Chicken and Broccoli Orzo Bake
I love taking whatever we happen to have on hand and throw it together as a casserole. It's satisfying when it comes out tasting like this did! This casserole is a great, cheap, hands-off dinner option that will feed a lot of people and is also great as leftovers.
Using orzo in casseroles is great because you can cook it until al dente and then it soaks up all of the juices and doesn't tend to get as soggy as other pasta shapes. I also had a lot of chicken breasts that needed to be cooked but you can certainly buy a rotisserie chicken and shred that instead.
I love how versatile casseroles are, You can sub whatever vegetables you have lying around. We almost always have frozen peas in the freezer so that was an obvious addition and if you don't have cajun seasoning, you can substitute with a little cayenne, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
1 lb chicken breast
1 1/2 cup orzo
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup parmesan
1/2 Tbsp cajun seasoning
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed through garlic press
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place chicken breasts about 1-2 inches apart
Season chicken with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes then remove and rest for about 10 minutes
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan heat 5 cups of water to boil
Once boiling, add in orzo and cook for 8 minutes
Add broccoli to orzo and cook for an additional minute then transfer to strainer
In the same sauce pan, add cream cheese, chicken broth, parmesan, Cajun seasoning, lemon juice, and whisk until combined
Transfer orzo and broccoli mixture to 9x13 casserole dish
Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and add to casserole dish
Mix in frozen peas then pour cream cheese mixture over the top and mix
Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees
Melt 2 Tbsp butter and mix with bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper
Sprinkle bread crumbs over mixture and bake for 20 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden and toasted
Garnish with parsley (optional) and serve, enjoy!