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!

Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Chicken

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!

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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:

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Print
Servings: 6
Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Chicken
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Greek Orzo Salad, Orzo Pasta Salad, Orzo Salad

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!

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Cook the Orzo according to package instructions. Drain, and pour into a large bowl. Add the salad dressing and stir to coat evenly.
  7. Use a rubber spatula to gently mix in the vegetables and the feta until well-combined.
  8. 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.
  9. Garnish the side of the bowl with slices of grilled tortillas prior to serving.
Recipe Notes

To sear the chicken on the stove: In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and refrain from moving it around as it sizzles, it will hinder the nice golden sear color. If the pan gets too hot, reduce the heat to medium. Each side will take 3-5 minutes. Once each side is nice and golden brown and the middle is cooked, set the chicken aside.

To bake the tortillas: Brush each side of the tortillas with olive olive and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes, until golden brown. Watch carefully because when they start to burn, they burn quick! I like to buy the olives from a fresh olive bar at my local grocery store. I use the leftover oil on the bottom of the container to brush over the tortillas before grilling it. It has a nice flavor and some seasoning from the olives!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 259, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 726mg, Potassium: 334mg, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 15g, Vitamin A: 6.6%, Vitamin C: 10.5%, Calcium: 16.9%, Iron: 9.6%

Feta Dressing Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork

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! | The Cozy Cook | #Orzo #Salad #Pasta #PastaSalad #Sides #Greek #Chicken

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