Pesto 'Chicken' Rice

0:30 m

Super duper easy and outrageously tasty. This is a great dish for a midweek dinner. You could simplify things if you're in a rush by skipping the fresh cherry tomatoes and the cheesy crumbs, but they really add an extra dimension of flavour and texture to the dish for not much more effort. Enjoy!

Start cooking ➞




For the veggies

<item-todo-done>1 tbsp sun-dried tomato oil - from the jar<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 red onion<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 garlic clove<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>160g plant-based 'chicken'<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>50g sun-dried tomatoes<item-todo-done>

For the pesto rice

<item-todo-done>1 x 165g jar of plant-based pesto<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>150g basmati rice<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>150ml water<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>150ml vegetable or plant-based chicken-flavoured stock<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> Salt & pepper to taste<item-todo-done>

For the cheesy crumb

<item-todo-done>1 tsp dried thyme<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>50g panko or Italian breadcrumbs - (alternatively you can make your own by blitzing up any stale or toasted bread you have lying around)<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 ½ tbsp Nooch<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 tbsp oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> sea salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> cherry tomatoes<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> Juice of 1 lemon<item-todo-done>

To serve

<item-todo-done> drizzle of balsamic vinegar<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> Juice of 1 lemon<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> plant-based butter<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> Nooch to serve<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> rocket<item-todo-done>

Before you start

Small frying pan | Saucepan with lid (large enough to fit the rice) | Sieve | Boiled kettle (to prepare vegetable stock)

Prepare the vegetables

  • Peel and finely slice the onion
  • Peel and grate the garlic clove
  • Chop most of the sun-dried tomatoes into small chunks
  • Make your stock and set aside

Cook the 'chicken' and vegetables

  • Warm the oil in the saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and a pinch of salt and fry for 2 minutes, or until starting to soften
  • Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute
  • Add the sun-dried tomato chunks and chicken to the pan and stir for 2 minutes
  • Add the pesto and stir for 2 minutes
  • Remove the fillings from the pan onto a plate, and keep warm covered in foil, or in the oven on a low heat (around 100˚C)
  • Don’t clean the pan

Prepare the rice

  •  Rinse the rice under cold water
  • Add the rice to the pesto pan, cover with the water and stock, and sprinkle in a pinch of salt
  • Put a lid on the pan, put the pan on the stove, turn up the heat and bring to the boil
  • When the water/stock hits boiling point, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed

Make the cheesy crumbs

  • Warm the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry the breadcrumbs until golden and crisp
  • Zest half a lemon
  • Off heat, stir in the herbs, Nooch, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Set aside

Finish and serve

  • Take the lid off the rice pan, add the chicken, onion and sun-dried tomato mix back in, and stir gently to combine
  • Add a generous knob of plant-based butter into the pan, and stir into the rice to melt through
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Spoon the pesto chicken rice into bowls, season with nooch, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, then garnish each bowl with a handful rocket drizzled with balsamic vinegar, some halved cherry tomatoes and serve
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