Caprese Chicken with Orzo

Chicken-Caprese-With-Orzo in Dish
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My garden is still producing the last few bits of produce before the first frost happens. I had fresh zucchini, tomatoes, and basil I needed to use up in a hurry, and this Caprese Chicken with Orzo was the perfect meal to do just that. This dish is light and fresh, thanks to the pesto vinaigrette and balsamic vinegar. All of the flavors really compliment one another and result in the perfect late summer (or early fall) dinner.

This meal looks very fancy, but can be assembled just about 30 minutes. I was able to really cut down the time by making the peso vinaigrette and prepping the other ingredients while the orzo cooked. I also had some great pre-cooked, refrigerated chicken breast pieces from Costco that shaved off a ton of time. The chicken just needs to be warmed up before adding to the dish. Of course, you can always grill your own thinly sliced chicken breast fillets, depending on what you have on hand.

Preparing Caprese Chicken with Orzo

Simply cook the orzo according to the package instructions until al dente, approximately 9 minutes. Then pour into a casserole dish, and arrange half of the basil leaves and the fresh spinach around the edge.

Orzo and Spinach in Casserole Dish

Whisk together the pesto sauce, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and Parmesan and cook over medium low heat until simmering. Pour 3/4 of the pesto vinaigrette over the prepared orzo.

Pesto Vinaigrette Simering in Pot

Add the olive oil to a medium skillet and preheat to medium-high heat. Add in the diced zucchini and cook 3-5 minutes until slightly tender and browned. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Sauteeing Zucchini

Spread the cooked zucchini on top of the spinach and basil leaves.

Arrange the cooked chicken, sliced Roma tomatoes, and sliced fresh mozzarella in an alternating pattern on top of the orzo. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Just long enough for the mozzarella cheese to soften.

Drizzle with the remaining pesto vinaigrette and the balsamic reduction. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, as desired. Roll and slice the remaining basil leaves and sprinkle over the entire dish.

Chicken-Caprese-With-Orzo in Dish

Serve warm with a few slices of crusty bread. Drizzle additional balsamic reduction, as desired.

Chicken-Caprese-With-Orzo Side Angle

Caprese Chicken with Orzo

A light and flavorful summer dish, using all of your favorite garden fresh produce.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 8oz Orzo
  • 16 oz Grilled Chicken Breasts/Fillets/Pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Reduction
  • 2 large Roma Tomatoes, sliced
  • 10 medium Basil Leaves
  • 3/4 cup Spinach
  • 1 medium Zucchini, diced
  • 1 lb Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • Grated Parmesan (garnish)

Pesto Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Basil Pesto Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Grill chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper until completely cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
    Cook Orzo until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and pour orzo onto serving platter or into casserole dish. Arrange raw spinach leaves, and half of the basil on top of pasta around the outside perimeter of the dish.
  • Whisk together the pesto sauce, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and Parmesan and cook over medium low heat until simmering. Pour 3/4 of the pesto vinaigrette over the prepared orzo.
  • Add the olive oil to a medium skillet and preheat to medium-high heat. Add in the diced zucchini and cook 3-5 minutes until slightly tender and browned. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
    Spread the cooked zucchini on top of the spinach and basil leaves.
  • Arrange the cooked chicken, sliced Roma tomatoes, and sliced fresh mozzarella in an alternating pattern on top of the orzo. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Just long enough for the mozzarella cheese to soften.
    Drizzle with the remaining pesto vinaigrette and the balsamic reduction. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, as desired. Roll and slice the remaining basil leaves and sprinkle on top.

Notes

*Substitute vegetables and pasta as desired.
Keyword Caprese Chicken, Caprese with Orzo, Chicken Caprese with Orzo, Fresh Basil Recipes, Orzo Recipes, Summer Garden Vegetable Recipes, Summer Garden Vegetables

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