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

Seared Chicken over Orzo Pasta

with Tomatoes, Zucchini & Basil Pesto

45 MIN
4 Servings
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  • with Chicken Breasts
    includes 4 No Added Hormones, Antibiotic-Free, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts View recipe
  • with Extra Chicken Breasts
    includes 6 No Added Hormones, Antibiotic-Free, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • with Extra Chicken Breasts

    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.

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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      790 Cals (est.)
    fresh
    ingredients
    Seared Chicken over Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes,  Zucchini & Basil Pesto
    Title
    • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • 1 Tbsp Weeknight Hero Spice Blend (Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika & Whole Dried Parsley)
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • ½ lb Orzo Pasta
    • ½ lb Grape Tomatoes
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • 2 Zucchini
    • 4 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • 0.7 oz Grana Padano Cheese
    • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    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 zucchini; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Medium dice the mozzarella. Grate the Grana Padano 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 enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Working in batches, 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 foil to keep warm.  

    *An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

    Cook the pasta
    3 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, 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

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil 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, pesto, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken over the finished pasta. Garnish with the grated Grana Padano. 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 zucchini; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Medium dice the mozzarella. Grate the Grana Padano 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 enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). Working in batches, 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 foil to keep warm.  

    *An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

    Cook the chicken:
    Cook the pasta
    3 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, 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

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil 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, pesto, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken over the finished pasta. Garnish with the grated Grana Padano. Enjoy!

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