Healthy Lemon Mediterranean Chicken Orzo
Are you looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that is not only healthy but also bursting with flavors? Look no further than this Mediterranean chicken Orzo bowl with bright lemon flavor.
This recipe is perfect for those who want to savor all the flavors and textures in one dish. The dish comes together in perfect harmony, and it is a great way to enjoy the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet.
How To Make Mediterranean Chicken Orzo Bowl
Step 1: Boil Water and Chop Vegetables
Begin by getting a large pot and filling it with water. Place it on a high heat source and bring it to a boil.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, chop one large English cucumber into small dice and then add it to a large salad bowl.
Cut some grape tomatoes into small dice and add those to the salad bowl as well.
Step 2: Add Orzo Pasta to Boiling Water
Once the water is boiling, add salt and 1 cup of Orzo pasta. Give it a quick stir, and then here’s a little tip for you – add the wooden spoon on top of your pot.
This stops the water from boiling over, and you don’t have to babysit your pot or blow in it every once in a while. Instead, you can focus on the next part of the recipe.
Step 3: Preheat Large Pan and Brown Chicken Thighs
Preheat a large pan over medium heat, and once hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and a little blob of butter.
Once the butter is melted, place 4-5 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs into the pan and season them generously with chicken seasoning.
Let them sit for 6-8 minutes so they can brown nicely.
Step 4: Finely Chop Onion and Parsley
While the chicken is cooking, get back to your chopping board and finely chop a quarter of a red onion as well as a handful of parsley. Add those to the salad bowl.
Step 5: Grate Parmesan Cheese
Grate about half a cup of Parmesan cheese freshly into the salad bowl.
Step 6: Flip Chicken Thighs and Season
Once the chicken is brown on one side, it’s time to flip it so we can brown it on the other side.
At this point, you’re going to want to add some chicken seasoning on this side as well.
Step 7: Season Orzo Pasta and Veggies
Once your pasta is finished cooking, strain it and add it to the salad bowl. Season everything with sea salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and the juice of a whole lemon.
Toss all of the ingredients to combine them well.
Step 8: Assemble Mediterranean Chicken Orzo Bowl
Serve the Orzo and veggies in a bowl, top it with a piece of chicken, and drizzle the pan juices over it. Add a few olives and dive in!
Tools and Equipment Needed:
The tools you will need for this recipe are:
- A large pot for boiling water
- A cutting board and a sharp knife for chopping vegetables
- A large salad bowl for mixing the salad ingredients
- A grater for grating Parmesan cheese
- A large pan for cooking the chicken
- A wooden spoon to prevent the water from boiling over
- A strainer to strain the cooked pasta.
Tips and Variations:
- If you don’t have Orso pasta, you can use other small pasta shapes like macaroni or fusilli.
- For a vegetarian version, you can substitute chicken with roasted chickpeas or tofu.
- You can add other vegetables like bell peppers, sliced zucchini or roasted eggplant to the salad.
- If you like a bit of heat, you can add some red pepper flakes to the chicken seasoning or drizzle some hot sauce over the finished dish.
Q: Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
A: Yes, you can use chicken breast, but keep in mind that they may cook faster than thighs, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can prepare the salad and cook the chicken in advance. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the chicken in a pan and assemble the dish.
Q: Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon?
A: Fresh lemon juice will give the dish a brighter flavor, but if you don’t have fresh lemons, you can use bottled lemon juice as a substitute.
Q: Can I use other types of cheese instead of Parmesan?
A: Yes, you can use other hard cheeses like Pecorino Romano or Asiago.
In conclusion, this Mediterranean chicken and Orso pasta salad is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that combines bright flavors and textures in perfect harmony. With simple ingredients like cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, and Parmesan cheese, this dish is both healthy and delicious. The juicy and flavorful chicken thighs add protein and heartiness to the salad, making it a satisfying meal. Give this recipe a try and share your photos with us!Print
MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN ORZO
- Total Time: 35 minutes
This recipe is for a Mediterranean-style chicken and Orzo salad that is quick, easy, and perfect for a weeknight dinner. The dish is made with juicy chicken thighs, tender Orzo pasta, fresh veggies, and a bright lemon flavor.
1 cup orzo
1 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs – 4-5 large
1/4 red onion
1 English cucumber
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup green olives
1 Tbsp chicken seasoning
1 tsp butter
2.5 Tbsp olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Dice one large English cucumber and add it to a large salad bowl.
- Dice grape tomatoes and add them to the salad bowl as well.
- Once the water is boiling, add salt and 1 cup of Orzo pasta to the pot. Give it a quick stir and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes or until tender.
- Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and a small blob of butter.
- Add the chicken thighs to the pan and season them generously with chicken seasoning. Let them cook for 6-8 minutes on each side until browned.
- Finely chop a quarter of a red onion and a handful of parsley, then add them to the salad bowl.
- Grate about half a cup of Parmesan cheese into the bowl.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the salad bowl.
- Season everything with sea salt, black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and the juice of a whole lemon.
- Toss all of the ingredients to combine them well.
- Serve the Orzo and veggies in a bowl, top it with a piece of chicken, and drizzle the pan juices over it.
- Garnish with a few olives and serve.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Cuisine: italian cuisine, Mediterranean
- Serving Size: 4 PEOPLE
- Calories: 468kcal
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 587mg
- Fat: 21g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 37g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 33g
- Cholesterol: 119mg
Keywords: chicken orzo