Greek Spinach Orzo Salad with Grilled Chicken

Greek salad is my favorite salad of all time. I absolutely love Mediterranean flavors; dill, oregano, mint, garlic, onion, lemon. Feta cheese and kalamata olives! These flavors are always refreshing and make for a light but fulfilling meal. I have been making greek salad for many years using cous cous or orzo, sometimes without the grain/pasta and just on its own, full of veggies. This salad is perfect leftover and also great to take to parties. Everything marinates together with time, so it can be eaten on for days! We accompanied this recipe with homemade Tzatziki sauce and pita bread and it really tied the whole meal together!

Ingredients for Salad

  • 9oz bag of fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced and pits removed
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil *high quality
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Greek Chicken Marinade

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the chicken pieces in a freezer bag or a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the lemon juice and olive oil to a medium size bowl. Add the minced garlic, oregano, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper to the bowl and stir. Pour half of the marinade into the freezer bag or the bowl with the chicken pieces and reserve the other half of the marinade for basting. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to grill, prepare the grill by lightly oiling the grate with olive oil and set to medium high heat.
  • Grill the chicken, basting with the reserved marinade and turning often so each side browns and has light grill marks, until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serve atop the salad.
  • Begin boiling 2 cups water in a saucepan for the orzo pasta. Once boiling, put 1 cup orzo into boiling water and reduce to a simmer. Boil for about 14 minutes or until tender (check your orzo bag for instructions)
  • For the salad, chop the spinach roughly. Chop cucumber, Roma tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Mix all produce together in large bowl, then toss in the crumbled feta.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, dill, olive oil, and kosher salt for dressing. Add to bowl of cut salad ingredients.
  • Once Orzo is cooked, drain water and place in bowl with salad. Add the dressing. Toss all ingredients until mixed.
  • Serve in wide bowl and top with grilled chicken slices
  • Optional- serve with homemade Tzatziki and pita bread!

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