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mediterranean orzo pasta salad with marinated chicken on top of orzo with roasted vegetables and feta cheese

Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

Andrea Toole
This Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad is filled with comforting ingredients like roasted vegetables, feta cheese & seared marinated chicken. This recipe packs in so much flavour, with a Lemon Balsamic chicken marinate that doubles as a vinaigrette to top the orzo and veggies. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Lemon Balsamic Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oil from jar of oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice from 1 ½ medium lemons
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch black pepper & red chili flakes

Orzo Pasta Salad

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Pounded until each are about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pint crimini mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 8 oz uncooked orzo pasta About 1 heaping cup
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups raw spinach, chopped
  • 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • *Optional top with kalamata olives or capers

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl mix together all ingredients for the marinade. Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish and pour half of the marinade over top, reserving the rest for later. Mix to coat all sides of the chicken and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and set aside 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with a drizzle of oil and sear the chicken breasts for 3-5 minutes on each side then place on one of the baking sheets.
  • Add the diced shallot, garlic, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms to the other baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix to coat all the vegetables. Transfer both baking sheets to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables have softened.
  • While the veggies and chicken are baking, cook the orzo to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Once the vegetables are done baking, immediately add the chopped parsley, spinach and sundried tomatoes to the hot pan and mix around the pan to slightly wilt the spinach. Mix into the cooked orzo and top with the remaining dressing and the feta cheese. Slice the chicken and add on top. Enjoy!

Notes

Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 
Optional add ins:
  • Kalamata olives, or olives of choice
  • Capers
  • Substitute the feta for goat cheese
Keyword balsamic vinegar, chicken pasta salad, marinated chicken, orzo, orzo pasta salad, pasta salad, roasted vegetables