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One Pan Caprese Pesto Chicken Orzo

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This one-pan Caprese Pesto Chicken Orzo is delicious and simple to make any time you’re craving Mediterranean flavors. It’s oh-so-simple, easy to clean up with one pan, and ready in about 40 minutes. It’s weeknight dinner heaven!

Closeup view of baked Caprese Pesto Chicken on a silver spoon.

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Why I Love This Pesto Chicken Orzo

Okay. Like many of you, I suspect, I adore Caprese anything! From my latest Caprese pasta salad to appetizers and more. If it’s Caprese, I’m there!

I also love one-pan dinners! Especially when the pasta, the chicken, the veggies, herbs, seasoning… literally everything is cooked in one dish. Not only is it easy to clean up one pan, because it is, but it’s also the idea of communally sharing food in one pan—dinners with family and friends become a bit more delicious and fun.

This chicken recipe is easy, it’s delicious, and it’s a simple go-to for busy weeknights or even when inviting friends over for dinner.

Here’s what you need:

Pesto Chicken Pasta Ingredients

Here is a list of the simple ingredients you will need for this easy chicken recipe:

  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs if you prefer. I’m using thin-cut chicken breasts.
  • Dry Orzo Pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Aromatics: garlic, finely chopped or minced, a shallot, also finely minced, fresh basil, red pepper flakes (optional for flavor), salt, and pepper.
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced zucchini
  • Basil Pesto: Use your favorite ready-made brand unless you happen to have homemade on hand– lucky you!
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

How to Make Caprese Pesto Chicken

You will also find detailed step-by-step instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Recipe Overview

Cooking time: 35 minutes; 5 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking
Kitchen tools: 9×13-inch baking pan

Begin by preheating the oven to 400° F.

Step 1: Toss ingredients in a baking pan and roast

In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the tomatoes, zucchini, olive oil, garlic, shallots, basil, chili flakes, salt, pepper and chicken breasts and toss to combine. Roast for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven.

Top view of veggies and seasoning in a white casserole dish.
Top view of unbaked chicken breasts in white casserole dish.

Step 2: Add dry orzo and pesto

In the pan, add the dry orzo and pesto. Pour water over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated, but not all.

Top view of dry orzo and pesto added to white casserole dish.

Step 3: Melt the cheese

Remove the dish from the oven, stir the pasta gently with a fork, and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Bake for another 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted, the sauce is bubbling, and the chicken has cooked through. Top with fresh basil.

What is the best way to store leftovers?

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. If the orzo has absorbed too much liquid, reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of broth or water.

Closeup view of pesto chicken on a spoon for serving.
Horizontal closeup view of pesto chicken serving from white casserole dish.

One Pan Caprese Pesto Chicken Orzo

Make weeknight dinner heaven with this delicious one-pan Caprese Pesto Chicken Orzo. Ready in just over 30 minutes, it's perfect for Mediterranean flavor cravings.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 zucchini thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 thin-cut boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1 lb.
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
  • chili flakes tp taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the tomatoes, zucchini, olive oil, garlic, shallots, basil, chili flakes, salt, pepper and chicken breasts and toss to combine. Roast for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven.
  • In the pan, add the dry orzo and pesto. Pour water over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated, but not all.
  • Remove from the oven, stir the pasta gently with a fork and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted, the sauce is bubbling, and the chicken has cooked through. Top with fresh basil.

Video

Notes

Chicken: If using thicker chicken breasts, cooking time may vary. Cook until the meat reaches a minimum temperature of 165 degrees F.

Nutrition

Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1007IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Main Course, One Pot
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: pesto chicken, caprese

Frequently Asked Questions for Caprese Pesto Chicken

Can I use a different type of pasta instead of orzo?

Yes, you can substitute orzo with other small pasta shapes, such as couscous, ditalini, or even quinoa. However, cooking times may vary, so adjust accordingly.

What kind of pesto should I use for this dish?

Traditional basil pesto works perfectly, but you can also experiment with sun-dried tomato pesto or arugula pesto for a different flavor profile.

Can I use homemade pesto in this recipe?

Definitely! Homemade pesto will add a fresh and vibrant flavor to the dish. Just make sure it’s well blended and seasoned to your taste.

What is traditional pesto made with?

Traditional pesto is a sauce that originated in Genoa, Italy, and is usually made with basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and Parmesan.

More One Pan or One Pot Recipes to Try

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a keeper! The serving for four was enough for at least six. We are having lunch at our church tomorrow and this is what I’m making for the meal.

    1. Hi Linda- it does make generous servings 😍. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thank you for trying the recipe. Have a wonderful day at church!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a keeper! The serving for four was enough for at least six. We are having lunch at our church tomorrow and this is what I’m making for the meal.

5 from 3 votes

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