Lemon-Orzo Salad with Veggies and Chicken

Raise your hand if it’s hotter than Hades where you live right now.  Oooh, me! Me!  (Although let it be known that it doesn’t take very high numbers on the thermometer to put this Seattle wimp girl out of her element.)  It’s been in the high 90’s here and that’s hot enough for me to hide out in my air-conditioned house and avoid even (gasp!) the bbq- which you all know is my go-to summer cooking method.  So it’s at times like these where I turn to easy meals that require minimal cooking, yet are still satisfying.   One way to do that is to sneak a little pasta in there.  I say “sneak” because this salad is full of lean protein and fresh veggies and the orzo pasta adds substance and bulk without giving you the feeling that you just ate a big bowl of noodles.  Similar in principle to this great noodle salad.

This salad tastes so fresh and light, yet it’s filling at the same time.  If you’ve never cooked with Orzo before, it’s a pasta that you can find in the regular pasta aisle.  It usually comes in a small box.

The actual pasta pieces look like large grains of rice.

So start by boiling some of that up.  While your orzo is cooking, slice up a red pepper, some cucumber, green onions and a quick dressing that’s as bright and fresh as the lemons that go in it.

Toss it all together and top with a little feta cheese.  The tangy feta really compliments the fresh lemon juice.

This makes a great light dinner or lunch and a terrific pot-luck salad since it lasts a while and won’t wilt like other types of salads.


Nutrition Facts per Serving (1 1/4 C)
Calories: 275
Fat: 9.7g
Protein 18.2 g
Weight Watchers Points: 6


  1. yuuuuuuuuuuuuum! My mouth is watering!!! I think I might add some roasted artichoke hearts… I think I know what's for dinner tonight!

  2. we make orzo salad all the time in the summer-my boys love it! we make a similar version but with shrimp,garlic, lemon, pinenuts, tomotoes, and feta. We also make a chicken, basil, tomato, basil, mozarella, & balsamic that is delicious too.

  3. This looks great. I have been loving all the recipes with Feta. I love, love, love Feta!
    I have noticed that you only use crumbed feta. Maybe that is your agreement with Athenos but I really like their block feta. It just seems that the brine adds a lot of flavor, plus you can crumble it to the size you want. (just my 2cents)

  4. we cook them as pasta, or make pilaf with them. Orzo is commonly used in chicken soups.. It's a huge part of our nutrition. I've never tried it in salad, but i definetly will. Thanks for the idea.

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