Cheesy Basil Chicken & Orzo

I know I said this at the beginning of the week, but now its Friday, which means Christmas is only 48 hours away. Oh.em.gee. I knew this week would be crazy, but where did it go?! I spent ALLL DAY in the kitchen yesterday, and more than likely will be there all day today before working tonight, trying to finish up ALLL the cookies for everyone’s baskets for Christmas…I work overnight tonight & tomorrow night, so have zero time to do it after today!

Now onto this most AMAZING dish! I totally had to redeem myself for dinner because the night before, I had been making lots and lots of Garlic Jams & Hot Pepper Jelly’s, (for to come later) and this AMAZING Cranberry Pomegranate Syrup, (some for gifts and some to totally drink with champagne on Christmas morning, and in margaritas this is just as amazing!) and totally forgot about my dinner in the oven..(I was to focused) So by the time I remembered to pull it out, it was dry as can be 😦 Epic Fail. So I had to redeem myself the next night, and let me tell you, redeem myself I did. This dish was phe-nom. Seriously. It was the perfect balance of cheese, chicken, and basil…it sounds like it would be heavy, but it was soo light and so refreshing.

You MUST make this…Drew could not stop raving about and was so excited to open it up for breakfast the next morning..cold. (I don’t understand his love for cold food, nor will I ever…to me it’s just plain..weird? gross? Anyhoo, apparently even cold, this was delicious! It’s SO quick to make, so refreshing, light, and SO easy! I’m telling you, people will be thanking you! So enjoy this fabulousness! I hope everyone has  VERY


Cheesy Basil Chicken & Orzo


  •  2 boneless chicken breasts, rinsed and sliced one lengthwise down the middle
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 large lemon, juiced, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups orzo


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the fresh basil, milk, half the lemon juice, the minced garlic and a dash of both the salt and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken is a pan close together, top with the cheese mixture fully covering them.
  4. In a small bowl combine the panko, half of the remaining fresh basil, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix with a fork and sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the cheese evenly coating it. Toss in your cherry tomatoes on and around the chicken. Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the top is browned and the chicken is cooked.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, boil your water and cook the orzo. Mix the drained and cooked orzo with the remainder of the basil, remainder of the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  6. When the chicken is ready, pull it out, allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Scoop some orzo on your plate, top with a slice of the chicken mixture and devour!!

Adapted from: Mels Kitchen


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