Lemony Orzo – Veggie Salad with Chicken

One of my favorite summertime dishes is to make an orzo salad with chicken mixed in.  Add a little dill and a lemon vinaigrette, and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal, especially when it is hot outside.  I usually make a big batch of it and bring it to our community swimming pool for Sunday night dinner.  It is my hope that someday even the kids will go nuts over it.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and it looked just like the version I make (sans the recipe).  I decided to give it a try to see how it compared.  I have to wonder if somehow there was a secret camera hidden in my kitchen that watched me make this – it was just like my own rendition.  It was so delicious and light, you just couldn’t help but have seconds and thirds.  The kids didn’t know what they were missing, but had they known, there wouldn’t have been as much for the adults…I guess when they are finally able to appreciate this pasta salad, I will have to double the recipe.


  • 3/4  cup  uncooked orzo
  • 1/4  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
  • 3  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1/4  teaspoon  honey
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  cup  shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/2  cup  diced English cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  prechopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese


Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain and place in a large bowl.

While orzo cooks, combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over orzo; toss to coat. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients (through dill); toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Lemony Orzo – Vege Salad with Chicken

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