Paired with a Pilsner
I wouldn’t want to live in a world without pasta, especially small pasta. I remember very specifically growing up on pastina tossed with a little bit of butter and salt and black pepper. I still get comforted by this simple dish to this day, and when I’m missing my family (which if you didn’t know live 2000 miles away), this is the dish I make immediately.
While orzo is slightly bigger than pastina, I still get the same vibes when I eat it. It is my go-to pasta for most soups, especially homemade chicken noodle; and it makes for the perfect backdrop when making cheesy, hearty pasta casseroles.
This baked orzo with chicken is another recipe that has been inspired by one of my favorite cookbooks. While that version is vegetarian and uses eggplant, I thought I’d change things up and use chicken instead. Zach is not a huge fan of eggplant so any time I can avoid cooking with it when he is around I do. This kind of sucks for me since I love eggplant. Oh well, you pick and choose your battles right?! Oh the joys of living with a picky eater.
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe for baked orzo with chicken. It’s a great recipe as the kiddos head back to school, and you want to have something comforting on the table at the end of the day. Pair this recipe with a pilsner and have a wonderful day everyone! xo
- 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, fully-cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 12 ounces dry orzo pasta
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano
- 6 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 roma tomatoes, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and black pepper
- fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the veggies are just tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the orzo and tomato paste. Stir to mix well and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the chicken, stock, oregano mozzarella, parmesan and a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Mix well and transfer to a large baking dish. Place the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with dry oregano.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through. Remove from heat and serve garnished with fresh parsley.
I throw the chicken in the slow cooker on high for about 2 hours at the beginning of each week. I think this is the best way to always have cooked chicken on hand.
Recipe adapted from Plenty More – By Yotam Ottolenghi.