The Hidden Healthy: Orzo with Chicken & Broccoli

Orzo or “lesan asfoor” was always a favorite of mine growing up. Its smooth texture, perfectly rounded edges and warmth always meant comfort food to me. Luckily, my toddler likes it too, so I chose to blend in some broccoli and almost-shredded chicken into the mix to make a hearty, well-rounded lunchtime meal. The beauty of orzo is that it almost slides down your throat; so any additional veggies or proteins almost seem non-existent to the kids!

Prep time: 30 minutes


  • Small cubed chicken or shredded chicken

  • Chicken stock

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 2 cups of orzo

  • Cooking cream

  • 2 tbs of pesto

  • Cheese (optional. I didn’t add it, but it takes the dish to another level for adults)


Step 1: Wash and cut the chicken into small cubes (depending on how your kid will agree to eat them)

Step 2: Season the chicken with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder and leave to rest

Step 3: Wash the broccoli thoroughly and cut the head into small florets

Step 4: Place the broccoli florets in a steamer until soft

Step 5: Using a little bit of olive oil, cook the chicken cubes in a pan

Step 6: Boil the orzo in chicken stock to give it a deeper flavor until soft

Step 7: Mix the broccoli, chicken and orzo with 2 tablespoons of pesto and cooking cream until you hear that gooey mixing sound

Step 8: Add extra seasoning of salt and pepper to your liking

Optional: when I make this dish for my entire family, I normally place the mixture in a Pyrex dish and add shredded cheese on the top. However, for a healthier version skip the cheese.