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. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

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

  5. I have been making a salad like this for years, except mine has cooled roasted veggies (zucchini, red peppers, onions, eggplant, mushrooms) and I use either feta or parmesan, whichever I have on hand. Similar dressing too, a really lemon-y vinaigrette but no honey or dill. I will have to try this fresh version, thanks 🙂

  6. I just made this for dinner and it was ridiculously delicious and easy! I did sub parsley for the dill (not a fan), red onion for the green and shrimp for the chicken. I just sauteed the shrimp in a lil olive oil with salt, pepper and parsley. I'm wondering how long this will keep in the fridge, need something for a potluck on Friday and this would be perfect

  7. I just have to leave a comment and tell you two cute gals your blog is the BEST! I know this is not hte first and surley not the ;ast time you will hear this but i neededt olet you know :)I love looking at food blogs but have become (in only 2 days) obsessed with yours. Everyone claims to be geared towards the average housewife/mother..you guys are the REAL deal with a funky flare I love! I dont know that my comment will be read with the followers you guys have (i too am now on this list) but for my own good i had to leave this comment. O and Yes i am very excited to make the watermelon salad this Sunday for my moms family dinner..i am sooo going to look like a Betty 🙂

    Thanks again. Keep keepin on girls!

  8. This looks DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for posting the Weight Watchers points! I'm already head over heels for your site, if you added WW points as a regular feature, I'd be completely smitten! 🙂

  9. Made this tonight and it was very, very good. I'm not much of a cucumber fan but this salad just made convert me. Perfect summer dish!

  10. Made this last night and it was delicious! But I think to really knock it out of the park, I'm going to replace the chicken with a jar of freshly canned sockeye next time. OMNOMNOMNOM.

  11. I made this tonight and I loved it! so refreshing..I also love it when you post WW points!!!!!! whoo hoo!!! I will be making this as a side dish at my son's birthday party…Thank you!!!

  12. This looked SO good that I drove home from work and picked up a cuke and a red pepper so I could make it. I made it as a side with our steak sandwiches a few days ago. It is sooo delicious. The dressing is out of this world, so fresh and tangy. I added a little bit of dijon mustard to my dressing because I find the mustard helps emulsify the dressing better.

    I packed leftovers for my husband for lunch the next day and he said it was the best lunch he's had in a while.

    I also made a second batch w/o chicken (didn't have anymore), and instead boiled some eggs to put with it. He brought it the next day for lunch and showed it off to everyone at work. HAHA!!

    Great salad, thanks for the great idea!!

  13. I made this salad last night and it was some serious deliciousness! LOVED IT! Will be adding it to our regular dinner rotation. Thanks ladies!

  14. This salad was awesome! I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I have never made a recipe from you ladies that hasn’t been delicious so I decided to give it a go. And once again you girls came through!! I loved it!! Thanks for the recipe and keep them coming!

  15. Is this something that gets better after it sits in the fridge? Or does the pasta get soggy? I’ve never cooked with orzo before…or should I do the dressing in advance?

  16. Oh my goodness, I just made this with quinoa, and it’s so so good! I’ve found my new lunch for this week! Thank you!

  17. I just made this for my lunch for this week, and it is so delicious! I added some grape tomatoes and subbed chickpeas for the chicken. Thanks for the fabulous recipe…I’m looking forward to lunch time all week!

  18. Found your site through a friend and have tried some recipes and liked them. I actually made this recipe from the Cooking Light July issue, you should give credit where it’s due.

  19. I never leave comments on blogs, forums, etc., but I just finished eating this for dinner and had to get on here and tell you that it seriously made my day better. I’d had a long, busy, stressful day at work and other things, and wasn’t really in the mood to make dinner, and consequently was getting really annoyed at everything while I was making dinner. Then when this was done, I took one bite and felt so much better and thought, “mmm, it was all worth it” (making it – not like it’s hard, but…long day… you know). This is the kind of thing I could eat all day. It’s perfect. I love how it’s healthy but so flavorful and filling. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  20. Made this last night and it was a huge hit! I subbed quinoa for the orzo (didn’t have orzo on hand) and it was delish. My family has requested it go on the regular rotation. Thanks!

  21. I have made this several times and it always goes over well. It works well with other veggies and without chicken. I also like it because it comes together quickly. I have passed the recipe on to several others because we are all fans! Thanks!

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