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a bowl of pesto orzo next to delallo products

Pesto Orzo

This easy pesto orzo recipe is a one pot meal with chicken, pasta, and so many incredible Italian flavors for a quick weeknight family dinner!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword pesto orzo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup DeLallo Orzo Pasta uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup DeLallo Simply Pesto
  • 1/3 cup DeLallo Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Extra Virgin Olive Oil drained & chopped
  • 6 spears asparagus cut into quarters, see note
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (try rotisserie) shredded/chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add the oil, butter, and onion to a pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and orzo. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, cream, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and asparagus. Once it starts to bubble, continue cooking for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring fairly often. You will likely need to turn the heat down a bit (to medium or even medium-low). You want it to gently bubble vs. furiously boil, and you don't want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked.
  • Stir in the cooked chicken (let it warm through for a minute or so).
  • Take the pot off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Give it a taste, and if the pasta is firmer than you'd like or you want the sauce to be thicker/more absorbed, cover the pot and let it sit for a few minutes. If the sauce has reduced too much, add in a splash of cream. Season with salt & pepper as needed and enjoy immediately.


  • If you're using very thin asparagus or you prefer it to be more crisp, add it in a few minutes later than suggested.
  • Every stove and pot varies, so if you notice that the liquid has absorbed before the pasta has cooked, I recommend turning the heat down and adding a little more chicken broth and/or cream. If there's too much liquid, simply leave it a bit longer as the orzo will soak it up quickly.
  • Orzo is pasta. If you want to make this with rice, you may have to adjust liquid measurements and cooking time.
  • Serves 4-6 depending on how much people eat/what else it's served with.