Seared Chicken over Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes,  Zucchini, & Basil Pesto

Seared Chicken over Orzo Pasta

with Tomatoes, Zucchini, & Basil Pesto

35 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Simply spiced chicken gets a lift from our Italian-inspired orzo salad, packed with seasonal vegetables and bites of fresh mozzarella, then dressed with basil pesto. A garnish of freshly grated Grana Padano cheese gives the dish a mildly salty and nutty finish.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    710 Cals (est.)
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Seared Chicken over Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes,  Zucchini, & Basil Pesto
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. If necessary, peel the garlic, then roughly chop. Quarter the tomatoes; place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; stir to coat. Medium dice the mozzarella cheese. Grate the Grana Padano cheese on the small side of a box grater.

Cook the chicken:
2 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the spice blend. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board. Loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Cook the pasta:
3 Cook the pasta:

While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Cover to keep warm.

Cook the zucchini:
4 Cook the zucchini:

Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat.

Finish & serve your dish:
5 Finish & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked zucchini, seasoned tomatoes, diced mozzarella cheese, pesto, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken over the finished pasta. Garnish with the grated Grana Padano cheese. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. If necessary, peel the garlic, then roughly chop. Quarter the tomatoes; place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; stir to coat. Medium dice the mozzarella cheese. Grate the Grana Padano cheese on the small side of a box grater.

2 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the spice blend. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board. Loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Cook the chicken:
Cook the pasta:
3 Cook the pasta:

While the chicken cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Cover to keep warm.

4 Cook the zucchini:

Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond and heat on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat.

Cook the zucchini:
Finish & serve your dish:
5 Finish & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked zucchini, seasoned tomatoes, diced mozzarella cheese, pesto, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken over the finished pasta. Garnish with the grated Grana Padano cheese. Enjoy! 

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