Chicken with Spinach, Zucchini and Orzo

By: Julie

Time:  20 min:

Serves: 2-3

I have fallen in love with orzo.  I probably should break up with it.  It is not a complex carb, it is full of empty calories, and I have yet to find a whole wheat version.  I am in love with the smooth texture and how it absorbs the flavours of it’s surroundings… like rice, but not.  I am now pretty much using it exclusively instead of rice.

I used to make a dish similar to this with rice and lemon.  Then one day I was out of rice, and lemon, but had lots of orzo (yay!) I made magic.  I needed an acid and thought immediately of white wine… but sadly I was also out of that.  Gasp!  Because I was using dill, white wine vinegar was out.  I didn’t want my pasta tasting like pickle brine.  Instead I opted for red wine vinegar for a more subtle flavor.  What happened was a balanced, delicious taste that highlighted the delicate zucchini without overwhelming it.  Just as good, or better, than my rice and lemon version.

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of orzo
  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips that will sear and cook quickly
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium zuccini, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds.
  • 2 generous handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • Some fresh dill to finish (optional)



Cook your orzo according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot to keep  warm.  Pat chicken dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the chicken to brown.  Cook until chicken registers 168 on an instant read thermometer and remove from skillet.  Add the zucchini to the skillet and saute until crisp-tender.  Add remaining oil, vinegar, orzo, spinach, and dill to the skillet.  Stir until spinach is wilted.  Plate skillet mixture and top with chicken.  Voila!  A healthy happy meal in a jiffy.