summer vegetable orzo with chicken on a white plate garnished with parmesan
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5 from 1 vote

Summer Vegetable Orzo with Chicken

An easy meal packed full of summer vegetables and amazing pesto flavour! Cherry tomatoes, zucchini and spinach pair beautifully with your favourite pesto and sautéed chicken. Make it for dinner tonight!
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: vegetable orzo with chicken
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 575kcal
Author: Laura Lawless


  • 1 lb uncooked orzo about 1.5 cups dry measure
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, sliced in half about 4 cups dry measure
  • 2 cups zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick quarters about 2 small zucchini
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pesto store-bought or one batch of linked recipe

For serving

  • grated parmesan


  • Cook orzo according to package directions and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large deep skillet or dutch oven. Sauté chicken until fully cooked. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside on a plate.
  • Warm another 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to the skillet and sauté onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté another 30 seconds, stirring continously, until fragrant.
  • Add the zucchini, cherry tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 7-8 minutes. Add the baby spinach and stir until evenly dispersed. Cook until spinach has wilted.
  • Add the cooked orzo, cooked chicken and pesto to the vegetables. Stir until everything is warmed through and evenly coated with pesto. Serve immediately and garnish with grated parmesan, if desired.


  1. Make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken. For extra protein and fibre, add white beans at the same time as the spinach (cannellini or navy beans would be nice). 
  2. Make it vegan by omitting the chicken and using a vegan pesto. Skip the parmesan garnish. 


Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 1097mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2801IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 6mg