1poundbonelessskinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
½teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
For the Orzo:
1large shallothalved and thinly sliced
8ouncesbaby bella mushroomsthinly sliced
1cupuncooked orzo pasta
½cupdry white wine
2cupslow sodium chicken broth
Zest of ½ lemon
1tablespoonfreshly squeezed lemon juice
¾cupwhole milk ricotta cheese(sub dairy-free ricotta for dairy-free; I like Kite Hill brand)
1cupshredded mozzarella(omit for dairy-free or use dairy-free cheese)
¼cupthinly sliced basil leavesfor serving
Preheat the oven to 375℉.
Brown the Chicken:
Heat the oil in a large, oven safe skillet (I use a 3.5 qt braiser) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Spread the chicken into a single layer and cook, tossing occasionally until the chicken is golden brown. It doesn’t have to be fully cooked, as it will continue to cook in the oven, but you want a nice color to it. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
Cook the Orzo:
Add the garlic, shallot, and mushrooms and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to soften and the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add the baby spinach and cook, gently tossing, until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Add the orzo and toss to combine. Add the broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and ricotta cheese and stir until well combined. Bring to a simmer and add the cooked chicken back into the skillet. Toss until well combined then spread the contents of the skillet into a single layer. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the orzo is cooked through and tender and the cheese and brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes to allow the sauce to settle and thicken even further.
Top with basil, serve and enjoy!
This recipe is dairy-free if modified! You can use dairy-free ricotta and either omit the cheese on top of the skillet or use dairy-free shredded cheese.