Weeknight meals can feel like a real chore sometimes. You’ve got the normal amount of flavor and servings to pack into a shorter amount of time. And, it can be all too easy to just have a lazy meal. The trouble is that these easy meals usually aren’t quite as tasty as a real, homemade dinner. Enter: one-skillet caprese chicken orzo. This recipe serves 4, takes only one pan, is ready in under 40 minutes, and has as much flavor as ordering Italian food.
To start making this meal you’ll need to cook your chicken breasts in a large skillet, making sure to season both sides of each breast. Then remove them from the pan and add in chicken broth, tomatoes, and garlic powder. Once this comes to a boil add in the orzo pasta.
This is one of my favorite pastas since it cooks nicely into a sauce and has a silky feeling when you eat it. It also absorbs excess liquid, which means your sauce actually cooks into the pasta.
Add the chicken breasts back on top and then cover until the pasta is done cooking and the chicken has reached a safe temperature. Then dot with torn mozzarella cheese pieces. If you only have shredded on hand it will work, but the real stuff- that gooey, creamy, thick cheese sold in brine- is what really makes this recipe come to life. Good mozzarella here is what gives it that caprese salad flavor.
Cover again to melt the cheese and then top with some shredded, fresh basil leaves just before serving. You want to avoid cooking the basil since the fresh, bright basil flavor perfectly balances out the rich mozzarella and the savory orzo.
This one-skillet recipe tastes so good you won’t mind making it on a busy night, but it’s so tasty that it could also be a wonderful celebration meal for special occasions. This versatile recipe is so delicious you might not believe it only takes one pan to make. But, when you’re doing the dishwashing at the end of the night you’ll certainly notice the lack of pots and pans to clean!
One-Skillet Caprese Chicken Orzo
15m prep time
40m cook time
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 (8 oz) package (8 oz) fresh mozzarella, drained
- 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
- Heat oil in a large skillet or stockpot over medium-high heat. Place chicken in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes and flip chicken. Add more salt and pepper and cook second side for 4 more minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
- To skillet add broth, tomatoes, and garlic powder. Bring to a low boil. Add more salt and stir in orzo. Place chicken breasts on top. Cook covered on medium low for 12-16 minutes or until pasta is cooked and chicken reaches 165˚F internal temperature.
- Slice or tear mozzarella into small pieces and sprinkle on top of the pasta and chicken. Reduce heat to low and cover for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil.
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.