When I went to Vancouver with my mom in March, we stayed with my aunt’s family. My aunt’s sister-in-law is a really good cook and one day she made this orzo pasta with vegetables for us. It sounded so simple to make and tasted so good that I made a mental note to recreate the recipe when I get back. After making it for the first time last week I knew I had to make it again so that I can share the recipe as soon as possible with all of you.
Since most sauce-less pasta dishes with vegetables end up being called a salad, I don’t know if this too should be called that. Whether you call it a salad or not, its still plenty good and fresh and light for summer time meals. You could skip the chicken and the butter and make this vegan/vegetarian, if you like. I serve it as a main dish and add chicken in with the veggies, but you could make it just with the vegetables and orzo with grilled chicken or fish served on the side.
I did my first snapchat recipe story today (forgive me if that’s not what its called, I am still learning). Thanks to Asha from Food, Fashion and Party (love her blog) who has been motivating me to start snapping, I finally did today. I am still fairly new with it, but in case you want to follow you can add me @theNovHousewife and see the behind the scenes of making this orzo with chicken and vegetables on Snapchat.
I am in love with fresh basil and I can’t stress how important it is to use it in this recipe. It’s what lends flavor. If I had access to a balcony I would have grown my own basil plant. Has anybody tried growing basil in an apartment? Have they been successful? I would love to know.
A time saver is using the asparagus saute from Trader Joe’s but you can buy the vegetables separately and add them. I have done both. You can add or remove veggies to your liking and while I have tried to be as accurate as I can in writing the measurements, I do go by approximation with this recipe, increasing/decreasing quantities as I go. Feel free to tweak the quantities.
V is not a pasta eater, but even he loved this dish and am so glad he did, because its so easy to put together and its packed with flavor and freshness from the veggies. I hope you get to make it and I hope it gets to become a staple in your house like it has in mine. Do comment here or tag me on my instagram or facebook if you try it out. Would love your feedback.
P.S: In case you have been missing GMT, I apologize. I am putting it on hold for another week. I have a bunch of posts pending that are not GMT related and since I did not blog much last week there is some catching up to do. I will get back to GMT the week after next. You have my word!
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 whole garlic- 7-8 cloves, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- ½ bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 small broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1-2 cups fresh basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into small bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp piri piri sauce (you could use vinegar, use less in that case)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp (or more) red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp steak rub
- 1 tsp herbs de provence
- 1 16 oz (454 gms) packet orzo pasta
- Marinate the chicken pieces with the piri piri sauce, oil, steak rub and herbs de provence and keep for an hour.
- Boil a pan of salted water. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain and drizzle with some olive oil and set aside.
- In a large pan, or cast iron skillet, add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter. Add the chicken and cook the chicken for a few minutes, till its cooked. Remove from pan.
- In the same skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic.
- Add all the veggies- onion, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, red bell pepper. Add in balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and cook on high for 2-3 minutes. I like my veggies to have some crunch so I only cook them for a 2 minutes or so.
- Add the chicken back and sauté for another minute. Take off heat. Add the fresh basil, cooked the orzo and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning.You can drizzle some olive oil if you like.
- Serve with some parmesan cheese.