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Chicken With Kritharaki

Updated on September 28, 2012

Chicken with Kritharaki aka Orzo (rice-shaped pasta) - an easy, mediterranean dish.

Greek and Mediterranean cuisine in general, are considered to be among the top healthy cuisines in the world. Organic vegetables, virgin olive oil, fresh salads and fruit contribute to a balanced and healthy diet. Greek recipes usually require simple and easy to find ingredients.

This is a variation of a greek, traditional dish.I use grams for weight measurement, but if needed, you can do the conversion here. In the traditional recipe, there is no pesto sauce and lemon, so if you prefer the real thing, don't use pesto and lemons, but I must say that they add a very special taste to this dish!

Preparation time: around 30 minutes.

*all photos taken by me

chicken with orzo
chicken with orzo
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 4


  • 4 chicken fillets cut in strips
  • 500 gr. of Kritharaki (if you can't find that one any type of short tubular pasta like small rigatoni or tiny star pasta will do)
  • 6 tomatoes cut in small cubes
  • 90 gr. of canned pesto sauce
  • juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
chicken greek recipe
chicken greek recipe


Boil the pasta as per instructions on the pack. Put the chicken strips, the pesto sauce and the grated lemon peel in a large bowl and marinate for 10 minutes.

Fry the chicken in a large pan for around 10 minutes in moderate temperature. Add the tomato cubes and the lemon, salt and pepper and cook for another 10-15 minutes in moderate temperature again.

Fresh or Canned Tomatoes?

I prefer fresh tomatoes, but I always keep a couple of canned cut tomatoes on hand. Some come with added garlic, onion or other herbs.

mediterranean recipes
mediterranean recipes

The pasta should be ready by then. Strain the pasta, shake any excess water and add some cold water so it doesn't stick on itself. Pour the pasta in the pan with the chicken and the sauce and mix well for a couple of minutes.

Serve immediately with breadsticks and fresh, green salad.

Kali Orexi!

Make your own pesto sauce!

For this recipe you can use canned pesto sauce, but if you have the time, you can always make your own homemade pesto sauce! Dont' forget to use organic basil!

Pesto (Basil) Sauce - is an easy and fast to make sauce that goes well with any kind of pasta

Watch this video and see for yourself!

A little secret!

I always use extra virgin oil olive in foods. Even if the recipe asks for butter or margarine, I still use olive oil. There are various kinds of oilve oil in Greece, but the one I personally prefer is the oil of Lesvos. It's much ligther and tastier than any other olive oil I have tried.

Archeon Gefsis
Archeon Gefsis

Archeon Gefsis

Ancient Greek Thematic Restaurant

If you are visiting Athens, here's a place you should definitely visit! At the heart of the city, Archeon Gefsis is a restaurant that offers ancient greek food. Don't expect to find rice, potatoes, lemon, tomatoes or sugar in their recipes, because in ancient Greece they simply didn't exist! Symposium takes place under the sounds of aulos and cord instruments. An experience you shouldn't miss!

Baklava - A delicious greek dessert!

Very thin sheets of phillo dough layered and baked endowed with the finest of crushed walnuts lightly sweetened with pure sugar cane syrup.

Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.


Greek Food Links

Great sites with greek recipes, photos, suggestions, restaurants

Have you tried greek cuisine?

Greek Salad
Greek Salad

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Your comments and suggestions are welcome!

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    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 5 years ago

      @dragonlildragon: thank you :)

    • dragonlildragon profile image

      dragonlildragon 5 years ago

      Awesome lens and great recipe.

    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 5 years ago

      @olmpal: true :) Well, whenever you try it, let me know what you think about this variation!

    • profile image

      olmpal 5 years ago

      I love Chicken with kritharaki "giouvetsi" as it is called here in Greece! I will try this version with pesto and lemon.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I am not a big fan of Pesto sauce, but I do love fresh Basil, so maybe making this with a home made Pesto it would be really good. Certainly sounds good, and we love Greek food.

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 6 years ago

      Now this is making me hungry!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Stopping back in with blessings for this tasty looking recipe!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      Now after seeing this great lens? I am craving Greek food.. so yummy! Thumbs up and blessed!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Seems tasty- we'll need to find out!

    • spartakct profile image

      spartakct 6 years ago

      Looks delicious!

    • profile image

      jaystanley 6 years ago

      very good lens delicious!!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago from England

      I adore Greek food and will definitely be trying this one out!

    • profile image

      jseven lm 6 years ago

      Great and tasty looking lens, thanks!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I hope that you will make a lens on how to make Baklava. I love trying out recipes from other countries. I'll be cooking Chicken with Orzo this weekend for the family. Thank you!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      Sounds like a very delicious meal. Thanks for sharing your tips on how to make this dish.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Looks very tempting, I will try this recipe very soon. i just wonder about cooked pasta and cold water. I never use cold water on pasta and have no problem with sticking, but I think it helps to maintain more consistent texture... Have you ever tried recipe without putting cold water on cooked pasta?

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      peppervel 6 years ago

      the chicken with kritharaki looks delicious to me. thanks for the recipes.

    • profile image

      Tarra99 6 years ago

      Mmmm looks tasty! Wonder if I could substitute leftover Canadian Thanksgiving Turkey for the chicken? ;o) I'm looking to disguise my leftover turkey into some other interesting