Lemon Chicken Orzo


Lemon chicken orzo is one of my favorite go-to weeknight meals because it is quick, easy, and full of flavor. My kids never complain about this meal, and that makes me feel good because it is full of vegetables and good protein. This recipe is also a great choice for a potluck. 

How to Make Lemon Chicken Orzo

The first thing you'll need to do when making the lemon chicken orzo, is to prepare the orzo. Orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta that you should be able to find in the pasta section of most large grocery stores.

Prepare a cup of the orzo according to the package instructions. Or you can try my shortcut and use a rice cooker. Pour in 1 cup of orzo and two cups of water and press cook. DONE!

While the orzo is cooking, cut up a rotisserie chicken. I usually remove the skin and then cut up the breast and thigh meat into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 2-3 cups of chopped chicken. You need 2 cups for this recipe. If you have some chicken left over, consider using it in these delicious Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas!

Pour the chicken into a large mixing bowl and add a chopped cucumber, a diced red bell pepper, 4 chopped green onions, and about 2 tablespoons of fresh dill.

How to Make the Lemon Dressing

The lemony dressing is what really makes this dish pop! You'll need to whisk the following ingredients in a small bowl:

The zest of one lemon

4 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp honey

3/4 tsp Kosher salt

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Whisk all of this together until it is well emulsified. If left for awhile to sit, the honey will stick to the bottom, so make sure to mix well before drizzling it into the lemon chicken orzo.

Assembling the Lemon Chicken Orzo

Once your chicken and vegetables are diced, your orzo is rinsed and drained, and your dressing is prepared, pour all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and toss.

Lastly, sprinkle in 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese. This ingredient adds a creamy and smooth texture. I absolutely LOVE goat cheese!

Lemon chicken orzo tastes best chilled or at room temperature. If I am taking this dish to a potluck, I often sprinkle a bit more dill or green onion on top and squirt a bit of lemon juice to liven it up. It never fails that someone comes to ask me for the recipe after the bowl is empty! 

lemon chicken orzo

Save this pin for later and give it a try for yourself. You'll be so happy you did! Happy cooking y'all!

lemon chicken orzo

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Lemon Chicken Orzo is a healthy and light main dish or a refreshing side dish for any potluck. It tastes great chilled or at room temperature.
Prep Time 30 minutes


For the Orzo Salad

  • 1 cup orzo cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 cups chopped chicken I use a rotisserie chicken
  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese

For the Lemon Dressing

  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp minced garlic


  • Make orzo according to package instructions.
  • Chop chicken and the rest of the salad ingredients and place into a large bowl.
  • Whisk together lemon dressing ingredients and set aside.
  • Rinse and drain orzo and then add to the chicken mixture. Pour the dressig on top and toss until everything is coated.
  • Pour crumbled goat cheese on top. Serve room temperature or chilled.

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