Orange Chicken Orzo Salad is a delicious departure from a regular summer pasta salad.  Combining the flavors of tender, orange-infused chicken, cooked orzo pasta, along with roasted red peppers, fresh orange segments and spring onions. A wonderful blend of textures and tastes, making it a perfect choice for a light summer meal.

Orzo chicken salad being dressed with orange dressing

How does a summer pasta salad sound that tastes like takeout orange chicken? Basically, it is a healthier version, as the chicken is not breaded. This dish is inspired by Slow Cooker Orange Chicken Wings (another perfect summer dish). All the citrus notes throughout  bring a mediterranean flair to the dish.

A closeup showing the red peppers, orange segments, chicken and green onions

This is one of those pasta salad dishes that can be served room temperature or cold. Perfect for summer road trips, picnics, barbecues and beach days. To accompany these delicious Tuna Pita Pockets pictured below.

4 tuna pita pockets lined up on a board

What is orzo?

Orzo is a very small pasta, shaped to look like rice and cooks quickly. You don’t have to use orzo, you can use just about any shaped small pasta you like.

Orange Chicken Orzo Salad Additions

A sprinkling of toasted silvered almonds, or any nuts of your choice adds a nice crunch. Crispy noodles, fresh herbs like basil or cilantro (coriander).  Add more veggies like summer corn, cooked zucchini (courgette).

A closeup showing the red peppers, orange segments, chicken and green onions

Orange Chicken Orzo Salad Dressing

A simple vinaigrette dressing this orzo salad using fresh orange juice and zest that complements the orange chicken. They are mixed with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and that’s pretty much all you need to add great flavor.

Mixing orange dressing and mixing with the chicken, vegetables and orzo

How to segment an orange

There are juicy pieces of fresh orange in this salad which add a burst of sweet orange flavor. Whereas it may seem difficult to segment an orange, it is actually very easy. First you use a small paring knife to peel the orange (reference pictures). Then hold the peeled orange in one hand, carefully slice between the white membranes of the orange to cut the segments.

If you’ve tried this Orange Chicken Orzo Salad or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see daily recipe updates.

Yield: 6

Orange Chicken Orzo Salad

Colorful orange segments, roasted red peppers in an orange chicken orzo salad

Chicken is cooked in an orange sauce and served over delicious orzo with red peppers and fresh orange segments.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • For the dressing:
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) orzo
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ pounds (681 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon corn starch
  • Orange segments of 2 oranges
  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup) (227 grams) roasted red peppers, chopped * see note
  • 4 spring/green onions, thinly sliced


  1. For the dressing:
    Add the orange juice, zest, honey, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to a bowl. Pour in the oil while whisking until emulsified and thickened. You can also add all the ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously with the lid on.
  2. For the salad:
    To a large saucepan, fill with water about ¾ full.  Add 1 tablespoon salt to the water and add the orzo. Simmer for 9 minutes uncovered, until tender. Drain.
  3. Add the orzo to a large bowl and pour over half of the dressing, mix and set aside.
  4. To a heavy frying pan add the oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces evenly. When the oil ripples, add the chicken and brown on all sides, turning as needed.
  6. Whisk the zest and juice of 1 orange with the corn starch until dissolved. Add to the pan of chicken and mix well. Cook until thickened and remove from heat.
  7. Add the chicken to the orzo along with the orange segments, red peppers, onions and the rest of the dressing, mix well. Serve room temperature or chilled.


Note: You can buy these already made or make your own

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 376Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 80mgSodium 299mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 3gSugar 18gProtein 33g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.