Creamy Pesto Chicken & Orzo with Capers & Currants

Creamy Pesto Chicken & Orzo

with Capers & Currants

30 MIN
4 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    In this colorful dish, sautéed chicken, capers, and currants, and a hearty bed of orzo (studded with carrots, juicy tomatoes, and spinach) come together under a drizzle of creamy basil pesto—creating a variety of exciting flavors and textures in every bite.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      660 Cals (est.)
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    fresh
    ingredients
    Creamy Pesto Chicken & Orzo with Capers & Currants
    Title
    • 18 oz Boneless Chicken Breast Pieces
    • ½ lb Orzo Pasta
    • ¾ lb Carrots
    • 5 oz Baby Spinach
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 1 Tbsp Capers
    • 2 Tbsps Dried Currants
    • ½ lb Grape Tomatoes
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Halve the tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. In a bowl, combine the pesto and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper.

    Cook the vegetables
    2 Cook the vegetables

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced carrots in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the halved tomatoes and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

    Cook the pasta & wilt the spinach
    3 Cook the pasta & wilt the spinach

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Stir until wilted and thoroughly combined.

    Cook the chicken
    4 Cook the chicken

    Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the currants, capers, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta and spinach, add the cooked vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the cooked chicken. Drizzle with the creamy pesto. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Halve the tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. In a bowl, combine the pesto and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper.

    2 Cook the vegetables

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced carrots in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the halved tomatoes and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

    Cook the vegetables
    Cook the pasta & wilt the spinach
    3 Cook the pasta & wilt the spinach

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Stir until wilted and thoroughly combined.

    4 Cook the chicken

    Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the currants, capers, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat.

    Cook the chicken
    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta and spinach, add the cooked vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the cooked chicken. Drizzle with the creamy pesto. Enjoy!

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