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Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Skillet with Kalamata Olives, Tomatoes, and Basil

Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Skillet with Kalamata Olives, Tomatoes, and Basil

I found this Cooking Light recipe on Myrecipes and decided to give it a try.  The reviews for the recipe said it was a little bland so I decided to throw some extra flavors in it including, kalamata olives, onions, and garlic as well as seasonings.  It was a simple and comforting dish that was easy to make, smelled great while it cooked, and tasted even better.  My husband and I both loved it but my kids just thought it was okay.  I am looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow.

Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Skillet with Kalamata Olives, Tomatoes, and Basil

Cook the orzo in salted water, per instructions.  Side Note:  Sprinkle a little bit of chicken bouillon granules into the boiling water for extra flavor.  Drain the orzo and all but 1/2 cup of cooking liquid through a colander.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and season with a bit of crushed red pepper, oregano, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; cook stirring often, for 3-4 minutes.  Remove the onion from the skillet and set aside.  Season the chicken with a sprinkling of oregano, garlic powder, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Place the chicken into the same skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Turn the heat to low then add reserved cooking liquid to the skillet, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan; add the minced garlic and stir.  Add the chopped tomato, softened onions, kalamata olives, and tomato paste,  to the skillet; cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add chicken, orzo, basil, and spinach leaves, stirring until spinach wilts. Taste and re-season if needed.  Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese and serve.  Enjoy.

Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Skillet with Kalamata Olives, Tomatoes, and Basil

Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Skillet with Kalamata Olives, Tomatoes, and Basil

Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Skillet with Kalamata Olives, Tomatoes, and Basil

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of orzo cooked per instructions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet yellow onion diced
  • Oregano to taste
  • Dash of Crushed red pepper to taste
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat & cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • Large handful of kalamata olives sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves torn
  • Feta cheese

Instructions

  • Cook the orzo in salted water, per instructions. Side Note: Sprinkle a little bit of chicken bouillon granules into the boiling water for extra flavor. Drain the orzo and all but 1/2 cup of cooking liquid through a colander.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and season with a bit of crushed red pepper, oregano, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; cook stirring often, for 3-4 minutes. Remove the onion from the skillet and set aside. Season the chicken with a sprinkling of oregano, garlic powder, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place the chicken into the same skillet over medium-high heat (add cooking spray if needed). Sauté 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  • Turn the heat to low then add reserved cooking liquid to the skillet, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan; add the minced garlic and stir. Add the chopped tomato, softened onions, kalamata olives, and tomato paste, to the skillet; cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add chicken, orzo, basil, and spinach leaves, stirring until spinach wilts. Taste and re-season if needed. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese and serve. Enjoy.
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29 Comments

  1. I love hearing what your kids have to say about meals but it’s so funny – I’m pretty sure I would devour every single thing you made!

  2. I really fancy this dish, bookmarked for later in the week, thanks. Have a good week. Diane

  3. I’m with your kids on this one. Somehow spinach and chicken don’t sound real good together. If you left the spinach out and had it as a side dish it would be great.

    1. Shell, have you ever heard of chicken florentine? Search giadas, its heaven

  4. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! I love the combination of flavors in this orzo dish, including the spinach! I also love your hint of adding some chicken bouillon to the pasta water, Pam!!

  5. Love all the yummy flavors in this dish, Pam. I hope you and your family had a very Happy Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.

  6. yum this looks great! Just bought some kalamata olives, now all I need to get is the feta and basil and I am going to try it.

  7. Who cares what kids think, lol. I like the salty edge that the feta and olives bring to this.

  8. If anything could turn a “just okay” dish to a GREAT dish, it’s kalamatas and feta! Love this!

  9. Made this tonight! It was great!

  10. This incorporates all of my favorite ingredients into one dish! And orzo is one of my favorite things ever so this here is just perfect!

  11. I made this for dinner last night and it was so yummy! I used gluten free pasta instead of the orzo and everyone in my family really enjoyed it which is great because none of them love cooked spinach! 🙂

  12. Rapper450 says:

    Pam, I was really disappointed with this dish, I’m sorry to say. It didn’t have a lot of flavor, although I had left out the kalamata olives due to a concern over sodium levels. Perhaps that omission was the key?? Also, I thought there were too many steps involved for the result. It took me over 45 minutes to prepare, and an hour before it was ready for service. That’s not totally unreasonable, I agree, but the result was underwhelming. Sorry, I’ll keep trying others of your recipes though.

    1. I am sorry you didn’t like the recipe. I must say that the kalamata olives are one of the main ingredients that give this orzo tons of flavor. Hopefully, the next recipe you try will be more satisfying.

      Cheers,
      Pam

  13. This looks so good! I always have a box of orzo in my pantry because it’s our favorite type of pasta!

  14. I just made this, with a few adjustments, and it was DELICIOUS! I used frozen spinach and onions, dried basil, chicken breasts, and crushed tomatoes since I already had that stuff, and it was soooo good. I’ll definitely be making this again and again!