Sunday, October 10, 2010

Walnut Chicken Orzo Salad with Cranberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 cups orzo
4 cups chicken stock
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite size pieces
1 cup walnuts roughly chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tbs Balsamic vinegar
Lots of cracked pepper
Salt to taste
Season Chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill. Cut into bite sized pieces and reserve. Bring chicken stock to boil, add orzo and cook to package directions. Drain. In large bowl add orzo, chicken,walnuts, cranberries and stir. Whisk oil and vinegar together and add to salad. Add cracked pepper and salt to taste. Is best with a lot of pepper. serve either warm or cold.

Like most of my favorite recipes this one is really easy to put together. It tastes good the day you make it but it is even better the next day. I personally think orzo gets a bad rap. People tend to think of it as a little old school. But I like to use it as a base for salads. I think if it is cooked in chicken stock it has a certain richness that you can't get from rice. I like to add things that make it feel less like a pasta and more like grain. Just make sure not to over cook so it has some bite left.

This salad has a certain holiday feel to it with the walnuts and the dried cranberries. With fall in the air I'm beginning want to make all those favorite recipes that remind me of family get togethers and the cool weather. The balsamic in this salad adds some depth and the pepper gives it the spice it needs to stand up to the sweetness of the cranberries. It is one of my go to salads that packs well for lunch or a party. I hope you enjoy this one it is one of my families favorites.



  1. What a lovely blog and beautiful photos. This dish is one I'd enjoy and like to have in fridge for lunch the next day.

  2. Would love to try this! It's been ages since I cooked with orzo. This is perfect fall food!

    p.s. I'm so so so jealous that your daughter is a sommelier in Napa. Can you say dream job?

  3. I just noticed this down here. Orzo with cranberries and nuts is one of my favourite salads. Yours looks lovely.

  4. Beth, just made your chicken/orzo/cranberry salad. Tried 3 dressings but yours was by far the best. The orzo was much richer using chicken broth. I got to eat it warm tonight and cannot wait to eat it cold for lunch tomorrow.

  5. Crissy!!! So glad you gave this a try. Isn't it great. You will love it for lunch. Thanks for visiting:) Cliva Where have you been I've missed ya. See you in FFWD:)