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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Orzo, Veggies and Chicken Salad With Lemony Basil Dressing

Apr 27, 2015 10:47AM ● By Brandi Barnett

What's Cookin'

May 2015
By Lana Granfors
Photo: Kara Stewart

This bright, colorful orzo pasta and chicken salad is packed with an assortment of chopped fresh vegetables and tossed with a refreshing lemon dressing. This dish will be great at that upcoming annual block party or even a picnic. It’s easy to substitute some rotisserie chicken, or make it without the chicken and serve it alongside your favorite barbecue or juicy grilled burgers. This healthy and flavorful pasta dish will be a hit with everyone who digs in! Leftovers, if any, will make a great office lunch…sure beats those vending machine foods. Enjoy!

Serves: 8 (serving size - 1 cup)

1 lb. orzo pasta
 Zest and juice of 2 large lemons
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. honey
1 ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup diced English cucumber
½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
½ cup crumbled feta
Cook orzo according to package directions, usually about 10 minutes, for a firm but not soft pasta. 

While the orzo is cooking, make the dressing. Zest and juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl, and whisk in the olive oil, garlic and honey.    

Drain orzo and place in a large bowl. Add the dressing to the orzo and toss. Allow the pasta and dressing mixture to cool while you chop the rest of the ingredients.

Fold in the chicken, bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, parsley and basil. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Sprinkle with cheese before serving cold. Enjoy!

Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes