1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
8 cups water
12 ounces uncooked orzo
2 cups chopped tomato (about 2 medium)
2 teaspoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups baby spinach leaves
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
How to Make It
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Sauté 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add orzo; cook 8 minutes or until orzo is al dente. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
Add reserved cooking liquid, chopped tomato, tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and peppers to skillet; cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add chicken, pasta, and 3 cups spinach leaves, stirring until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese.
The recipe is a pretty good, easy and quick dinner as long as you use approximately half of the recommended orzo. Makes enough sauce, isn't bland (as other reviewers commented), and is still a filling meal with serving four. I reworked the nutritional data with only 6 oz orzo and found it to be more in line with other Cooking Light recipes. The original is close to 500 calories and with refined carb pasta to boot! I did add a bit of garlic to the tomato mix and once added red bell peppers as I needed to use one up.I have attached the new nutritional data...
Like other reviewers said- this is a bit bland. I did add a few things to spice it up a little bit, including: frying garlic (2 cloves) before adding tomatoes (stolen from another reader), adding red wine to the tomato mix, adding some dried basil at the end- but the orzo-tomato ratio was just way off! Next time I would do an extra tomato and tomato paste, as well as spinach. I think this recipe does have a lot of potential and is great for busy nights (it took me less than 30 minutes)
This one is just okay. It's not bad, but it's also not great. I didn't have a problem eating it, or its leftovers, but it's also not one that just stands out with me as being fantastic. Will not make again, especially when there are so many other recipes to try.
I made this as the recipe directed, and I will say that my 4-year-old niece really liked it.
I didn't understand how this recipe would work without garlic, so I added it. I haven't had the recipe as is - but with the garlic (sauteed with the chicken) my whole family (even a finicky toddler) enjoyed it. So I would recommend it - but with the added garlic because it did seem that it could be a bit bland without it. I also cut down on the red pepper flakes to make it less spicy to a child. But it was a really easy weekday dinner that was good for the whole family - and that's what I look for (tasty & easy recipes.)
This was very easy and tasty. I really wonder about your tastebuds, folks, when you describe a dish like this as "bland." Plain reduced fat feta and the salt & peppers gave this dish great flavor, in my (not so) humble opinion. I am always unsure about measuring spinach. I bought a 5 oz prewashed package and could have used all of it. I will make this again for a weeknight dinner.