Orzo Chicken Salad Recipe

A couple weeks ago I was in the Willamette Valley for a work trip. Whenever I am there I always try and meet up with my girlfriends who live in the area since we do not get to see each other very often, now that we have all grown up and live in different cities. Being an adult isn't fun sometimes. I was lucky enough to get to meet up with TWO of my BFFS this last time, so I was super excited!! 

My BFF Lauren, and I met up for dinner at one of the places we normally like to go to for good salads. We both share the similar quality of having over sensitive stomachs and hold the title of, "Most likely to get food poisoning," so salads are generally a safe bet...as long as they are not from a salad bar...which ironically we have both gotten food poisoning from at the same time. Anyway, we were very disappointed to find out the restaurant did not carry our go to Chicken Orzo Salad anymore and removed it and ALL orzo from it's menu. Poor orzo and poor us :(

I think this picture best describes LV and I. Also the other BFF I visited on the trip was the
VERY talented photographer and all around great person, Hannah O'Leary.
Check her out her photos, link in the photo.
If you have not ever had orzo or do not know what it is, I like to describe it as the rice of pasta. It is about the same size as rice but it is pasta. It is very versatile; you can eat it cold, warm, as a side dish, on top of salads, ect. If you have not ever had it, give it a try! 

One of my favorite ways to have orzo is in Chicken Orzo Salad. Even though I can no longer order this dish I can still make and enjoy it home. This is one of my favorite salads in general and Travis requests it often. This salad makes A LOT, so you should have plenty of leftovers if you are just making it for two or it is the perfect amount for a group of four. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, enjoy!

Chicken Orzo Salad Recipe

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C. Dry Orzo
  • 1 large head Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Jar Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 8-12 Kalamata Olives
  • 8 oz. Feta Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese (Optional for Sprinkling on Top)
  • Your Favorite Italian Vinagrette or Homemade Vinagrette (I like to use Brianna's French Vinagrette or Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian)
  • Heat pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and chicken breasts that have been sliced into thin strips. Season lightly to taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder). Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Cook orzo according to package directions. Rinse, strain and set aside. 
  • Wash and dry lettuce and chop or tear into bite size pieces. Slice tomatoes into small chunks and thinly slice half of the red onion. Peel the cucumber (optional) and slice into chunks the same size as tomatoes. Slice the roasted red peppers into thin strips. Mix all of the vegetables together in a large bowl. Toss with feta cheese and kalamata olives.
  • Plate salad by layering: mixed salad, a scoop of cooked orzo and chicken breasts. Drizzle with your favorite dressing and top with shredded Parmesan cheese if you wish. Serve with warm french bread.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge, keeping orzo and chicken separate from the salad mix.