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A bowl filled with orzo, bell peppers, tomatoes and chicken.
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5 from 3 votes

Orzo Chicken Salad

Pasta salad made with orzo pasta, chunks of chicken, fresh bell peppers and tomatoes with a tasty vinaigrette dressing.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Kathy

Ingredients

Salad

  • 16 ounces orzo pasta
  • 3 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • 6 mini bell peppers sliced
  • 6 green onion sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered, approximately 24 tomatoes
  • ½ cup black olives sliced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped

Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

Salad

  • Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Drain off all excess water.
    16 ounces orzo pasta
  • Add orzo, chicken, sliced peppers, sliced onions, cherry tomatoes and olives into a large mixing bowl.
    3 cups cooked chicken, 6 mini bell peppers, 6 green onion, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup black olives

Dressing

  • Place olive oil, lemon, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes into a jar or a bowl. Place lid on jar and shake vigorously until combined, or whisk until combined.
    4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Pour dressing over salad ingredients
  • Toss lightly to combine
  • Add freshly chopped parsley and toss again
    1 tablespoon parsley
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate

Notes

Variations:
  • Make it vegetarian - omit the chicken
  • Use leftover turkey or ham instead of the chicken
  • Add thinly sliced salami for an Italian flare
  • Spice it up - add a finely minced jalapeno to add a little extra spice
  • Substitute kalamata olives for the black olives
  • A red onion can be used instead of the green onion
  • Use freshly chopped cilantro or basil in place of the parsley
Tips:
  • When the orzo is done, drain and rinse with cool water. This helps cool the pasta but also removes excess starch on the pasta which causes the pasta to stick together.
  • Cut the veggies and the chicken into bite sized pieces
  • Taste the salad before serving and add a bit more salt and pepper if needed.
 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg