Orzo Salad with Chicken, Watermelon and Feta
This Orzo Salad with Watermelon, Feta and Chicken is refreshing and filling at the same time. Healthy and enjoyable, your whole family will love it.
Warning: I’m squeezing in as many summer recipes as humanly possible before fall is in the air. And I do love fall! I’m just not a blogger that is so great at doing Christmas recipes in July and summer recipes in January. I like to eat fruits and vegetables that are in season and taste good, so that usually means that summer recipes always run a bit into fall and fall recipes into winter…and winter into spring. But hey…there’s always next year. Pin it, bookmark it, print it…whatever you prefer. Make it when the mood strikes!
This orzo salad pairs watermelon and feta, which I absolutely love. Add in chicken which has been marinated in watermelon juice, lime and honey, and you’ll come up with a salad that the whole family loves. My husband was very skeptical of the watermelon in here (said he’d prefer it on the side), but the second time he ate it, he said “You were right, the watermelon is really good in here.” Converting the skeptics…it’s what I do.
The chicken is flavorful and moist due to a marinade of pureed watermelon, lime juice and garlic. The marinade is then reduced and basted over the chicken during cooking (or grilling!). You could leave that step out should you want to dirty one less pan and simplify the process, but it makes the chicken even more tasty.
Orzo Salad with Chicken, Watermelon, and Feta
Yield: 4 main dish servings
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
This Orzo Salad combines whole wheat orzo, juicy watermelon and flavorful marinated chicken. Your whole family will love this salad. Great for picnics too!
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups chopped watermelon, divided
- the juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups whole wheat orzo
- 4 ounces reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
- about 2 cups chopped cucumber
- ~2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- In a blender, add 2 cups chopped watermelon, lime juice, honey, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into a zip-top bag with chicken breasts and let marinate at least two hours.
- When ready to assemble salad, take chicken out of the fridge. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Bring marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and boil until slightly reduced, or about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook chicken under broiler, on grill, or in a grill pan. It should take about 15-20 minutes depending on how hot your broiler/grill is. The last few minutes, baste often with the sauce/marinade. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Let cool slightly before slicing into thin strips.
- While the chicken is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions, drain, transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Let cool (stick in fridge if need be).
- Combine pasta, watermelon, chicken, feta, and cucumber in pasta bowl. Drizzle with remaining olive oil (3 tablespoons) and the balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine all ingredients. Taste and add more oil/balsamic/salt/pepper as you see fit.
Chicken adapted from Skinny Mommy
Verdict: Loved this! I was secretly sad when my husband ate the leftovers.
Husband’s take: He ate the leftovers, always a good sign.
Changes I would make: None.