This dish is warm, filling, and COMPLETE. A complete meal with the addition of some roasted vegetables. Creamy, lemony pasta baked until tender with parmesan. Juicy, flavorful chicken sliced and served with it for a delicious dinner. The biggest request I get from you guys is to share more “full meals”. Whole meals, including the entree and a side dish, that are not made in a single pot, on a single sheet pan, etc. And I enjoy doing so because it is frequently what I am looking for. Especially when I’m trying to simplify my menu planning for the week.
This pasta and chicken dish is one of our favourites, so I’m excited to share it with you. today with you.
It appears to be fancy, but it isn’t.
It’s warm and inviting without being heavy or decadent.
And it’s extremely adaptable! You can change the cheese in the pasta, add some vegetables, and change the seasonings on the chicken, among other things.
P.S. Did you notice the brown buttery flecks in the pasta above? Oh, my goodness.
If you have a copy of Everyday Dinners, you’ll recognise a recipe for cheesy lemon orzo. It’s baked and tastes almost like a light lemon orzo mac and cheese. I make a version of it frequently for dinner and use whatever pasta I have on hand. I’ll even mix pastas if I have a few of each left! I begin by toasting the pasta in butter and garlic, as I do with my parmesan orzo. Similar to risotto! Of course, this is an extra step, but it is SO worth it.
It adds a depth of flavour that would not have been present otherwise. This is why we employ a tiny cut of pasta. Farfallini was used in this recipe, but I’m having trouble finding it now. Ditalini and orzo would also work.
And the toasty little bits that form when the pasta cooks are incredible. Then I add stock and bake it for a few minutes. Then add everything good: the fresh lemon zest and parmesan. In my cast iron skillet, I cook an easy chicken breast while the pasta bakes.
I enjoy making chicken this way because it is simple but flavorful. The cast iron produces a golden brown crust, which is why I like to use butter in this recipe. You get that browned butter on the outside of the chicken breast, as well as so.much.flavor.
It is completely worthwhile. I alsoI enjoy finishing my chicken in the oven. You know, I find this to be completely foolproof. I sear it on both sides for five minutes before placing it in the oven for five or ten minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Every time, the chicken is tender and juicy.
Aside from grilling, it’s my favourite way to prepare chicken breast! I almost always serve parmesan roasted broccoli as an additional side dish.
I like to serve some sort of vegetable with the baked pasta, and sometimes I just stir some vegetables into the pasta for the kids! You can also make cacio e pepe cauliflower, hot honey brussels sprouts, or any of my other recipes.B
roccoli or Brussels slaw. All of those would be appropriate for this meal.
In a pinch, a bag of frozen steamfresh vegetables would suffice! On busy weeknights, I’m all about keeping things simple and easy.
This lemony pasta would go well with almost anything. It’s a delicious side dish for seafood or steak. And now it’s time for dinner!