I have to admit, some of my favorite dinners are just like this. There is so much flavor, it makes me happy. I love to serve casserole type dinners with just one bowl and nothing fancy at the dinner table. This dish has everything – protein, carbs, and healthy fats. It’s perfect for a relaxing weeknight dinner and surprisingly, it comes together quickly, thanks to quick cooking orzo.
I like to grill the chicken for this, but it’s not necessary. If you have a rotisserie chicken or you already have precooked chicken in the fridge, those would be perfect for this – that will save even more time. Roasting or pan frying works well too and can be done while the orzo is cooking – if you’re good like that.
I love adding beans to my pasta dishes. I will be completely honest here, I don’t love whole wheat pasta, or chickpea pasta, or gluten free pasta. I think it’s gross. If you know me, you know my philosophy on food. If it doesn’t taste good, don’t eat it. I LOVE regular pasta, but I know it’s lacking in fiber. So, I add a little extra fiber to it by adding beans – perfect solution.
If you love different types of pasta, that’s great. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes and some people really love alternative pastas. I think it’s great.
I have a kiddo who isn’t thrilled about chicken, so adding the extra plant protein in there makes me feel better. The green in this is cilantro, but flat leaf parsley, or even dill would be amazing in this. Whatever herb you have – even spinach. I just feel like it needs a little green. Really, I think everything needs a little green.
Sprinkle in the feta at the end. Don’t like feta? First, I’m not sure we could be friends if you don’t like feta, but like I said above…if you don’t like it…anyway, you could do parmesan shavings and that would taste great. Let this dish be your canvas and you can spice it up with your personal likes.
I hope you try it.
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup diced shallots
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon white white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1, 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Cook orzo pasta according to package directions and set aside
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken breasts and grill over medium high heat until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast measures at least 165°F
- Remove chicken from grill and set aside to rest
- In a pan over medium heat, add 2 Tablespoons olive oil and shallot
- Saute for 2 minutes
- Add lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper
- Drain and rinse chickpeas and add to pan, turning heat to low
- Add orzo and stir
- Slice or cube chicken and add to pan
- Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, feta, and cilantro – stir