Easy chicken, pesto and orzo traybake

A simple traybake that makes an perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family

If you haven’t come across orzo before, it’s a very small, rice-shaped pasta that is very quick to cook. This makes it ideal for traybakes because you don’t need to leave everything in the oven for ages whilst waiting for the pasta to cook.

 

This is such a simple recipe, doesn’t take a lot of ingredients, and is very family friendly. If you are following Slimming World, the only syns come from the pesto, which usually has around 3 syns per tbsp. The great thing about traybakes that use stock is that there is no need at all for any oil or fat to cook the food.

 

Although this isn’t a traybake that you can just leave in the oven and not have to touch (have a look at my Chicken fajita traybake, Soy, orange & ginger chicken and squash traybake or Balsamic sausage and butterbean tray bake if you want a hands-off recipe), it really is super simple- you just start off by cooking the chicken, onion and tomatoes in the stock for ten minutes, and then add the pasta, and finally the green beans at the end.

 

I added 1 tbsp of pesto to this- this gives a fairly subtle pesto flavour which worked for my children, and kept it low syn, but if you like a stronger flavour you can either add a little more pesto when you stir it into the stock, or spoon some over the top at the end (this makes it look pretty when you serve it!).

 

If you regularly follow my recipes you’ll know that presentation is really important to me, so just to jazz it up and make it pretty at the end you can add some scattered fresh basil leaves, a few curls of parmesan, a little extra pesto and a few grinds of pepper- makes all the difference!

easy chicken, pesto and orzo traybake, Slimming World friendly

If you loved the orzo, why not try out my Tomato, basil & orzo soup– it’s completely delicious, even if I do say so myself!

 

My Recipe

Serves: 4
Syns: 3 (for 1 tbsp pesto)
Healthy Extra:

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 150g baby plum tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes) halved
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, skin removed and excess fat trimmed away
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp green pesto
  • 150g orzo
  • 100g green beans, topped & tailed
  • salt and pepper
  • a few fresh basil leaves and some parmesan to garnish!

Method

  1. pre-heat oven to 180c
  2. Add the chopped onion, baby tomatoes & chicken thighs into a deep baking tray
  3. Stir the pesto into the chicken stock, and pour over the ingredients in the baking tray. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes
  4. Remove the tray form the oven, and add in the orzo around the chicken. Give it a little stir to ensure it's covered by the stock.
  5. Bake for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, give the pasta a stir, and just make sure it isn't stuck in the corners or clumping. Add in the green beans, push down gently so that they are partly submerged. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake for a further 5 minutes. Try a bit of the pasta to ensure it's cook through, and just double check that the chicken is also cooked through.
  8. To serve, sprinkle over some fresh basil leaves, add some parmesan curls and grind some pepper over the top. You can add a little pesto on top of the chicken at this stage if you'd like to make it look extra appetising!

Additional Info

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