Combining chicken and pasta, or other noodles, is an easy way to make a meal. Both components generally cook quickly, allowing you to spend more time on sauces and other ingredients that will transform your humble chicken and pasta into a delicious dish. Plus, both keep well, meaning tonight’s dinner can become tomorrow’s lunch. Keep reading for seven simple ways to pair chicken and pasta.
1. Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo
Inspired by Italian cooking, Eating Well created this recipe for chicken with orzo. Romano cheese was used, which Cheese.com says has a sharper and saltier flavor than Parmesan. This recipe will yield 4 servings and takes roughly 30 minutes to prepare.
- 8 ounces orzo, preferably whole wheat
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), divided
- 1 plum tomato, diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1 to 1¼ pounds)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- ½ cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided
Directions: Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out ½ cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts, and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.