Orzo Salad with Chicken and Vegetables
With fresh flavors and easy preparation, this orzo salad does not disappoint. Serve this pasta salad at room temperature or straight out of the fridge.
Winter is all about soups, stews and roasts, but summer? Summer screams salad.
So do bikinis. Bikinis scream salad loudly (and probably not pasta salad).
But I kissed bikinis goodbye and said hello to my cute kids…and stretch marks.
But let’s be honest — bikini, tankini, one-piece, t-shirt over your swimsuit, birthday suit (?!?), a little salad is always a good thing.
Okay yesssssssssss I know this is a PASTA salad. Whatever. Minor details, people.
About this orzo salad:
Lightly dressed with a homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing, this orzo salad is a breeze to put together, especially if you use rotisserie chicken or if you happen to have cooked chicken breast in your fridge or freezer.
Use fresh vegetables you like best, or happen to have in your fridge. For this recipe, I use cucumber, carrot, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and fresh parsley. This recipe is so versatile. Don’t have a red bell pepper? Add more tomatoes. Not crazy about grape tomatoes? Cut up regular tomatoes. I’m sure you’re getting the idea. Basil would be a great substitute for parsley, especially if you have a bounty of basil in your garden.
Want to make this orzo salad vegetarian? Skip the chicken and add some fresh mozzarella cheese, or another cheese of your liking. Or instead of chicken, add a can of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans or cannellini beans.
Enjoy! By the way, this orzo salad would be great any time of the year, and is perfect for lunchboxes, too.
More orzo/orzo salad recipes:
- Greek Orzo Salad with Roasted Shrimp
- Bruschetta Orzo Pasta Salad (with video!)
- Creamy Southwestern Orzo Salad (one of my most requested salads)
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Orzo Salad Recipe with Yogurt Dill Dressing
- Creamy Baked Orzo with Ham, Peas and Leeks from The Kitchn
- Delicata Squash Stuffed with Orzo in a Sage Brown Butter Sauce from Herbivoracious
- 8 ounces uncooked orzo
- juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
- 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated or julienned
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Cook pasta as directed on box. Strain and transfer to a very large bowl (it needs room to cool as well as room for all of the other ingredients–and stirring room!).
- While the pasta cooks, prepare dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, shallot, oil, salt and pepper.
- Add dressing and chicken to warm pasta and toss to combine. Place in fridge to chill.
- While the pasta is chilling, prep your vegetables and parsley. Add them to cooled (or mostly cooled) pasta and chicken mixture. Serve immediately or store in fridge until ready to eat.
- Vegetarian option: omit chicken, substitute fresh mozzarella cheese, garbanzo beans, or cannellini beans.
- Use whatever vegetables or fresh herbs you have available.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 of 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 629Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 172mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 25g
Husband’s take: He loves this too. He had seconds, and thirds. E liked it a lot too.
Changes I would make: None are necessary but this is the kind of thing that you could throw in any vegetables that you have in the house.