Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo – EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER! Great for parties, picnics, and potlucks!!

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo - EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER! Great for parties, picnics, and potlucks!!

This easy Greek lemon chicken is so flavorful and juicy. Combined with al dente orzo, cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh spinach, you’ve got yourself a perfect summery meal that’s ready in 25 minutes.

It also feeds a crowd so it’s perfect for picnics, potlucks, and parties. Put it on your Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and graduation party menu and you will have happy friends and family members.

How To Make the Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo (Pasta Salad)

I almost called this ‘Greek Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad’ since orzo is short-grain pasta after all, and since there are plenty of fresh vegetables, but since you can eat it warm or chilled, I kept ‘salad’ off the title. But in my mind, it’s a pasta salad perfect for this time of year, but I digress.

First boil the orzo and while that’s going, sauté an onion with the chicken and seasoning it generously with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano, and garlic. Don’t be afraid if the chicken looks almost over-seasoned in the pan.

Because after the chicken is done, and the orzo is done and drained, combine them. All the seasoning from the chicken mingles with the pound of orzo and all is well.

Next add fresh spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid to add sufficient salt and pepper since this dish is a zillion times better when properly seasoned and also because you have a boat load of food.

Add crumbled feta for a classic Greek touch. If you add it when the chicken and orzo are still warm, it will likely melt. If you want to retain visible crumbles, wait a bit until things have cooled down. Either way, the taste is the same, it’s just a visual consideration.

Finally, drizzle in additional olive oil, to taste. This enhances the flavor and it prevents the orzo from sticking as it cools.

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo - EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER! Great for parties, picnics, and potlucks!!

How Does The Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Taste?

The orzo is perfectly al dente, the chicken is lemony and juicy, and the dish has so much flavor thanks to the lemon juice, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic, and onions.

The feta cheese is so well-suited for this recipe. It pairs excellently with the lemon notes in this dish and even if you’re not the biggest feta fan, don’t skip it here. It really makes the finished dish taste even better.

The fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes are a welcome addition that perfectly contrast the cooked pasta and chicken.

Flexible Recipe

Since this is a ‘pasta salad’, there are no rules in my book about what substitutions or additions you can make.

Fresh basil, green onions, red bell peppers, zucchini, marinated artichokes, and olives are just a few additions that would be lovely.

I used English cucumbers and grape tomatoes but if you have a garden full of regular cucumber (or zucchini) and regular tomatoes, go for it. This salad will help you enjoy the bounty of your garden.

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo - EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER! Great for parties, picnics, and potlucks!!

Favorite Pasta Salads:

  • Skinny Italian Chicken Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 30 minutes, feeds a crowd, and is on the SKINNY side!! Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and the pasta are tossed in a light and tangy homemade Italian lemon vinaigrette!!
  • Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad – Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!
  • Italian Chicken Pasta Salad – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthy! Bursting with fresh flavors from juicy tomatoes, cucumber, basil, parmesan, and tender chicken tossed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette!
  • Chicken Orzo 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!!

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo - EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER! Great for parties, picnics, and potlucks!!

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo - EASY, ready in 25 minutes, and feeds a crowd!! Juicy lemon chicken with orzo, fresh spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes make this a dinnertime WINNER! Great for parties, picnics, and potlucks!!

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo

Yield: 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound orzo, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil for pan + more for finished dish, as desired
  • 1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, diced small
  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach (about 4 giant handfuls)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced small
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1+ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. To a large pot, add the orzo and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot; set aside.
  2. While orzo is cooking, to a large skillet add 3 tablespoons olive oil, onions, and cook for about 3 minutes; stir intermittently.
  3. Add the chicken, season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through; flip and stir frequently to ensure even cooking.
  4. Add the garlic, stir to combine, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  5. Transfer the chicken, onions, and any cooking juices to the large pot with the drained orzo.
  6. Add the spinach (looks like a lot but it will wilt) and stir to incorporate. Stir for about 2 minutes, or until it begins to wilt.
  7. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and stir well to incorporate.
  8. Add the feta and stir to combine. Tip – If you want the feta to remain more intact, don’t add it until the chicken and orzo have cooled down a bit, or it will melt, which is totally fine, you just won’t see the white crumbles.
  9. Taste, and as desired, add additional salt. I added an additional approximately 2 teaspoons because it’s a very large quantity of orzo, chicken, and vegetables.
  10. If desired, drizzle in additional olive oil. I recommend another approximately 2 tablespoons for both flavor and so that the orzo doesn’t stick as it cools. Serve immediately. Recipe can be served warm or chilled. Extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and I froze the leftovers, noting that the texture of the vegetables does change upon thawing.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 79mg Sodium: 977mg Carbohydrates: 37g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 8g Protein: 31g
Chicken Orzo 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!!

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!!

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Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Quinoa Salad (GF) – Trying to keep meals healthier and lighter? Make this easy, refreshing, and satisfying salad!

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Italian Chicken Pasta Salad – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthy! Bursting with fresh flavors from juicy tomatoes, cucumber, basil, parmesan, and tender chicken tossed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette!

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2 comments on “Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo”

  1. I made this dish for dinner tonight, and it went over well! Next time — and there will be a next time — I’m going to double the lemon juice and zest added at the end. That burst of citrus was our favorite part, and we wanted a bit more. Overall, it’s a delicious dish that will be feeding us for days! You really weren’t kidding about how much this recipe yields, but that’s fine because I’ll happily eat these leftovers. :)

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will make it again! Yes just add more lemon juice/zest to taste. It’s always easy too add more than subtract it if you add too much. You can still add it now to your leftovers I would think. And enjoy those leftovers :)

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