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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for winter pasta recipes? Here are a few ideas:
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
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.
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained
- 6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- chili flakes
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 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.
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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.