate its taste and provide a burst of freshness.
How to Properly Store Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables?
If you have any leftovers, allow the dish to cool down to room temperature before refrigerating. Transfer the Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables into an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables, freezing is a great option. Ensure that the dish is completely cooled before freezing. Divide it into individual portions or store it in a large freezer-safe container.
Recipe Variations and Accompaniments
Mediterranean Twist: Incorporate Mediterranean flavors by adding sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese to the dish. It will lend a tangy and savory note to the recipe.
Creamy Delight: If you enjoy creamy dishes, stir in some heavy cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt before serving. It will add a luscious texture and a touch of richness to the dish.
Spice it up: For those who prefer a bit of heat, include red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to add a spicy kick to the Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables. Be mindful of the level of spiciness you desire and adjust accordingly.
Seafood Twist: For seafood lovers, you can substitute the chicken with shrimp or add a medley of seafood such as scallops and mussels. This variation will bring a delightful taste of the ocean to your dish.
Now that you have some exciting variations to experiment with, let’s talk about the perfect accompaniments to complement your Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables:
Garlic Bread: Serve your dish with some warm and buttery garlic bread. The crispy exterior and soft, garlicky center will perfectly complement the flavors of the dish.
Green Salad: A fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables. Opt for a mix of crisp lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables is a delightful and nutritious meal that combines the goodness of lean protein, fresh vegetables, and flavorful pasta. With its balanced nutritional profile and versatility, this dish is a perfect choice for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
So, roll up your sleeves, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure with Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables. Enjoy the flavors, savor the textures, and share this scrumptious meal with your loved ones. Bon appétit!