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Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Chopped Salad
with feta / balsamic vinaigrette

Active: 35 minTotal: 35 min

With a variety of flavors and textures tossed in a tangy vinaigrette, the last bite of this chopped salad is as satisfying as the first.
Smarts: The salad can be served at any temperature, so make it ahead and / or pack leftovers for lunch.

Tags

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • Shallots - 1 clove, diced
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Honey - 2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1/4 cup
Chicken, Orzo, and Spinach Chopped Salad:
  • Pasta, orzo - 8 oz (sub any small pasta shape)
  • Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, cubed
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz, chopped
  • Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 1/2 cups, halved
  • Pine nuts - 1/4 cup (sub pepitas or chopped pecans)
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 2 tsp
  • Cheese, feta - 4 oz, crumbled

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Prep

  1. Cook pasta - Cook pasta according to package directions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Dice shallots. Whisk together shallots, vinegar (portion for vinaigrette), lemon juice, mustard, and honey. Add oil (portion for vinaigrette) while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Chicken - Slice into cubes. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  4. Spinach / Tomatoes - Prep as directed.

Make

  1. Heat a skillet or wok over medium heat. Add nuts to dry pan and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly toasted, ~3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Return skillet to heat. Add oil (portion for salad) and then chicken to heated oil. Saute until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vinegar (portion for salad) and saute, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vinegar coats chicken, ~1 minute.
  3. Set chicken aside and let it cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta (no need to heat it up if it was prepared ahead), spinach, tomatoes, and crumbled feta. Add vinaigrette and toss salad until dressed to your liking. Add chicken last and toss everything to combine.
  5. Divide salad between serving plates and top each serving with nuts. Enjoy!

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Reviews

This meal has 58 reviews

I have previously made the original version of this recipe but this time made the vegetarian version. I liked it better. Really easy recipe that I’ll keep in my back pocket for a potluck offering.

By: Margaret
Posted: Jun 08, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

Great summer meal. Surprisingly filling, really tasty. Would be sure to cook pasta ahead so it is room temperature. Made it too late and the warm pasta wilted the spinach a little.

By: Daniel
Posted: Jun 07, 2019
Diet: Original

Good summertime dish.

By: Lee
Posted: Jun 07, 2019
Diet: Original

Delicious. I love the idea of bringing this to a potluck. Can't wait.

By: Megan
Posted: Jun 07, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian

This was very good, especially the dressing! The second step seems to have a typo: "Add vinegar (portion for salad) and saute" should say "Add vinegar (portion for chicken) and saute." This is a great summer meal. We'll definitely make it again.

By: Cathy
Posted: Jun 07, 2019
Diet: Original

Took this to a school picnic last night and it was perfect!

By: Jenny
Posted: Jun 06, 2019
Diet: Original