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Orzo, Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Pesto, Creamy Pesto Chicken, Dinner Recipe

Creamy Pesto Chicken & Spinach Orzo Dinner

Easy chicken dinner with TONS of flavor! This dish really comes together because of a super simple creamy pesto sauce that everything gets tossed with. 

Course Chicken Dinner, Dinner, Easy Chicken Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Orzo, Pesto Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo (uncooked)
  • 2 cups spinach chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Seasonings

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a large dish. Drizzle with one tablespoon of cooking oil. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings and rub them in. Make sure everything is evenly coated on the chicken.

  2. In a large skillet, add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and turn heat to medium-high. Once oil is warm, carefully add the chicken and cook until chicken is browned and no loner pink inside (approx. 2-3 minutes per side). Place cooked chicken on a plate and set aside.

  3. In a large pot, boil water and cook orzo according to package. Once it's done, drain well and return it to the same pot. Do not rinse the orzo.

  4. Add the chopped spinach to the orzo. Mix it together and let it sit for a minute, so that the heat from the pasta begins to cook down the spinach. While that sits, begin the sauce.

  5. In the same skillet used to cook the chicken, add the garlic and cook over medium heat for about a minute.

    Then, add the heavy cream, pesto, and Parmesan cheese to the pan. Mix it all together and cook over medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently during this process. When done, turn off heat and leave it there.

  6. Grab the plate of chicken and chop into smaller pieces. (You could also leave them as is, if you want.)

    Then, add the chicken to the pot with the orzo.

    Pour pesto sauce on top and mix everything together. Serve immediately and top with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. 

Recipe Notes

*I use a basil pesto and any brand works! I typically use the Kirkland brand from Costco. It's cheaper than the grocery store brands and it's delicious.