Mexican Chicken Orzo Bowls

For a Chipotle addict like me, sometimes you have to satisfy the craving in a healthier but just as tasty way. Enter: these Mexican chicken orzo bowls from Salt and Lavender. She's easily become one of my favorite cooks and for good reason. Everything she makes is DELICIOUS. This recipe is so stupid simple, especially if you buy the pre-cooked "Just Chicken" from Trader Joe's (which you know I did). I also nixed the corn and cheese in this recipe since one is pretty pointless and the other is amazing but not necessary when you're trying to go the healthy route. 


This makes 4-6 servings (4 if it's your main meal, 6 if it's a side) and tastes even better topped with your favorite salsa. Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Orzo Bowls by Salt and Lavender


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (19 fluid ounce) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can corn, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • Handful little tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend (optional)
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 


  1. Cook orzo al dente according to package directions. Once it's done cooking, drain it and rinse it under cool water. Drain thoroughly and add it to a large bowl. I like to stir in a tiny bit of olive oil to stop it from sticking together. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, prep your chicken* and add it to a skillet along with 1 tbsp of olive oil, the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Give it a stir to coat and cook it over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes (or until it's cooked), stirring often. You may need to add more olive oil if the pan gets too dry. (*If using pre-cooked chicken, place in bowl, drizzle with olive oil, coat with spices, and mix together).
  3. Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients and add them to the bowl with the orzo. 
  4. Once the chicken is done cooking, add it to the salad and then add the dressing ingredients. I suggest starting with 1 tbsp olive oil and adding more if needed. Play with the dressing until you like the taste. Toss. Add extra salt & pepper if needed.