This delicious salad is ready in a snap thanks to rotisserie chicken and a four-ingredient vinaigrette. Leftover salad is also good the next day for lunch; stir in a handful of arugula to add a fresh touch, if you have extra on hand. Serve with pita wedges.
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
3 cups chopped grilled chicken breast strips (such as Tyson)
1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup prechopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.
Combine pasta, chicken, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.
Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Triple the oil and vinegar and double the amount of goat cheese; use rotisserie chicken. This is my go-to beach dish. Really light, I think the peppery taste of the arugula makes it perfect. Great for tailgating too.
I found this recipe, looking for an alternative to the normal pasta salad...an instant HIT! I make it as a vegetarian dish, and a a side with either grilled chicken or fish. I've never prepared it with the store bought chicken, but always with my own grilled chicken.
Easy midweek dinner. Added the goat cheese when the orzo was still hot, so it melted and made the dish creamy...I'm sure it addressed the lack of flavor/lack of dressing that other reviewers noted. I made a couple of other changes too. I used parsley instead of oregano and shallots instead of red onion because that's what I prefer. Also, eliminated the arugula (my kids don't like it) and served it with a Caesar Salad.