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Welcome the summer months with a few light and healthy meal ideas from Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis.

These recipes from the Italian-American chef are satisfying yet not too filling and feature rice-like orzo, one of the most light-on-its-feet pastas.

Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis wears a black-and-white striped long-sleeved top in this photograph.
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis | Riccardo S. Savi /Getty Images

De Laurentiis’ Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Orzo Skillet

Bursting with both vibrant flavor and color, this easy-to-make skillet meal from De Laurentiis comes together quickly, as she writes on her food blog Giadzy.

“There’s nothing like a one-pan meal that requires little to no prep work on a busy weekday, and it doesn’t hurt when it’s as delicious as this one!,” she writes. “Use any of your favorite quick-cooking veggies in place of kale if desired, like broccoli rabe, broccolini, or spinach.”

Reviewers on her site loved the dish, saying, “What a great recipe…easy & delicious! I used chicken thighs boneless but still with the skin on. The chicken came out juicy and moist. … My family loved it! Thanks for the delicious recipe Giada!” and “Made this last night and it was amazing. … It is a crowd-pleaser … Grazie Giada.”

Get the complete recipe and reviews on Giadzy.

Giada De Laurentiis’ flavorful Crispy Orzo and Peas

Coconut milk, ginger, and scallions infuse aroma and tons of flavor into the dish De Laurentiis, on the Food Network video for this recipe, calls her “Italian spin on fried rice.” Peas and lemon juice round out this orzo dish that packs a chewy, crispy texture.

Food Network reviewers agreed the Simply Giada star’s dish is a winner: “I saw Giada make this on an IG post and I thought it’d be perfect for my toddler. It was! Especially adding the parm. Forget the toddler, I couldn’t stop taking bites. I can see how this would be perfect with different proteins and veggies. Such a great dish!”

You’ll find the complete recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.


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De Laurentiis’ Orzo Salad is a great summer dish

Orzo pasta is cooked in chicken stock in this dish, giving it robust flavor from the get-go. With garbanzo beans, grape tomatoes, chopped red onion, and fresh basil and mint leaves, it’s a refreshingly light meal that can feed a crowd.

The culinary personality notes in the recipe’s Food Network video that “you can also put scallions or sweet onions. I like the red onion, I like the purple color. A little bit of bite, they’re sweet.”

A tangy red wine vinaigrette completes this bright and colorful meal that serves as a perfect bring-along to potlucks and summer get-togethers.

Over 400 five-star reviews praised De Laurentiis’ salad, including one home cook who wrote, “I made this recipe as written except I doubled it and it was a success with all my friends who tried it. The fresh mint and basil add so much flavor that we liked it with and without the dressing. Thank you for a great recipe.”

Find the complete recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.