Chicken And Orzo Italiano – Chicken casseroles span the whole gamut in flavor combinations and ingredients. I wanted to explore a departure from pairing chicken and rice and try orzo in this chicken and orzo Italiano casserole for a change of pace. I like to look for ways to mix things up a bit, and decided to take the flavor of my chicken casserole to the Mediterranean for a change of pace.
We often think of Chicken with rice, and orzo is a small pasta that very much resembles the shape of rice. Add a Caesar salad and garlic bread, and dinner is served!
Chicken And Orzo Italiano
- 8 oz dry orzo pasta
- 3-4 cups chopped roasted chicken
- 1 roasted red pepper chopped
- 1 [18 oz] can creamy mushroom soup [I used Progresso]
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan-Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto [such as Classico]
- 1/2 tsp dry Italian seasoning
- 2 cups shredded Italian blend or mozzarella cheese divided
- 4 finely chopped green onions
- 1 cup garlic-pepper crispy onions [I used Fresh Gourmet]
- salt and black pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook the orzo per the instructions on the box, until al dente.
- In a large mixing bowl add the cooked orzo, chopped chicken, chopped red pepper, creamy mushroom soup, kalamata olives, mayonnaise, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan-Romano cheese, basil pesto and dry Italian seasoning. Season with red pepper flakes, if desired. Stir until combined.
- To the bowl add 1 cup of shredded Italian cheese, and the chopped green onions. Adjust the seasonings if needed.
- Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining Italian cheese on top. Dot with butter.
- Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle the crispy onions on top and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, until golden and bubbly.
- Serve immediately.