Spicy Chicken Pasta is loaded with fresh ingredients! I mean to tell you this stuff tastes good! It's so pretty too! If it didn't taste so good, I just might be able to stare at it all day long, but truth be told, I'd rather be stuffing my face with all the fresh tasting, spicy goodness of this Mexican inspired dish! Oh yeaaaaah!!
Don was so excited when he got home and saw this on the stove-top, but he's well trained and asked if I still needed to get pictures! I love that! He had a great idea to put this in a wrap and make a burrito out of it - too bad we were fresh out of wraps. I like how he thinks though, and am already making plans for leftover sandwich wraps!
This is a quick dinner to make any night of the week and economical too! I was lucky to get a great sale on chicken, but even without the sale you can feed four for under $10! You can't beat that!!
Honestly y'all I cannot get enough of this!! It's so pretty I just kept snapping pictures! Seriously, I have a gazillion pictures of this dish. I promise I won't bore you with all of them!
I was taste testing too, you know, to make sure all the flavors were just right! This dish is good as is, but why waste a delicious spicy buttermilk dressing? Pile it on! It is sooo good! yummmmm
Spicy Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 1 cup uncooked Orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 ounces water
- 1/2 tablespoon chicken base such as Better Than Bouillon
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 pound chicken cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or 1/4 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon white vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 avocado peeled and diced
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- In a hot sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter until heated. Add 1 cup orzo and stir to toast. When toasted add 14 ounces water and 1/2 tablespoon chicken base and stir. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to mid-low and simmer for 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- While orzo is cooking, season chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over mid high heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter. When skillet is good and hot, add chicken pieces in a single layer and don't mess with them!! Let them get a good sear. This should take about 3-4 minutes depending on how hot your skillet is. Keep your hands busy by cutting your tomatoes in half, or if you have grape tomatoes on 'roids like I did, you might need to quarter them. If you still have time, then slice 3 green onions. I use the entire green onion from the green to the white! When the chicken has a good sear on the one side, flip each piece over and cook for another 3-4 minutes to get some delicious brown coloring on the other side too! Don't move it around. Let it be!! Open up your can of black beans, drain, and rinse. Measure out your corn too - you need 1 cup frozen corn (thawed if you remembered, but fresh from the freezer will work too). If the timer goes off for the orzo, no worries, remove the lid and give it a stir. If most of the liquid is absorbed, remove it from the heat and leave it uncovered until ready to use. If it is still pretty soupy then you'll need to cook it a little longer.
- When the chicken is cooked through, reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes, chopped green onions, 1 cup corn, and black beans. Cook and stir until heated through.
- To make the dressing, combine 1/4 cup buttermilk, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 2 teaspoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons mayo, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic. Stir to combine well and give it a taste. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Add a little more chili powder and red pepper flakes for more heat. Be careful to add it little by little and keep tasting until it is just right. You don't want to add a whole gob and then have your lips blow up like balloons from too much heat!!
- Combine the orzo with the chicken and vegetables and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve with the Spicy Ranch Dressing and avocado. Enjoy! Hot or cold this is delicious!
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Total time: 30 mins.
Tags: spicy, chicken, pasta, dinner, Mexican
recipe inspired by myrecipes.com Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing