Home Chef Lemon Parmesan Chicken Orzo with Kale & Grape Tomatoes

Orzo pasta is joined by Parmesan, lemon, kale and tomatoes to create a hearty, creamy bed of deliciousness.

Serves: 2Prep: 15 minutesCook: 40 minutesTotal: 55 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 2


  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and halved
  • 3 sprigs thyme, stemmed, chopped and divided
  • 4 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
  • 13 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 ounces orzo pasta
  • 2 teaspoons chicken base
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan
  • 1⁄3 ounce butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Quarter half of lemon and juice the remaining half. Halve tomatoes. Pat chicken breasts dry and season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add ½ teaspoon olive oil. Add chicken to hot pan and sear undisturbed until browned, 4-5 minutes. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet, seared side up, and roast in hot oven until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165°F, 10-12 minutes. Rest cooked chicken 5 minutes. Reserve pan. While chicken roasts, start orzo.
  • Add orzo to boiling water and cook until al dente, 7-9 minutes. Reserve ¾ cup pasta cooking water. Drain orzo in a wire-mesh strainer. Set aside. While orzo boils, cook vegetables.
  • Return pan used to medium heat. Add ½ teaspoon olive oil and shallot to hot pan and stir often until tender, 4-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, 30 seconds. Add reserved pasta cooking water, chicken base, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and half the thyme (reserve remaining for garnish) and stir until incorporated. Raise heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 3-5 minutes. Add kale and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Stir in orzo, tomatoes, Parmesan and butter, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from burner. Plate dish as pictured, garnishing with reserved thyme and lemon zest. Squeeze lemon wedges over to taste. Bon appétit!