Greek Orzo Salad

On a nice, sunny day, a colorful and light pasta salad is what I crave the most for lunch. Of course the classic macaroni salad is nostalgic of childhood summers, but all of the mayonnaise and sugar make it hard to justify as a meal. This Greek orzo salad is the perfect healthy pasta salad alternative!

It has fresh vegetables, lean protein and carbs, and a burst of flavor from the lemon vinaigrette. If you want a less citrus-y dressing, just use 1 or 1.5 lemons instead, and add a few more tbls of water to dilute. I like to serve this dish at room temperature (but I will sometimes just eat leftovers cold,) with a side of pita and hummus.

Enjoy!

Ingredients (4 servings)

-1 lb chicken breasts
-2 tsps dried oregano
-2 cups orzo pasta
-2 plum tomatoes, chopped
-1 seedless cucumber, chopped
-1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
-1/2 cup kalamata olives
-1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
-1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
-Olive oil
-Salt and pepper

Vinaigrette

-2 lemons, juiced
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 tbls red wine vinegar
-1 tbl agave or honey
-1 tsp dijon mustard
-Salt and pepper

Instructions (35 minutes)

1. Season the chicken breasts with olive oil, the oregano, and salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until fully cooked.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients.
3. In a pot, bring water to a boil and cook the orzo pasta (about 9 minutes.) Drain well and stir in the vinaigrette.
4. Once the chicken is done, cut into cubes and assemble the salad.


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