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Serving spoon with chicken, orzo and pesto in a square baking casserole

One Pan Chicken with Orzo and Pesto

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Chicken, orzo, and pesto casserole is a cozy, baked dish featuring tender chicken, orzo pasta, and basil pesto creating a flavorful and comforting meal.  There won't be any complaints at dinner when you serve this meal.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups baby spinach, prewashed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (2 teaspoons), finely diced
  • 1/2 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces (1 1/3 cups) dry orzo pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups (14 ounces) diced cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 4 1/2 ounces (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Stack spinach leaves and slice into thin shreds and set aside.  
  3. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 square ceramic or glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. In the baking dish combine, olive oil, diced garlic cloves, shallots, dried basil, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and ground pepper.  Stir in orzo and pesto.
  5. Pour chicken broth into the dish and stir until combined.  
  6. Place the spinach on top.  Don't stir into the orzo mixture.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed.
  8. Stir in chicken. Taste the orzo.  If it is not cooked add 1/3 cup chicken broth or water.
  9. Distribute cheese on top.
  10. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes until the cheese is lightly brown and the casserole reaches 165°F.
  11. If the cheese is not brown, place it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.  Watch it closely so it does not burn.
  12. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve.



  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 378
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 773.5 mg
  • Fat: 13.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Protein: 32.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 58.6 mg