Orzo Chicken Casserole with fresh spinach and feta cheese is a delightful combination of flavors that everyone will love. This recipe has been one of my favorites for quite some time.
This is a perfect recipe to use for leftover rotisserie chicken or a rotisserie chicken you just picked up from the grocery store. The chicken is all set to go and usually well cooked and flavorful.
The chicken I used was from Costco and I swear that thing must have weighed 6 or 7 pounds. There was plenty of meat to eat one night , then freeze the rest so I could make orzo chicken casserole.
Keep scrolling after the Recipe Card to see the step by step recipe photos.
Orzo Chicken Casserole
- 8 oz. orzo pasta
- 1 1/4 lbs raw or rotisserie chicken, chopped into bite-sized pcs.
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp lemon pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz. . fresh baby spinach, coarse chopped
- 5 plum tomatoes, large chopped
- 8 to 10 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions to al dente, drain and reserve.
- For raw chicken, use a large, high sided skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add chopped chicken and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Cook stirring until the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.For rotisserie chicken, use the same sized skillet, add chicken, olive oil and lemon pepper and cook on medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes to warm.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet into a bowl. In the same skillet on medium low heat add 2 tbsp. olive oil and add the fresh spinach and stir around to wilt, 2 minutes. Once nearly totally wilted add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Cook for 2 minutes to heat the tomatoes. Stir in the cooked orzo, cooked chicken, and feta cheese. Cook for a couple more minutes to warm then stir in the vinegar.
- Taste and add more salt if desired. Serve warm with hearty, crusty bread.
- Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. Re-heat in a sauce pan adding a bit of water to loosen it up.
Steps in making the casserole
The recipe uses pretty simple ingredients that are easy to prepare.
First, cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions then drain and set aside.
Then, I like to use roma tomatoes in this because they are a little less juicy. Just wash them then give them a course chop. I sometimes strip the seeds and pulp out, but in this case the extra juiciness is just fine.
Frozen, leftover rotisserie chicken was used which was in a Tupperware container. I ran some hot water onto the sides of the plastic so the chicken would release so I could transfer it to a microwave safe bowl. Tupperware is not a good container for microwaving.
Set your microwave to defrost. My microwave asks how much weight there is and I entered 1 pound. I think that converted to just over 7 minutes to defrost.
Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces. As you can see, we ate the dark meat previously and left most of the breast meat for this meal. This breast meat was still moist and tender.
To flavor the chicken, place it in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon pepper. Stir it around for 3 or 4 minutes to heat up and absorb the flavor.
If you are using raw chicken, place the cut up pieces into the skillet with the olive oil and lemon pepper and cook while stirring until the chicken is cooked through. This will take 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet and add the course chopped spinach and stir it around to wilt. Once nearly all wilted, add the tomatoes and salt and let cook for 2 minutes to warm up.
Next, add the orzo and chicken to warm up and then the crumbled feta and the vinegar. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
Serve this warm with some hearty, crusty bread. The photos don’t do this orzo chicken casserole justice.
Yum….and yum. It is scrumptious.
Here are 2 more recipes using spinach that are really tasty: