Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Chicken
Orzo pasta tossed in Greek dressing along with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, olives, and feta cheese. Top it all off with freshly grilled chicken and a side of pita bread. Serve it warm or chilled!
This weekend will mark my third one in a row where I’m going to a barbecue, which has given me a great excuse to dust off some older pasta salad recipes that I want to bring back to life. Last weekend it was my Tuscan Tortellini salad, and this week it’s this Greek Orzo salad. This time around, I added freshly grilled chicken and garnished the sides with grilled Tortillas, which makes it look all fancy-shmancy.
What is orzo?
Orzo may look like rice, but it’s actually pasta. Simply put, it’s pasta that is shaped like rice instead of your typical pasta noodle!
Can I use other pastas for this salad?
You sure can! The best kind of noodles for pasta salads are the ones with a lot of nooks and crannies so that the dressing can be totally locked in to every bite. Farfalle, Fusilli, and bowtie pasta are all great choices.
How far in advance can I make this pasta salad?
Being able to make pasta salad ahead of time is part of its charm! Although for the best consistency, I would recommend making this no more than one day in advance.
How to keep cucumbers crispy & fresh in pasta salad:
-Since cucumbers are so moist, it’s best to salt them, and let them sit on paper towels for 20 minutes. The salt will extract excess moisture from the cucumbers and the paper towel will absorb it. This will give you a crispier, longer lasting cucumber slice!
Some other summer favorites:
- Tuscan Tortellini Salad
- Cold Noodles in Peanut Sauce
- Island Chicken Marinade
- Texas Roadhouse Steak Rub
- Lemon Garlic Grilled Shrimp
Okay, last thing. You should probably join my free recipe email list. You’ll get a weekly email with my brand new recipes. And follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Full on stalk me why dontcha!
Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Chicken
- 1 chicken breast
- Salt/Pepper, to taste
- 1 cup Greek Salad Dressing, divided
- 4 flour tortillas, 6-inch
- 1 cup uncooked Orzo pasta
- 1 ½ cup cucumber, diced
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese, plus more to garnish
- Butterfly the chicken and cut the seam to make two halves of equal size. Thinner slices cook more evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
- Use half of the Greek dressing, (1/2 cup), to marinade the chicken for 30 minutes if possible, (less is okay if you are in a pinch).
- Preheat the grill to medium-high for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until each side has nice grill lines. Remove from the grill and set aside, don’t slice into it yet. *See notes for searing the chicken on the stove instead.
- Brush olive oil over the flour tortillas and sprinkle with salt. Add them to the grill for about 30 seconds, keeping a close eye on them. Use tongs to remove them once they begin to char. Slice them and set aside.
- Sprinkle the sliced cucumbers with salt and let them sit on paper towels for 20 minutes. Cucumbers are very watery and this osmosis process allows you to draw out as much of the liquid as possible so that they remain crisp in your salad.
- Cook the Orzo according to package instructions. Drain, and pour into a large bowl. Add the salad dressing and stir to coat evenly.
- Use a rubber spatula to gently mix in the vegetables and the feta until well-combined.
- Dice the chicken into small cubes or larger strips and sprinkle it over the salad. Top with additional feta if desired. You can serve the salad warm, or chill for a minimum of 4 hours to serve it cold.
- Garnish the side of the bowl with slices of grilled tortillas prior to serving.
Feta Dressing Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork