Now that we’re done binging on sweets and desserts at our household, I am back to sharing everyday food. Case in point, this one-pot cheesy pasta dinner. It looks like rice, doesn’t it? But it is actually orzo pasta. I wanted to do a Mediterranean orzo and chicken dish, but ultimately went in a completely different direction based on what I had lying around in my refrigerator and pantry. Yep, that’s how my kitchen works!
This is a super simple recipe, easy to make, but so comforting and nourishing. It is a spin-off of my favorite arroz con pollo, which is a traditional rice dish. But use orzo instead of rice and you end up with a completely different experience.
Orzo goes well in anything, be it salads, casseroles or even risotto. It is the perfect choice for one-pot recipes because of how it can be cooked.
I added some crunchy bell peppers, ripe tomatoes, sweet corn and cooked beans along with the chicken. They are an absolute riot of colors, textures and flavors. I couldn’t help but finish it by stirring in some cheese right into the hot pan. I love when my cheese is melted and creamy… ooohh!!
Serve it with more cheese on top if you want to and a wedge of lime for squeezing over it all.
Eat as much of it as you like, it is comfort food season after all!
And when you are done reading and saving the recipe, I will be sharing this brand new family book by a fellow blogger, the awesome Jill Basom.
- Oil/butter - 3 tbsp, divided
- Chicken - 1 lb, boneless small pieces
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Black pepper powder - ¼ tsp
- Red bell pepper - 1, sliced thinly
- Onion - 1 large, chopped
- Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
- Orzo pasta - 1 cup
- Tomato paste - 2 tbsp
- Tomato - 1, chopped
- Cayenne powder - 1 tsp
- Dried oregano - ½ tsp
- Chicken stock - 2 cups
- Sweet corn - ½ cup or 1 small can, drained
- Pinto beans or black beans - ½ cup or 1 small can, drained
- Shredded cheese - ½ cup, plus extra for serving
- Cilantro - 2 tbsp, chopped
- Lime - 1, cut into wedges for serving
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, deep pan. Add chicken, sprinkle salt and black pepper and cook chicken till brown on all sides. This should take around 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Heat another tablespoon of oil. Add red peppers and any other vegetables you wish to use. Saute for a couple of minutes, remove to the plate with the chicken.
- Now heat the third tablespoon of oil. Add onions and garlic and saute till onions are soft and garlic is fragrant. Now add the orzo and fry lightly for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Add tomato paste, chopped tomato, cayenne powder and oregano. Stir well to combine.
- Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and cook uncovered on medium heat. Stir once in a while.
- When orzo is halfway done, around 7-8 minutes, return chicken and peppers to the pot. Stir in beans and corn as well. Cook till all the liquid is absorbed and orzo is soft. Add more stock or water if required.
- Stir in the cheese and cilantro leaves and remove from heat. Keep covered till ready to serve.
- Serve warm with more cheese and wedges of lime on the side.
2. Feel free to add more cayenne powder as per taste. I have kept it relatively mild so that it appeals to kids as well.
3. You can also add any other vegetables you like.
And that’s it! Your easy-peasy cheesy chicken and orzo is ready to be devoured. And yes, it is one hundred percent kid-approved!!
Do try this ridiculously easy one-pot dish. It is great for a quick weeknight dinner, the perfect recipe for cold fall evenings. Don’t forget to PIN it for later.
MY LIFE INSCRIBED
And now, onto the other part of this blog post. A couple of weeks back, I was contacted by Jill Basom, the author of the DIY blog Maggie May’s Gifts. We have known each other from my very earliest days of blogging. Even though our blogs took different paths, we still make it a point to read and encourage each others’ posts. But what I didn’t know was that Jill is also an author and philanthropist.
Her book My Life Inscribed is a family style book to be used as an interview guide. It is a cool concept when you think about it. You can interview your grandparents, parents or anyone who has had a profound impact in your life. Isn’t that a great way to record stories and family anecdotes for future generations?
The questions included are simple but though-provoking, each question leading to more stories and memories. The questions range from childhood to college to work, family and more. It is a simple book with a big purpose. Jill does a better job of explaining her mission in her blog post. Do take a look.
My mom is a big story-teller, always sharing stories and anecdotes about her family and childhood. We stay so far away from family, but I cannot wait to use this book to record some of those stories on our next visit home. I am sure it is something the little one will appreciate as he grows up.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I was sent a book to read and try out by the author. All opinions expressed above are heartfelt and true.
I hope you are having a lovely week so far. What’s cooking at your end? Do share.
If you like this post, please follow this blog via Email to get post updates and also my Social Media pages (find subscription box on the right side of this page, or scroll down in mobile version). Thank you!