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Creamy Parmesan Orzo with Chicken and Asparagus

Quick and delicious Creamy Parmesan Orzo with Chicken and Asparagus that can be on your dinner table in only 30 minutes! Cheesy, creamy, delicious goodness!

This creamy, cheesy, Parmesan orzo is my kind of dish and the kind of dish I could have every single night for lunch or dinner. What’s not to like? You’ve got your proteins, your veggies, and my favorite part, the Parmesan orzo. 

But you know what’s great about this Parmesan orzo? Is how easy it is to make and how quick. Orzo takes only about 10 minutes to cook! And yes, orzo is a pasta, not rice as some may think. But this dish could be made with rice as well, it will just take a little bit longer to cook.

Orzo is perfect for when you want a quick dinner, or a quick side dish and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, because who does? As much as I love cooking, I still always look for quick and easy meals. Baking on the other hand, is a different story which I’ll leave for another time.

INGREDIENTS

  • ▢1 lb chicken breast boneless and skinless (about 3)
  • ▢1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • ▢1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
  • ▢1 tbsp paprika
  • ▢2 tbsp olive oil
  • ▢1 cup asparagus chopped
  • ▢1 large onion chopped
  • ▢4 cloves garlic minced
  • ▢2 cups orzo uncooked
  • ▢2 cups half and half
  • ▢3 cups chicken broth low sodium, or water
  • ▢1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese grated
  • ▢2 tbsp parsley chopped, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and paprika on both sides.
  • In a large skillet heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Depending on the thickness of your chicken you might need longer time. Transfer the chicken to a warm plate; set aside.
  • In the same skillet add the asparagus and saute for about 3 minutes, just until it starts to soften and starts to brown a bit. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
  • In the same skillet add the onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes until the onion is translucent and the garlic becomes aromatic. Add more olive oil if needed.
  • Add the orzo to the skillet and saute for just one minute, to get it a little toasted, this will give it a nutty flavor. Add the half and half, chicken broth and stir. 
  • Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a medium-low, cover with lid and let it cook for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the lid and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper.
  • Add the asparagus back and stir it in. Slice the chicken into thin slices. You can either add it to the skillet and stir it in, or as seen in the photos, arrange over the orzo.
  • Garnish with more Parmesan cheese if preferred, and parsley. Serve warm.

Tips & notes:

Half and half is equal parts whole milk and light cream and it usually averages 10 to 12% fat, which is usually less than light cream.  This dish is quite versatile. Add more nutrition to it by adding in more veggies such as spinach, broccoli, mushrooms or peas. 

Source: https://cravinghomecooked.com/

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