April 2, 2012

orzo with chicken, asparagus and goat cheese

I love coming up with a pasta dish that doesn't involve opening a jar of pre-made sauce. There is something so satisfying about slicing fresh tomatoes, chopping up garlic and fresh basil.

Cherry tomatoes are delicious and convenient. Just cut them in half and saute for a few minutes in olive oil. They start to soften and break apart, creating a light sauce.

Chicken broth, garlic, fresh basil, asparagus, chicken and goat cheese are added. These flavors are so lovely. The asparagus stays crisp and the goat cheese is ridiculously creamy. I love goat cheese! It has such a strong flavor, you don't need to add a lot to get that delicious flavor and texture. To save even more calories, skip adding the cheese into the sauce and just crumble it on top to serve.

This is so fresh and perfect. We had my sister and her husband over for dinner, and he said it was his favorite meal he's had at our house so far.


Orzo with Chicken, Asparagus and Goat Cheese

Serves 4 people

1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
8 stalks of asparagus, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups cooked orzo pasta (follow directions on box)
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional to serve: more chopped fresh basil and crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in an even layer on a cookie sheet or 13 x 9 pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 clove garlic, minced (1/3 of the total garlic) over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick the chicken pieces are, or until cooked all the way through.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced cherry tomatoes and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften and break apart. Use a wooden spoon to smash the tomatoes a bit. Lower the heat to medium low, and add garlic. Saute for a few minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Add chicken broth, asparagus, fresh basil, cooked chicken and goat cheese. Stir until combined and let the asparagus cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. You want the asparagus to maintain the crisp texture, but not be raw. Add cooked orzo and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve warm with some fresh basil and crumbled goat cheese on top, if desired.


  1. Mmmm, I love all those flavors. I agree that there is something special about pasta when you make your own topping from scratch instead of a bottle. This looks delicious.

  2. I made this tonight and husband is getting seconds as we speak :) DELISH!

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