Friday, October 2, 2009

Orzo with Chicken and Veggies

When you start making recipes like these for dinner, you realize how far you've fallen off the Weight Watchers band wagon. This is some creamy, garlicky goodness of the highest order. I haven't made this in months. Yesterday I was casting about for dinner ideas and I settled on something with pasta. This recipe kept coming to mind so I thought what the heck. When I was on Weight Watchers, I liked to say I had broken up with cheese but this recipe proves we've gotten back together, at least temporarily.

The chopping of the veggies and cooking of the orzo takes the most time. I like to have everything chopped and prepped before I start any actual cooking, it makes the dish come together quickly and smoothly. Don't skip the lemon at the end, the lemon adds a certain brightness to this dish.

Orzo with Chicken and Veggies

1 C orzo, uncooked
32 oz chicken broth (low sodium)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 - 1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 large boneless chicken breast (raw), cut into small cubes
2 T olive oil
1 C of chopped asparagus (cut into diagonal bits)
1 small red pepper, cut into small strips
1 bunch of baby spinach, washed and dried
1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
juice of half a lemon + its zest

Prepare the vegtables and set aside. Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes. Into a deep sided skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat. About half way through the cooking time, add the red pepper flakes along with the asparagus and red bell pepper strips. Continue to cook until the chicken is done and the veggies are tender. Add the garlic and spinach near the end of the cooking time. Stir until the spinach wilts. Add the lemon juice and zest. Taste and add more salt or seasoning if necessary.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the orzo. Cook for about 10 minutes at a low boil. The orzo will absorb much of the chicken stock. Drain the orzo and add it to the chicken/veggie mixture. Immediately add the grated Parmesan cheese. Stir well. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.


  1. This looks delicious! I'll be putting it in my menu rotation next week. Thanks Jennifer.

  2. Hey, I've added your blog to my blogroll and am looking forward to updates.

    Might I suggest less meat and more desserts? ;)

  3. Lu - I will certainly be featuring desserts and candy making as the cool weather approaches. I am going to do something with shoes soon too, gotta couple ideas about that but I think I need to do some market research first LOL