You know when some one asks you to bring a side dish but you don't feel like busting your behind in the kitchen?
You know when you want something tasty and healthy for din din but you'd rather watch the Master Chef finale (while downing popcorn popped in coconut oil) than spend the evening slaving away in the kitchen?
Yep. Make this.
Introducing yet another recipe inspired by my boyfriend's fabulous mama! The other night, she made a light orzo salad from the newspaper that I absolutely adored. I (of course) wanted to healthify it, but I (of course) accidentally deleted the text she sent me with the recipe. All I remembered was that the original version had a whopping ⅓ cup of olive oil. Needless to say, I got it down to one little tablespoon in this recipe. Magic, people.
Just like the strawberry pecan salad with maple dressing that I shared last week, this one is a real party pleaser. It's one of those easy dishes that everyone loves. Win for the cook and win for the eaters. The best part is that it's SO simple to make. Like, dinner in minutes guys.
Whereas pasta dishes usually make you feel a bit heavy, the bright flavors of this bad boy are perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Eat it over mixed greens with grilled tofu, chicken, salmon, shrimp or chickpeas. Toss in a handful of fresh herbs.
Add dried basil, oregano or broccoli. The bottom line is that can totally customize this salad according to whatever you have on hand.
I was pleasantly surprised to find 100% whole wheat orzo at Whole Foods, but regular orzo will work in a pinch too.
Hey, you. Make this.
Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 cup uncooked whole-wheat orzo
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- ¼ red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, chopped
- ⅓ cup feta cheese (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- juice of a lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
- While the orzo is cooking, chop the tomato, pepper, spinach, red onion and kalamata olives. Add veggies to a large bowl along with the feta, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Once orzo has cooled, add to the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. This salad is best served cold.
AHHHH! So glad I found your blog today because I want to cook ALL THE THINGS especially this pasta salad because I've been looking for a Greek Orzo pasta salad after having a delicious one at Whole Foods. Can't wait to try it!!!!!
Welcome to my list of favorite blogs 🙂
elle | nutritionella says
Yum! I've totally fallen off the bring-my-lunch-to-work wagon. Salads like this could very well convince me get back on track. 🙂
This is such a lunchable salad...yay for getting back on track! I definitely know what it feels like to fall off that wagon. Peanut butter and jellies happen...lots.
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says
This looks beautiful and tasty and I want to eat it right now! I don't think I've ever seen WW orzo--I'm going to have to look for that!
I was so excited to discover it!!
Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat says
I haven't made Orzo in years. In fact, I kind of totally forgot about it. This is a great recipe to try to start making it again. I love all the veggies, and I especially love the kalamata olives.
I had actually never made orzo prior to this recipe! PS--I just bought a vidalia chopping wizard thanks to you 🙂 Can't wait to use it!!
Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat says
Yay!!! You're seriously going to LOVE it! 🙂
Jess @ JessieBear What Will You Wear? says
gorgeous recipe as usual 🙂
Thanks Jess 🙂
Khushboo Thadani says
I don't think I've ever cooked with orzo- I'm loving how flavorful this dish sounds! I've been on a feta kick for a while lately! This would be a great dish to make at the start of the week for quick lunches too- thanks for the inspiration :)!
You have to try it! It's like a cross between rice and pasta, even though it's 100% semolina so it's basically just itty bitty pasta. Great for lunches!
Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog says
Looks delicious! I made a Spinach Parmesan orzo last night (with the WF whole wheat orzo). It was really good, but I think it would be even better with the additional veggies and olives. Guess I'll be making that recipe again.
Thanks, Dana! Mmmmm spinach parm sounds amaaaazing. When in doubt, add more veggies 🙂
Angela @ Health's Angel says
Whole wheat orzo will always make me think of my parents. My mom and I have successfully converted my dad into a much healthier eater over the past year and he can't get enough WW orzo now!
Nice!! Way to convert your dad! Whole wheat orzo is such a good stand in for a quick din.
Davida @ The Healthy Maven says
Gonna sub in some GF pasta and this recipe will absolutely find it's way into my kitchen! Unlike my recipes which require 1097349374 thousand steps your recipes are always so easy to make and delicious looking...I'm thinking you need to write a cookbook 🙂
GF orzo all the way! I hope such a thing exists cuz it sounds darn tasty:) Thanks so much for the sweet comment! That would be such a dream!!
Christine @ Gotta Eat Green says
Looks amazing! Surprisingly enough, I've never tried orzo! This recipe may inspire me to go pick some up! And I love that you made it lighter.. the original sounded like it had way too much oil!
You MUST try it, Christine! Starting with this recipe, of course 🙂
Thanks, Christine! Let me know if you give it a try 🙂
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health says
Yum! I love orzo and this looks so light and refreshing. I've also used the whole wheat orzo from Whole Foods and I really like it. Even better that it was inspired by your mama. 🙂
Thanks, Sarah! I'm all about finishing out the summer with light salads 🙂