Tender orzo pasta and savory Greek chicken are a match made in heaven, especially when you tie them together with creamy tzatziki sauce and feta cheese.
Greek style chicken with orzo is the foundation for a power bowl that packs great for a healthy lunch, or makes a quick, easy, and delicious weeknight dinner. I’m kind of obsessed with Greek chicken these days, and have been using it everywhere. But when I threw it in a power bowl with orzo pasta, stirred in tzatziki sauce, and sprinkled with feta cheese, I swooned. Add juicy cherry tomatoes, the crunch of fresh cucumber and red onion, a squeeze of lemon juice…oh my!
Whether you’re eating at your desk or curled up in front of the TV with a bowl in your lap, this Greek style chicken with orzo is going to make you happy all the way through. I am obsessed with all things Greek! My obsession started with these Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls. And carried on to a marinade, seasoning blend, and a fantastic tzatziki.
Greek Chicken with Orzo Pasta:
What does orzo pasta look like?
Let’s not pretend we’re all fancy and know every pasta shape and purpose ever thought of. The word “orzo” is Italian for “barley,” and it’s not because orzo is made from barley. It’s also known as “risoni,” which means “big rice.” So do you have a picture now? Orzo pasta is pasta cut to about the size of barley and shaped like large grains of rice.
How do you cook orzo pasta?
Pasta cooking is mostly about rehydrating, and since all shapes and sizes are made from the same stuff, they take about the same length of time. Let me emphasize ABOUT! Altitude and pasta brand with affect the cooking time. In all conditions, though, small pasta like orzo is going to take less time than heavier pasta like thick-walled penne or rotini.
Follow these steps:
- Add orzo to a large pot of well salted boiling water. More water than you think, more salt than you think. Like, a handful of salt and a 2/3 full soup pot for a pound of pasta. Let the babies have room to swim.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Or whatever it takes on your stove to keep the water bubbling along without boiling over.
- Boil 8-10 minutes.
- Start checking for doneness about a minute earlier.
What is orzo pasta used for?
The tiny size of orzo pasta means it would get lost served with meat and sauce. But it’s ideal for salads and soups. You’ll often see it in pilafs, where you might have a plain rice, a wild rice, and the softer, plumper orzo mixed together with chopped nuts and herbs. Or there’s giouvetsi, a Greek baked dish, with orzo pasta, tomato sauce (usually spiced with cinnamon or allspice), and meat such as lamb or chicken.
Is orzo pasta healthier than rice?
Well, that depends on your rice. Orzo is made from white flour (though whole wheat versions are available), so if you typically use white rice, they’re about the same. Both are simple carbohydrates, which your body metabolizes pretty quickly into sugar. If you typically use wild or brown rice—whole grains with the bran and germ included—then no, the rice is a whole food that’s actually much better for you than the refined flour used to make orzo.
Greek Chicken Bowl Options
A tasty greek chicken bowl can make a fantastic lunch or dinner option, and is full of healthy, nutritious, tasty ingredients. But one cool thing about this particular Greek Chicken Orzo Bowl is there are a lot of options or alternatives you can use:
- Add hummus
- Add chickpeas
- Add red onion
- Serve with pita chips
- Add whatever you’d like!
There’s something so satisfying and comforting about a complete meal in a single bowl. No side dishes to think about, no multiple dishes to prepare. If you’re looking for more one-dish meals, here are a few to try:
- Bibimbap Korean Beef Bowls
- Grilled Pork Power Bowls
- Freezer Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls
- Baked Chicken and Avocado Bowls
- Pulled Pork Pulse Protein Bowls
Are you looking for an easy weeknight dinner solution?
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Greek Chicken Orzo Bowl
- 4 cups cooked orzo
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken
- Marinade recipe
- 1 Tbs butter
- 12 cherry tomatoes halved or diced
- ½ english cucumber diced
- Red onion diced
- 1 cup Tzatziki sauce
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 4 sweet mini peppers sliced thin
- Fresh mint if desired
- 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh
- Prepare Marinade the night before, and place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in it to marinate.
- Place marinated chicken between pieces of plastic wrap, and use a meat mallet to pound chicken until even thickness
- Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Put butter in a large skillet, and turn on to medium heat.
- Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Cook orzo according to package directions.
- Slice chicken against the grain, or chunk up.
- Assemble Greek Chicken Orzo bowls by dividing Orzo, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, Tzatziki sauce, feta, sweet mini peppers and mint between the bowls. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top and serve immediately.
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