Shredded roast chicken with pesto, crudités bits and orzo summer salad

Came home from work yesterday, had more running around to do and preparing dinner was a little late. This is what I love about freestyle cooking. Open the fridge, see what’s in and go for it, have a dinner ready in a jiffy, how does this sound to you?
Left over meat from the dinner before or getting some ready roasted from the local supermarket on the way home it’s all you need for this recipe, the rest it’s easy and with only 10 min of cooking… ta daaa!! Another dinner is ready, but not any dinner, a super tasty one☝guaranteed !
I made this Shredded roast chicken with pesto, crudités and orzo salad  for dinner but it makes a beautiful lunch to box and take away to work, school wherever you need to take. Needles to say this will make a beautiful choice for a picnic, BBQ or a potluck garden party.
I named it summer salad because of the time I’m posting it but this salad is perfect at any point and time all throughout the year. Whenever you fancy it.
I love throwing in my salads of this type crudités, chopped into little bits for the texture a bit of colour and extra nutrition. A perfect way to make kids eat some raw vegetables as kids tend to enjoy both pesto and the pasta especially orzo, so  if you haven’t tried it before definitely give it a try, it is super tasty and delicious 😋.  There is definitely something about orzo that goes really well especially with children.
Use the veggies that you like and if you don’t like them crude, use roasted veggies.
This meal can be such a saviour especially time wise when coming home from work exhausted and the last thing you want on a hot summer day is to hit the kitchen and get stuck there sweating yourself out when run out of meal ideas.
This salad it’s so easy, necessitates no cooking skills, involves no stress and it’s just perfect to, I’m absolutely sure, many tastebuds around. Ticks all boxes👌👌
Orzo, oh lovely orzo, such a perfect tiny rice grain sized pasta, ideal for salads like this and super tasty. Giant couscous or acini de pepe pasta will also work perfectly for this recipe.
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5 from 5 votes

Shredded roast chicken with pesto, crudités bits and orzo summer salad

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean, Ramona's Cuisine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Ramona


  • 250 g orzo
  • 400 g roast chicken shredded
  • 3 tbsp Genovese pesto sauce
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 med red onion
  • 5 springs parsley
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1-2 handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions, it normally takes 7 to 9 minutes to get this ready. When finished, drain, rinse in cold water and allow it to drain. Set aside.
  • Shred the roast chicken and place in a larger bowl.
  • Wash and finely chop the crudités which are the red pepper, celery sticks and the red onion. Add those to the shredded chicken.
  • Toast the pine nuts for a few seconds ( don’t do anything else while toasting those as they need tossing to avoid burning them) they burn fast due to the high content of oil.
  • Add the orzo, pesto sauce, chopped parsley and the halved cherry tomatoes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and ... Enjoy!


This recipe is ideal for busy working folks, students or peeps that cannot be asked with too much cooking. It’s healthy, colourful versatile and soo yumm. 😋 
Perfect, wouldn’t you say👌?
Replace the crudités here with the ones you like. I have used raw broccoli, broccolini, kohlrabi, shredded swede, garlic (if I don’t go anywhere😂), sweet corn whatever you like eating raw, for me it’s easy to enumerate here almost all veggies as I always have half of them whenever I prepare them for cooking. I can eat and I like to eat raw veggies, just as a goat would, ha ha 🤣.
Just to give you a little example, today while cooking dinner and preparing our fish and chips (skinny version )
This makes a perfect work lunch so prepare it the night before, box it and lunch is ready.

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11 thoughts on “Shredded roast chicken with pesto, crudités bits and orzo summer salad”

    • Absolutely, Caroline, orzo it’s really nice – I cannot have enough of it, that is for sure and so are my kids – never enough – tasty and cute 😉

  1. Don’t get me started on burning nuts (stop being rude), it is my curse in the kitchen… The are insanely quick to catch and pine nuts are so expensive so yeah I try to keep an eye on them too but I am so easily distracted 😉 Love the sound of this recipe so bright, vibrant and summery!

    • Ha ha Brian, you got me there for a sec 😜. Watch the nuts please 😉, and you know what, I always, always ( without a fail) find something else to do other than watching the nuts. That’s why, I need to be rude! lol. So, please watch the nuts!
      I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you Brian.👌😉

    • Thank you so much, It absolutely is a perfect option for a packed lunch Rhiannon, but also ideal for a picnic or even a dinner – any time winner really. 😉

    • Hi Amanda, yes, absolutely, take the chicken out and it makes a lovely vegetarian option – still super delicious ;-). Enjoy it lovely! xx

  2. That is such a gorgeous, summer salad! What a great dinner for a busy week night! Definitely giving this a try! I love the whole cook once, eat twice revolution!

    • Hi Beth, the cook once eat twice revolution is soo handy especially on these hot days – PERFECT! Thank you so much, I hope you will enjoy it!

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