When you’re a broke college student, pasta is a God-send. You can make it a thousand ways, make it healthy (or as caloric as you want), put whatever you feel like in it, and it always seems to make enough to eat off of for at least three days. When I was working on my graduate degree and living with my sister, we probably should have just bought stock in Barilla.
When looking for something new to try, I came across a pasta salad using orzo pasta on Pinterest. I tweaked the recipe to add veggies we liked, and it went over so well we had it at least once a month from there out. The awesome thing about this recipe, besides being super easy and guaranteeing you leftovers, is that you can change out the veggies and pasta for whatever you prefer. Take the chicken out, and it’s now vegetarian. Don’t like tomatoes? Toss ’em out, and add something like red pepper. We have made a version before that includes olives. Prefer something over orzo? Try that! In the rest of this post, the example I use I actually used gluten-free rotini instead of orzo (if you’ve ever managed to find gluten free orzo, please tell me where!) since the diners included my boyfriend.
Cook the pasta according to whatever type you’ve chosen, and prep the veggies while it cooks. Don’t make the mistake I made and cut your onions too large; a big chunk of onion in your mouth isn’t the greatest. You can also chop up your chosen greens, but I prefer mine whole.
This is also a great time to get your chicken ready. We had pre-cut chicken tenders that we seasoned with salt and pepper and put on the grill. Shred the chicken once it’s done cooking.
Once the pasta is drained (and rinsed, if you’re using gluten-free) pour all other ingredients into the pot and toss well.
Super easy! Since our eyes were, as usual, bigger than our stomachs, we had enough for lunch for each of us the next day and there was STILL leftovers.
I love this recipe because it manages to be creamy without a sauce, and is decently healthy as long as you don’t eat the entire pot in one sitting. Feel free to try out whatever you like in this dish; different meat, cheese, veggies, whatever!
Recipe: Chicken Feta Orzo Salad
- 1 box of orzo (or gluten-free sub)
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/2 package grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 small package of arugula, kale, or spinach
- 1/2 of a small onion, diced
- 1 small package of feta
- 1 chicken breast, grilled and shredded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1) Prep all veggie ingredients, and cook pasta according to box directions.
2) Grill chicken while pasta cooks
3) Drain noodles and return to pot.
4) Add all ingredients to pot, and toss.
5) Serve warm or chilled.
Servings: 4-8, depending on size of pasta box