Mediterranean Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad – a leftover rescue recipe! A fantastic combination of flavours in this delicious pasta salad that’s a meal in itself
The snow has left us here in the Far North East and thoughts turn to Spring barbeques. Every barbeque needs some great side dishes and this one is a family favorite for cookouts or picnics on summer day trips. This orzo pasta dish also makes a tasty lunch all on its own which the leftovers provided for a couple of days this week. With plenty of lemon zing, this salad has plenty of balanced flavors from the fresh crunch of the cucumber to the slightly salty, pungent feta. It’s a great side dish accompaniment to any grilled meat or even simple steamed fish. You will find many main dishes to pair this one with.
This simple salad recipe works well with or without the added diced chicken but it is a terrific way to use up leftover chicken the day after a roast chicken dinner. I’ve linked to our succulent easy lemon chicken recipe here.
- 1 cup orzo (whole wheat if you can find it)
- 6 inch piece cucumber, seeded and diced
- ½ cup diced red pepper
- 1 small red onion diced small
- juice and finely minced zest of one lemon
- ½ cup chopped olives
- ½ cup diced feta
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or leave the leaves whole if you like)
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ cups leftover diced chicken or diced grilled chicken breast
- Cook the orzo in salted water until cooked but firm, usually under 1o minutes. Don't overcook and get mushy orzo; al dente pasta is a must in this recipe.
- When cooked, rinse the orzo with cold water in a colander and let drain completely for several minutes.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and toss together until well combined.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad is generally best when prepared an hour or two in advance.