One Pan Lemon Orzo Chicken

One thing I love about this dish for the summer is that it's a great way to use up cherry or grape tomatoes from your backyard garden. The little things always seem to come all at once, and every year I'm scrambling to find ways to use them! What's even better, the tomatoes in this recipe become sweet little packets of flavour that burst in your mouth when you bite into them.

This is a satisfying one-pan meal that guarantees supper is on the table within about 30 minutes. It requires minimal chopping, just a few ingredients, and doesn't leave a big mess to clean up. Orzo is one of my favourite pastas. It is almost a crossover between rice and pasta, but can usually be found in the pasta aisle of the grocery store. In this meal, it cooks in chicken stock right in the pan, releasing a bit of its starch to make the sauce creamy...MMMM!

Makes 4 servings

3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 1/2 cups no-salt-added chicken stock
1 medium zucchini (1 1/2 cups), diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 large lemon)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • Working in batches, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large deep pan. Add half the chicken and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes until chicken is almost cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate. Repeat with another 1 tbsp of oil and the other half of the chicken. 

  • Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the orzo and rosemary. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes until the orzo is lightly toasted and well coated with oil. 

  • Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the orzo is about half cooked. 

  • Stir in the zucchini, then cover and continue to cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the pan. Add back the chicken and any juices. Stir to combine.

  • Cover and cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, the orzo is tender, and the tomato skins begin to separate. 
  • Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!
:) Natalee, RD