Lemon Chicken Orzo SaladRecipe posted in: Flex Meals & Snacks, Lunches & Dinners, Main Courses, Sides
Salads are often heralded as the heroes of a healthy diet. They’re packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, offer a wealth of variety, and serve as a delicious way to consume the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. But salads can be so much more than just a health food. With the right combination of ingredients, they can transform into a culinary masterpiece that tantalizes the taste buds while nourishing the body.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad: A Symphony of Freshness and Flavor
Among such dishes is the Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad. This salad is a harmonious blend of fresh, high-quality ingredients that bring together an array of exciting flavors and aromas. The tangy zest of lemon, the savory punch of grilled chicken, and the comforting texture of orzo pasta all come together in a dance of delicious delight.
What sets this salad apart is not just its delectable flavor profile, but also its simplicity. Despite its gourmet appeal, it’s a dish that can be easily prepared in any home kitchen, making it an ideal choice for both weekday dinners and special occasions.
The journey through this recipe promises an exploration of taste, texture and aroma that will leave anyone eager for the next bite. So, delve into the detailed guide that follows, and discover how to create this enticing Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad at home. Enjoy the process, savor the result, and reap the health benefits of this incredible salad.
How to Make Orzo Salad
Introducing the Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad, a delightful culinary creation that serves six and only contains 264 calories per serving. For those following the Nutrisystem, this salad counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Extra, and half a Vegetable in your NuMi app journal.
The list of ingredients needed for the Chicken Orzo Salad includes: one cup of uncooked whole wheat orzo, half a medium cucumber chopped, one cup of chopped cherry tomatoes, a quarter of a small red onion diced, two cups of arugula, two cups of cooked chicken (rotisserie works well) either chopped or shredded, a quarter cup of fresh basil chopped, and half a cup of shaved parmesan cheese.
For the Lemon Vinaigrette, prepare: one lemon (both juiced and zested), two tablespoons of olive oil, one teaspoon of honey and black pepper to taste.
To create this delectable dish, begin by cooking the orzo according to the instructions on the package. Once it’s cooked, drain the orzo and rinse it with cold water to cool it down. Ensure to completely drain the water.
Next, add the cooled orzo and all other salad ingredients, except for the parmesan cheese, to a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients to create the lemon vinaigrette.
Pour the freshly prepared dressing over the salad ingredients in the large bowl and toss everything together until well mixed. It’s recommended to chill the salad until it’s ready to be served. For optimal flavor, let it chill for about 30 minutes so that the flavors have time to meld together. Finally, when it’s time to serve the salad, top it with the shaved parmesan cheese.
Enjoy this refreshing and healthy Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad!
Customizing Your Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad
This versatile Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad can be easily adapted to suit your personal taste. For instance, you could add other vegetables like bell peppers or olives for a Mediterranean twist. If you prefer a crunch in your salad, consider adding some toasted nuts such as almonds or walnuts.
For cheese lovers, feta or mozzarella can be used as a substitute for parmesan. For protein variations, you might replace chicken with tofu or shrimp. If you’re looking to make it vegan, omit the cheese and replace the chicken with chickpeas or grilled veggies.
Refer to the Nutrisystem Grocery Guide for more information on counting add-ins.
What to Serve with Orzo Salad
The Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad is a meal in itself, but it can also be served as a side dish. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats and fish for a hearty dinner. You can also serve it alongside a crusty baguette for a light lunch.
If you’re planning a picnic or a potluck, this salad is a great option as it can be made ahead and travels well. Just remember to add the parmesan cheese just before you serve it to keep it fresh.
Remember, the beauty of this salad lies in its flexibility. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and serving styles to create your own unique version of the Lemon Chicken Orzo Salad. Enjoy!
Calories per Serving: 264
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and ½ Vegetable
- 1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo
- ½ medium cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomato, chopped
- ¼ small red onion, diced
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups cooked chicken (i.e. rotisserie), chopped or shredded
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. honey
- Black pepper, to taste
- Cook the orzo according to the package's directions. When it's done, drain and rinse with cold water to cool it off. Drain water completely.
- Add the orzo and all other salad ingredients except for parmesan cheese to a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- Chill until ready to serve. For the best results, chill for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Top with parmesan cheese when serving.