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One-Pot Pesto Chicken with Veggies and Rice

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Experience the convenience and deliciousness of our One-Pot Pesto Chicken with Veggies and Rice, a hearty and satisfying dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. With tender chicken thighs, vibrant veggies, fragrant pesto sauce, and fluffy rice all cooked together in one pot, this recipe is a breeze to make and a joy to eat. Let’s dive into the details!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), sliced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, chopped (optional, for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Prep the Ingredients:
    • Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season them with salt and pepper on both sides.
    • Dice the onion, slice the bell pepper, and dice the zucchini. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Brown the Chicken:
    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken thighs to the skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Cook the Veggies:
    • In the same skillet, add the diced onion and sliced bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add the Rice and Broth:
    • Stir in the diced zucchini and rinsed rice, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Pour in the chicken broth and pesto sauce, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Simmer and Cook:
    • Return the browned chicken thighs to the skillet, nestling them into the rice and veggies. Cover the skillet with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the chicken is tender.
  6. Serve and Garnish:
    • Once the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender, remove the skillet from the heat. Garnish with chopped fresh basil, if desired, before serving.
  7. Enjoy the Deliciousness:
    • Serve the One-Pot Pesto Chicken with Veggies and Rice hot, straight from the skillet. Enjoy the flavorful combination of tender chicken, aromatic rice, and vibrant vegetables in every bite!

Cook’s Tips and Variations:

  • Pesto Varieties: Experiment with different types of pesto sauce such as traditional basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, or spinach pesto for unique flavor variations.
  • Protein Options: Feel free to substitute chicken thighs with chicken breasts, shrimp, or tofu according to your preference.
  • Extra Veggies: Add extra veggies like cherry tomatoes, spinach, or broccoli to boost the nutritional content and add more color to the dish.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I use instant rice instead of long-grain rice? A: Yes, you can use instant rice, but adjust the cooking time accordingly as it cooks faster than long-grain rice. Follow the package instructions for cooking instant rice.

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Q: Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian version? A: Absolutely! Vegetable broth works well in this recipe and adds a delicious flavor to the dish.

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Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: While this dish is best served fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them when ready to cook. Store the browned chicken and chopped veggies in separate containers in the refrigerator until needed.

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Q: How should I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover One-Pot Pesto Chicken with Veggies and Rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

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Simplify your mealtime routine with our One-Pot Pesto Chicken with Veggies and Rice, a flavorful and fuss-free dish that brings together tender chicken, vibrant vegetables, fragrant pesto, and fluffy rice in one delicious pot. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or a crowd, this recipe is sure to impress with its easy preparation and mouthwatering flavors. So grab your skillet or Dutch oven, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of One-Pot Pesto Chicken with Veggies and Rice

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