Chicken Orzo Salad

In 7 years of blogging, I’ve never posted an orzo recipe until now.

Better late than never and this one is so easy and packs loads of texture and flavor.

Orzo Chicken Salad - Juicy chicken tossed with orzo, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and a super flavorful lemon vinaigrette!! Easy, healthy, ready in 30 minutes, and a perfect way to use your garden fresh veggies!!

The salad is ready in under 30-minutes, makes enough to serve a crowd or for planned leftovers, can be served warm or chilled, and it’s a very flexible recipe based on the vegetables you have on hand.

Along with juicy chicken and tender orzo (which is actually short pasta rather than rice), I used cucumbers and tomatoes for texture along with green onions, parsley, and basil for flavor.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Orzo Chicken Salad - Juicy chicken tossed with orzo, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and a super flavorful lemon vinaigrette!! Easy, healthy, ready in 30 minutes, and a perfect way to use your garden fresh veggies!!

Everything is tossed with a simple olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette that adds a hint of lemon which complements the chicken and vegetables perfectly.

Feel free to substitute with zucchini, red onions, mint, add garbanzo beans, add goat, blue, or feta cheese, add mushrooms or olives, throw in some greens like spinach or arugula.

Orzo Chicken Salad - Juicy chicken tossed with orzo, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and a super flavorful lemon vinaigrette!! Easy, healthy, ready in 30 minutes, and a perfect way to use your garden fresh veggies!!

It’s such a versatile recipe and you can use it to clean out your produce drawer or in the summer when your garden and the farmer’s markets are exploding with veggies.

Orzo Chicken Salad - Juicy chicken tossed with orzo, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and a super flavorful lemon vinaigrette!! Easy, healthy, ready in 30 minutes, and a perfect way to use your garden fresh veggies!!

Chicken Orzo Salad

The easy salad is ready in under 30-minutes, makes enough for planned leftovers, can be served warm or chilled, and it’s a very flexible recipe based on the vegetables you have on hand. Along with juicy chicken and tender orzo I used cucumbers and tomatoes for texture along with green onions, parsley, and basil for flavor. Everything is tossed with a simple olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette that adds a hint of lemon which complements the chicken and vegetables perfectly. Feel free to substitute vegetables based on what you have on hand such as the examples I gave in the post.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces orzo, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 1.50 pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups English cucumbers, diced small
  • 1 cup green onions, sliced into thin rounds (from about 4 to 5 green onions)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. To a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, chicken, evenly season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and lightly golden browned. Stir and flip intermittently to ensure all sides cook evenly. I used thin-sliced chicken breasts which cook quickly. Cooking time will vary based on thickness of chicken. Transfer the chicken and cooking juices to the bowl with the orzo.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, parsley, basil, and stir to combine; set aside.
  4. To a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and whisk to combine. Taste vinaigrette and check for seasoning balance; add more salt, honey, lemon juice, etc. to taste.
  5. Evenly drizzle the vinaigrette over the orzo bowl, stir to coat evenly, and either serve immediately or cover with plasticwrap and refrigerate before serving. Salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days noting the vegetables will release water as time passes; serve warm, chilled, or at room temp.
Only Eats

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21 comments on “Chicken Orzo Salad”

  1. This looks delicious–light yet full of flavor. I’ve only used orzo a few times because I tend to forget about it. My parents are coming out in a few weeks for my stepdaughter ‘ s graduation so I need a couple of easy make ahead recipes. Everyone would love this.

  2. I love the added chicken (protein) to this orzo salad!!  Beautiful light dish!!

  3. Welcome to the orzo club Averie!!! This looks amazing!

  4. for whatever reason Orzo has never really been my thang, but a little quinoa, farro, or whole wheat pasta would prob taste just as good :)

  5. Looks delicious, and so flavorful, thanks for sharing

  6. I absolutely love Orzo and I always forget about it. I need to make this!

  7. loving these photos! orzo is one of my favourite pastas to cook, i just love how little and dainty it is. such a lovely recipe and perfect for the spring season.

  8. I adore orzo in salads! This is one gorgeous dish, Averie! Pinned!

  9. This looks so fresh and delicious – perfect for a Memorial Day weekend cookout.  Bring on the fresh tomatoes!

  10. I was just about to go to our local Sprouts to buy some vegies…..feeling like we needed a good salad.  This recipe is perfect.  It packs in protein, vegies, and carbs all in one.  I like to get the already roasted and chopped chicken breast at our Cost Co.  I think I will use that for this recipe.  Easy, quick and healthy.  I love all of your recipes Averie.  The photos are amazing.  It makes me want to cook!  Thank you very much!

  11. I am dying over this Averie!! Pinned and can’t wait to make it. Seriously, it looks incredible.

  12. Congratulations on first orzo recipe, Averie! It looks absolutely scrumptious! 

  13. Looks Delicious… My Hubby Loves variety salads,while i roam over the food logs and make him smile.. This sounds heavy and Lovely.. :)

  14. I love these kinds of salads! Just when u think you have nothing for dinner in the summer, you can always come up with an array of vegetables, pastas or grains. Empty the fridge and make one–sometimes I cheat and pick up
    a rotisserie chicken .The whole meal gets prepped while the pasta cooks. The combinations are endless.

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