Za’atar Chicken & Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde Orzo

Za’atar Chicken & Roasted Squash

with Salsa Verde Orzo

35 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

The stars of this Mediterranean-style dish are the two elevated sides we’re pairing with our spiced chicken: roasted delicata squash topped with sweet honey, roasted pistachios, and feta cheese, and tender orzo finished with herbaceous salsa verde.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    740 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Za’atar Chicken & Roasted Squash with Salsa Verde Orzo
Title
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ lb Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Delicata Squash
  • 1½ oz Feta Cheese
  • 2 Tbsps Roasted Pistachios
  • 2 tsps Honey
  • ½ cup Tzatziki (Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce)
  • ⅓ cup Salsa Verde
  • 2 Tbsps Fromage Blanc
  • 1 Tbsp Za'atar Seasoning (Ground Sumac, Sesame Seeds, Salt, Ground Thyme, Whole Dried Oregano & Crushed Aleppo Pepper)
  • 2 Poblano Peppers
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare & roast the squash
1 Prepare & roast the squash

Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling  on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the ends of the squash. Halve lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 24 to 26 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Prepare the remaining ingredients
2 Prepare the remaining ingredients

Meanwhile, roughly chop the pistachios.  Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers; remove the cores, then medium dice. Thoroughly wash your hands, knife, and cutting board immediately after handling.

Cook the chicken
3 Cook the chicken

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and all but a pinch of the za’atar. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken. 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. 

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

Cook the pasta
4 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Cook the peppers & finish the pasta
5 Cook the peppers & finish the pasta

In the pan of reserved fond, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Turn off the heat. Transfer to the pot of cooked pasta; add the salsa verde and fromage blanc. Stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Slice the chicken & serve your dish
6 Slice the chicken & serve your dish

Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken with the roasted squash and finished pasta. Top the chicken with the tzatziki. Top the squash with the honey (kneading the packet before opening), cheese (crumbling before adding), chopped pistachios, and remaining za’atar. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare & roast the squash
1 Prepare & roast the squash

Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling  on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the ends of the squash. Halve lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 24 to 26 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

2 Prepare the remaining ingredients

Meanwhile, roughly chop the pistachios.  Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers; remove the cores, then medium dice. Thoroughly wash your hands, knife, and cutting board immediately after handling.

Prepare the remaining ingredients
Cook the chicken
3 Cook the chicken

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and all but a pinch of the za’atar. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken. 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. 

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

4 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Cook the pasta
Cook the peppers & finish the pasta
5 Cook the peppers & finish the pasta

In the pan of reserved fond, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Turn off the heat. Transfer to the pot of cooked pasta; add the salsa verde and fromage blanc. Stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

6 Slice the chicken & serve your dish

Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken with the roasted squash and finished pasta. Top the chicken with the tzatziki. Top the squash with the honey (kneading the packet before opening), cheese (crumbling before adding), chopped pistachios, and remaining za’atar. Enjoy! 

Slice the chicken & serve your dish
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