Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken is a tantalizing dish that brings together the bright and refreshing flavors of the Mediterranean. This recipe combines tender orzo pasta, vibrant spinach leaves, and succulent chicken breasts topped with a savory feta crust.
The zesty notes of lemon infuse every bite, adding a delightful tang that perfectly complements the creamy and salty feta cheese. With each forkful, you'll experience a symphony of flavors and textures, from the light and fluffy orzo to the juicy and flavorful chicken. It's a dish that will transport your taste buds to sun-drenched shores and leave you craving for more.
This Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken not only delights the palate but also satisfies the soul.
This Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken not only delights the palate but also satisfies the soul. The combination of fresh, wholesome ingredients makes it a wholesome and nutritious choice. Spinach adds a vibrant green pop, packed with essential vitamins and minerals, while the lemon brightens up the entire dish with its citrusy tang. The chicken, with its tender and juicy texture, takes on a whole new dimension with the crispy and golden feta crust, creating a tantalizing contrast of flavors and textures. Whether you're looking for a comforting weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing dish for a special occasion, this recipe checks all the boxes. Give it a try and let the captivating flavors transport you to the sun-soaked Mediterranean with every bite.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- This Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken not only delights the palate but also satisfies the soul.
- Ingredients needed to make Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
- How to make Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
- Variations on the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken recipe
- Equipment used in making the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken recipe
- Storage for the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
- Top tips to know when making Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
- Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
Ingredients needed to make Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
- 2 T. olive oil, divided
- 4 chicken cutlets (or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half)Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 c. orzo pasta
- ½ c. white wine (or chicken broth)
- 3 c. chicken broth
- 4 c. baby spinach, chopped
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ c. heavy cream
- 2 T. butter
- 3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ c. fresh parsley chopped
How to make Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Season chicken cutlets generously with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the hot skillet. Sear chicken cutlets for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the orzo and stir well to coat the orzo with the olive oil from the skillet.
- Carefully add wine to deglaze the skillet. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes or until the wine reduces by half.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a steady simmer. Cover with a lid and cook until the orzo is al dente.
- Add spinach and continue for 1-2 minutes or until the spinach wilts.
- Add in the lemon juice, heavy cream, and butter; stir well until the orzo becomes very creamy.
- Place the chicken breasts and any accumulated juices on top of the orzo and cover the pan with a lid. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until the chicken and juices are completely cooked through.
- Uncover and sprinkle with fresh parsley and crumbled feta. Enjoy!
Variations on the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken recipe
Here are some variations you can make to the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken recipe:
- Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian twist, skip the chicken and instead use grilled or roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant as a topping. The feta cheese will still provide a delightful flavor contrast to the lemony spinach orzo.
- Shrimp or Salmon: Swap out the chicken for grilled or pan-seared shrimp or salmon fillets. The succulent seafood pairs beautifully with the lemony orzo and feta cheese, adding a delightful oceanic touch to the dish.
- Mediterranean Herb Blend: Experiment with different herb combinations to enhance the flavors. Instead of the traditional Mediterranean herbs like oregano and thyme, try using a blend of fresh basil, parsley, and dill for a vibrant and herbaceous twist.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Add depth and a touch of sweetness by incorporating sun-dried tomatoes into the dish. Chop them into small pieces and toss them with the orzo and spinach before serving. They'll provide bursts of intense flavor that beautifully complement the lemon and feta.
- Greek-Inspired Yogurt Sauce: Create a tangy and creamy sauce to drizzle over the dish by mixing Greek yogurt with lemon juice, minced garlic, and a sprinkle of dried dill. This adds a refreshing element and complements the flavors of the orzo and feta.
- Spicy Kick: If you enjoy a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the lemony spinach orzo for a spicy twist. It will add a fiery kick that balances well with the creamy feta and fresh flavors.
Feel free to get creative and tailor the recipe to suit your taste preferences. These variations offer exciting twists that will keep the dish interesting and allow you to explore new flavor combinations with the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken recipe.
Equipment used in making the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken recipe
Storage for the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken should be consumed fresh for the best taste and quality. It is not recommended to leave it at room temperature for an extended period of time. After cooking, any leftovers should be promptly refrigerated within 2 hours to prevent bacterial growth. Stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it can be kept for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, make sure to thoroughly heat it until steaming hot to ensure food safety.
Top tips to know when making Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken
Here are some top tips to keep in mind when making the Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken recipe:
- Season Generously: Ensure you season each component of the dish adequately. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and any additional spices you prefer before cooking. Don't forget to season the orzo and spinach with salt and pepper as well to enhance their flavors.
- Cook Orzo Al Dente: When cooking the orzo, follow the package instructions and cook it until it is al dente, which means it should be cooked but still slightly firm to the bite. Overcooking the orzo can result in a mushy texture, so keep an eye on it and test for doneness frequently.
- Squeeze Fresh Lemon Juice: Use fresh lemon juice for the recipe rather than bottled lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice provides a vibrant and zesty flavor that elevates the dish. Roll the lemon on a countertop before juicing to maximize the juice yield.
- Rest the Chicken: After cooking the chicken, allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This helps the juices redistribute and ensures moist and tender chicken.
- Adjust Feta Amount: The amount of feta cheese can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a more subtle cheese flavor, use less feta. If you're a fan of a stronger cheese taste, feel free to add more.
- Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Just before serving, sprinkle some fresh herbs like chopped parsley or dill over the dish. This adds a pop of freshness and a beautiful visual appeal.
- Customize with Additional Ingredients: Feel free to add extra ingredients to the dish to suit your taste. Some popular additions include cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, or toasted pine nuts. These additions can enhance the flavors and textures of the dish.
By keeping these top tips in mind, you'll be able to create a delicious and flavorful Lemony Spinach Orzo with Feta Topped Chicken that will impress your taste buds and those you share the meal with.
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