30-Minute Creamy Italian Pesto Chicken & Orzo Casserole Recipe by Donna John

30-Minute Creamy Italian Pesto Chicken & Orzo Casserole Recipe

One of my new favorite ingredients to cook with is orzo. Orzo, sometimes called risoni, is a small, short pasta that's like a grain of rice. The pasta cooks quickly and is not heavy like some pastas can be. With gardens full of summer basil right around the corner, this is a pasta recipe you need to add to your dinner rotation.

This quick and easy Italian pesto chicken and orzo casserole recipe cooks in one pan and is on the table in about 30 minutes. To make this simple, rich and creamy casserole recipe you will need a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, chicken breasts, dried Italian seasoning, butter, fresh garlic, orzo, chicken broth, a can of evaporated milk, basil pesto and Parmesan cheese.

This Italian dinner is full of pesto flavor! The dish is rich, so serve it with a fresh vegetable or salad on the side.

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Cuisine: Italian / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


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Recipe Notes

  • A kitchen tool I use all the time is a bench scraper. It helped get the chopped sundried tomatoes and any oil they released off the cutting board.
  • You could use heavy cream or half and half instead of evaporated milk. 
  • I made this recipe in my cast iron skillet, but any ovenproof skillet will work.

Here's how to make it:

  1. Heat the sundried tomato oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot oil in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the dried Italian seasoning. Cook until browned on both sides and just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  2. Add the butter, remaining Italian seasoning, garlic and orzo. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until orzo begins to lightly brown. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the evaporated milk, pesto, chopped sundried tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine then stir in the chicken and any juices it has released. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 10 minutes.
  5. Let the casserole sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 420

Total Fat: 20.6g

Saturated Fat: 5.9g

Cholesterol: 139mg

Sodium: 288mg

Total Carbohydrate: 18.6g

Dietary Fiber: 0.7g

Total Sugars: 5.4g

Protein: 38.5g

Vitamin D: 3mcg

Calcium: 142mg

Iron: 2mg

Potassium: 664mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Elisa Schmitz
This looks delicious. And thank you for the tip about the bench scraper. Who knew?

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