MEDITERRANEAN ORZO SALAD WITH CHICKEN

This is another meal prep lunch favorite. You can do this pasta salad hot or cold, making it easily transportable (even though we’re all probably close to the microwave lately.) It combines nutritious orzo pasta with Mediterranean veggies, spices and olive oil. Lemon juice brings a pop of freshness, and the arugula adds a peppery punch, plus even more nutrients.

Like a lot of my recipes (especially the meal prep ones) this dish is easily customizable. Use your own creative veggie mix, leave out or swap out the protein, try a different spice mix or infused olive oil (a curry orzo salad perhaps?) Or you can stick to my Mediterranean style, which includes black olives, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

This dish is such an easy and delicious meal prep for a week of filling lunches. It’s packed with tasty veggies, some protein-filled chicken, and peppery arugula brings the green goodness. This dish is also great as a total vegitarian option…and the possible substitutions are endless. Get creative!
Total Time30 mins
Keyword: chicken, easy recipe, healthy lunch, lunch, meal prep, meal prep salad, orzo, orzo salad, pasta salad
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 large chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers chopped
  • 1 can artichoke hearts chopped
  • 1 small can black olives diced
  • 2 tbsp pesto (store bought is totally fine here)
  • 1 package arugala (*see note)
  • 1/2 lemon (just the juice)

Instructions

  • Cook orzo according to package instructions (I usually do mine in a rice cooker! Works great!)
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and other spices.
  • Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 15 minutes, until cooked through and the outsides start to get dark and crispy in some places. Remove from pan and set aside
  • Add the peppers and artichokes to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the cooked orzo and pesto to the pack. Then add the chicken back in and stir all together until combined, and everything is coated in pesto. Cool and store in containers in the fridge.
  • Toss the arugula and olives with the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Store separately in the fridge.
  • WHEN READY TO EAT: pile a heap of orzo salad over a bed of arugula and enjoy! If you want to re-heat the orzo salad before putting over the greens, that works too!

Notes

*those pre-packaged greens at the grocery store are usually just the right amount to get me through one week. If you’re buying loose though, just grab what you might need to make 5 salads. 
 
*Note, in some of the picture you see, I went ahead and combined my orzo salad with all of my arugula in one big batch ahead of time. I was feeling kind of lazy and I wanted the leaves to wilt a little. Feel free to do that, but if you want your salad to maintain texture and crunch, I’d store them separate until you’re ready to eat. 
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