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This simple Skillet White Pesto Chicken and Orzo is the perfect winter dinner. Quick, easy, and so delicious! Pan-seared Italian seasoned chicken in a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce. Cooked together with orzo pasta for a quick dinner made in one skillet. Everyone at the dinner table loves this dish. It’s great for a weeknight but fancy enough to serve up at your next holiday dinner. It’s a hit all around!

Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

December is always the craziest month. It’s my favorite month of the year but also the busiest. And this December has been a lot. But I’m so thankful for it and loving every second of the chaos!

On top of multiple work trips and my day-to-day schedule, there’s been holiday fun, and most of my brothers are now in town. My parent’s house is once again full! Per usual, this means they’re all looking for dinner. I always try to have simple recipes like this skillet chicken on rotation this time of year! Easy dinners are key to keeping everyone happy and well-fed!

Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Lately, everyone has requested the recipe I shared for Smothered Chicken a few months ago. They love that dish, especially the creamy sauce.

When I set out to make this, I used that recipe as my base. But then I turned it into a quick-cooking spicy Italian dinner with lots of delicious basil pesto in the mix!

Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Here are the details

Step 1: the sun-dried tomatoes

Start with the sun-dried tomatoes. I love using a jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Not only are the tomatoes delicious, but I also use the oil from the jar to cook the chicken. The oil is always seasoned, so it adds even more flavor. Just make sure it’s extra virgin olive oil.

Most people will discard the oil, but you must use it! It adds a lot of flavor to recipes.

Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 2: season and sear the chicken.

Sear the chicken with salt and pepper. Then, take each piece and dip it through some flour. The flour gives the chicken a coating for the yummy sauce to stick to. Additionally, the flour on the chicken will help to thicken the sauce.

Pan-sear the chicken in the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar. Then, just before pulling the chicken out of the skillet, sprinkle each piece with Italian seasoning.

It’s a delicious mix and makes the chicken very flavorful.

Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 3: the orzo

When you pull the chicken out, add the orzo and some garlic. Then toss in some butter too. Let the butter toast around the dry 0rzo and add the chicken broth and cream.

Then mix in the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and the chicken.

Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 4: bake

Next, add the parmesan cheese and take the whole skillet and put it in the oven to finish baking.

It’s going to smell wonderful as you pull the skillet out of the oven. Like your favorite Italian restaurant!

This dish is everything you’d expect out of a multi-step recipe, but made in way less than an hour. Plus, everything is made in one pot. Simple, simple – and we love that.

You can serve this up on busy weeknights, but I think it’s equally great for holiday dinners with friends and family. I’m sure I’ll be remaking this over the holidays; we’re having a very special Christmas this year.

Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for winter pasta recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Pesto Tortellini Zuppa Toscana

Creamy Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Pasta

One Pot French Onion Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

Basil Parmesan Pasta with Crispy Chicken, Prosciutto, and Arugula

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

Lastly, if you make this Skillet White Pesto Chicken and Orzo, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And, of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Skillet White Pesto Chicken and Orzo

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 437 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Drain 3 tablespoons of oil from the sun-dried tomato jar into a large skillet with sides. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and set aside.
    2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the flour to a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken through the flour and toss to coat.
    3. Set the skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, 3-5 minutes per side. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate.
    4. To the same skillet, add the butter, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, garlic, orzo, and season with chili flakes. Cook until lightly golden, 2 minutes. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the cream, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes. Slide the chicken and any juices left on the plate back into the skillet. Sprinkle over the parmesan. Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling around the chicken.
    5. Serve the chicken, orzo, and sauce topped with thyme. YUM.

Notes

Italian Seasoning: Mix 2 tablespoons dried basil, 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, and 1 teaspoon dried sage. Store in a sealed container.
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Skillet White Pesto Marry Me Chicken and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Finally got a chance to make this tonight. It was OUTSTANDING. It is so full of flavor and a comfort food without being super heavy. Bonus: It’s easy to put together. We’re totally putting this into rotation moving forward, but we’re excited to have leftovers for tomorrow night!

    1. Hey Kristie,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! Thanks for your comment! xx

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was delicious! Had some rotisserie chicken I needed to use up, so I warmed it briefly in the sundried tomato oil and followed your recipe from there. It worked, but not elegant as you can imagine. Looking forward to trying it again fully per recipe!

    1. Hi Margaret,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe and your comment, love to hear that it turned out well for you! Have a great Monday! xT

  3. 5 stars
    This dish has become a family favourite on semi-regular rotation. I was surprized seeing as my husband doesn’t like creamy dishes, but he loved this one and so did my daughter and I.

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Thanks so much for making this dish so often and sharing your comment, so glad to hear it always turns out well for you! xT

  4. 5 stars
    Soooo delicious! Followed recipe exactly and all turned out awesome!
    This made the “special for guests” recipe list!!
    Used my own frozen homemade pesto🥰

  5. Marry Me chicken dish is so delicious. I didn’t have sun dried tomato in oil so I just put dried tomatoes in 1/3 cup of olive oil and let sit for a few hours. This is a great dish and I will make it again for guests next time

  6. 5 stars
    I made this dish over the weekend, and it was a hit for everyone! I sliced 3 medium sized chicken breasts in half so I had 6 thinner breasts. I also added 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach to the pan just before adding the chicken back and going in the oven. Absolutely delicious!

  7. 4 stars
    This came out good! But it’s very oily and I would also the amount of cream. Both take away from the pesto flavor

    1. Hi Nikki,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear it was oily for you! Let me know if you make it again:) xT

  8. 5 stars
    As usual, relatively easy and super flavourful. I followed the recipe exactly – next time will try out the onions during sautéing.

    Thanks always for your inspirations!

    1. Hey Leslie,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe and your comment, love to hear that it turned out well for you! xT

  9. 5 stars
    This was so00 good. The only change I made was using a “sun-dried tomato pesto” instead of sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto. The next time I might add some baby spinach. Everyone loved it. Will definitely be making this recipe again!!

    1. Hi Kathie,
      Love to hear this!! Thanks so much for trying this dish and your feedback! Have a great weekend! xT

  10. 5 stars
    Omg this recipe is a gem, it was my first time cooking orzo and this caught my attention and we were both raving how great it was! It’s a keeper and will be on repeat at my house.
    Only variation I did was added onions when sauteeing the garlic.

    1. Thanks so much Michelle!! So glad to hear this recipe turned out well for you and I appreciate you making it:) xT

  11. 4 stars
    This sounds delicious and perfect skill level required for me. I will be making this sometime in the next two weeks.

  12. I made this tonight and it was sooo good. It was helpful for me to learn recently that so many factors play into how fast pasta cooks… altitude, humidity, etc. A recipe can give you a guesstimate but as always, you should check to see how fast (or slow) your pasta is cooking in your own specific kitchen. Hopefully a helpful tip for those who are docking a star for undercooked orzo.