If you’re ready for a multi-colored, healthy meal with minimal cooking time, this spinach orzo salad gives you a filling and nutritious option. This one only requires you to boil the pasta, all the other steps are basically chopping, assembling, and drizzling.
Besides being oh so colorful, as well as delicious, this is actually a dish with some serious staying power. And with the added veggies, this is a one-pot meal that is truly good for you AND easy to make (two of my favorite things). This is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly recipe and no substitutions are needed.
Oh, this healthy, super simple recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make!
This warmed spinach and orzo salad has so many goodies like; cherry tomatoes, freshly grated parmesan, garlic, mozzarella, and pan roasted carrots it’s honestly easy to forget how healthy it is for you! It’s THAT good!
- Orzo pasta
- Cherry tomatoes
For The Dressing
- Olive oil
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
How To Make Spinach Orzo Salad
To make this recipe, simply boil the orzo for about 10 minutes, then place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes if you want to serve it cold. Chop the spinach, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and olives, then drizzle the whole batch with a bit of lemon and olive oil.
This recipe is versatile; you can serve it warm, cold, room temperature, etc. Your own preference will be the deciding factor rather than a need for elevated food safety or the need to let the recipe “set”. This dish may last as long as three days in the fridge, but it’s best to eat it as soon as you can for the best flavors and textures.
Some might not be familiar with Orzo pasta, which looks a bit like white long-grain rice. Orzo shouldn’t be too hard to find at the grocery store, but if you can’t find it on the shelves you may be able to order it online.
Some prefer to toast the orzo before cooking; in such cases you’ll want to consider using a pan rather than a pot—toast the orzo in butter, then add water (or even chicken or vegetable stock) and simmer until the liquid is all gone.
Regardless of whether you use a pan or a pot, it’s a good idea to decide ahead of time how al dente you want your pasta. Some like their pasta very soft, but others like it with a bit of firmness; cooking al dente pasta basically means you don’t cook it to the fully recommended time for maximum softness. You cook it until it’s on the spectrum of soft pasta–crunchy, chewy, less chewy, soft, etc.
Cherry tomatoes are recommended for this recipe but if you prefer to swap them out with grape tomatoes, it will only alter the flavor profile a bit, it won’t ruin the recipe. Fresh spinach is always recommended for this recipe, and it’s good to avoid using powdered garlic or dried minced garlic. The fresh kind is best for this meal.
The same rules apply for the lemon juice, but some of us (me) feel that the prepackaged variety lacks an important element that fresh juice brings to the meal. And where the salt and cheese are concerned, it’s best to add these to taste. An extra dash of salt will perk up the pasta if it tastes a bit flat.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 5 cups uncooked spinach
- 6 small carrots
- 3 cups cooked orzo pasta, follow box instructions
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 tbs Fresh mozzarella (I used about 2 balls per serving)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan, use a vegetable peeler for big flakes
- 1 juice of lemon
- In a sauté pan, add the garlic and 1 tbs of the olive oil and heat until fragrant over a medium heat (1-2 minutes).
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted (be careful not to over cook).
- Remove the spinach and set aside.
- To the same saute pan, add the carrots and cook until tender (about 10 minutes over medium-high heat).
- Add spinach to cooked orzo along with the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan and olive oil and mix until well combined. Squeeze lemon on top.
- Serve warm alongside roasted carrots.
Try these delicious salads next!