Sautéed Chicken with Spinach and Feta Orzo

Easy chicken breast recipes are a staple in my kitchen.  They’re healthy and I usually have at least a few packs of those individually vacuum-sealed chicken breasts in my freezer from Costco (if you don’t already use these, they are amazing and so incredibly convenient!  Costco sells them for a bunch of other kinds of meats as well so you don’t have to buy and use 20 pounds of ground beef in one sitting!).

Unfortunately, chicken is a tough sell with Jeff.  I guess he generally thinks that it is bland and needs to be seriously jazzed up to pique his interest.  I can see his point, as a lot of chicken recipes can turn out dry and tasteless.

Well, this is one of those chicken recipes that even he enjoys.  If you ask me, I think the real star of this recipe is the orzo, which could easily be adapted as a side dish to any other meal.  As a bonus though, the chicken does come out flavorful and juicy, and accompanies the orzo perfectly.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.  This will be so you can keep your chicken warm while preparing the orzo.

Start by patting down your chicken with paper towel and seasoning with salt and pepper.  If you have a really large piece of chicken, I like to pound it down thin first.

Pour flour in a shallow dish and dredge the chicken on both sides, shaking off excess flour.  On medium-high heat, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil until just smoking.  Sautée chicken for 6 to 8 minutes on one side, flip, and continue to cook for another 6 to 8 minutes until your thermometer reads 160 to 165 degrees on the thickest part of the breast.  Chicken should be nice and browned with a light crust on it from the flour.

Transfer the chicken to a dish and cover loosely with foil.  Keep in the warm oven until your orzo is ready.

Wipe out the skillet with a wad of paper towels.  Add 1 tablespoon more of olive oil and add the orzo to the pan to lightly toast over medium heat.  Orzo will turn golden and will start to smell slightly nutty.  This will take about 2 minutes.

Stir in the shallot, 2 teaspoons of the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has absorbed and the orzo is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon of garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes together in a small bowl.

Stir the spinach, one handful at a time, into the skillet and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in the feta and remaining tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the orzo between two plates and top with the chicken.  Drizzle with the lemon juice mixture and serve.


  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup orzo or Israeli couscous
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
Original Recipe, America’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two: 2009

Serves 2

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Poultry, Recipes, Side Dishes

Follow me!

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

7 Comments on “Sautéed Chicken with Spinach and Feta Orzo”

  1. September 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    This has so many delicious ingredients that I love! What a great way to prepare chicken.

    • September 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks! I come back to this one time and time again!

  2. Christina
    November 5, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    So I saved this recipe for awhile, waiting for a good nIght to make it, and that night finally came. Everyone loved it and continues to thank me the next day. The leftover orzo was so yummy for lunch the next day too:)

    • November 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

      Yeah! I love this recipe. Easy and the orzo is sooo good.

  3. November 23, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    I made this today and ooohh it was so delish. I didn’t have pine nuts or swfuloner seeds so I used macadamia nuts and I added a little lemon zest.Thank you for sharing, I am sure that I will make it again and again, and again.

    • February 5, 2014 at 1:48 am #

      I usually try thngis I don’t care for, a little bit here, a little bit there, trying to figure out the flavors and what bothers me about them. I often succeed in exorcising’ my demons. Anchovies were tough, but I am making progress. Same for nori, I’m almost at the point of really enjoying that briny taste.


  1. Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes - Chicken Breast, Uncategorized Recipes - - December 12, 2013

    […] Source: Get the Recipe […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: