Stuffed Pesto Chicken with Orzo Risotto

How to make Stuffed Pesto Chicken with Orzo Risotto

Stuffed Pesto Chicken with Orzo Risotto is a stunning comfort food recipe done with Italian style. This chicken breast is marinated, covered in panko breadcrumbs then packed full of pesto, provolone and mozzarella cheese. Served with a risotto made with orzo pasta, this dish is rich with umami flavor as it is topped with a black truffle Romano cheese. Served together this combo is show stopper.


  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 (16 oz) bottle Smoke on Wheels BBQ Marinade
  • Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 4 oz low-moisture mozzarella, grated
  • 4 slices provolone
  • 2 tbsp Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup panko
  • Fresh parsley, minced, for garnish


Orzo Risotto:

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 oz dried morel mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup black truffle Romano (Murray’s Tartufalo)


Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS480S Pellet Grill to 425ºF, set up for indirect grilling.


Combine the chicken stock and dried morel mushrooms in a one quart pot. Bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low to keep warm. Let sit while mushrooms rehydrate.


Pound the chicken breasts into a even surface about 1/2” thick. Place in a mini Briner Bucket  with the Smoke on Wheels BBQ Marinade to marinate for 30-45 minutes.


Heat a Lodge 10” Steel Skillet over medium heat. Add two tablespoons Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the panko and a couple teaspoons of Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning  and toast until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove form the heat.


Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and one by one, lay on the toasted panko, then season with Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning and spread about one tablespoon pesto on the top side. Top with a slice of provolone and about one ounce mozzarella. Roll the thin pounded chicken around the filling into a burrito-like shape. Make sure the outside is well coated in the panko and transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.


Transfer the pan to the second shelf inside the grill. Bake at 425ºF until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 155ºF-160ºF, about 45-55 minutes.


While the chicken cooks, prepare the Orzo Risotto.

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Remove the mushrooms from the chicken stock and dice.


Melt one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a Finex 12” Cast Iron Skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook until softened. Add the garlic and orzo pasta. Stir to coat the pasta and toast for 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the skillet. Pour in the wine and let reduce until almost entirely cooked out.

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Ladle in the hot chicken stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup of liquid at a time until the pasta is softened and a creamy sauce is formed. Stir in the cheese and last tablespoon of butter. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Cover with a heavy lid to stay warm.


Remove chicken from the grill. Scoop the orzo risotto into a bowl or plate. Slice the stuffed chicken and serve over the top of the orzo. Top with minced parsley for garnish.


Yields 4 servings.

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