Summertime isn’t complete without an easy to make, fresh and delicious salad. This is your new go to healthy picnic staple!
So you know that “Oh crap” feeling you get when you realize that you’re going to a group potluck in a few hours and you haven’t planned on what to bring? Well, that feeling is ten times worse when you have three kids, including a new baby.
The thought of packing them all up and taking them to a grocery store is one step below gouging your eyes out with toothpicks…it’s a good thing I excel at making something out of nothing!
So off to my pantry I went, gathering ingredients and praying I could make something good. Well, not only did I make something good, I hit a homer!
This recipe was inspired by a friend of mine who brought over this amazing orzo salad when I had just had my newest little guy (and she claims to hate cooking).
Ever since then, I have been craving orzo again. I just happened to have some of the delicious ingredients she included, yay! I also threw in a few others and BAM, orzo salad for all!
I kept this salad oil free and used a little veggie broth to add some moisture. It works great and cuts out unneeded fat. You can enjoy this warm or cold, we liked it both ways! Plus, it’s REALLY easy to make and a perfect thing to bring to your summer picnics!
So when you make this for your next gathering and everyone begs for the recipe, make sure to let me know! I love hearing your comments on all my recipes, and especially love seeing your pictures.
Summertime isn't complete without an easy to make, fresh and delicious salad. This is your new go to healthy picnic staple!
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms , about 12-13 mushrooms
- 3 ounces sun dried tomatoes , I use the dried ones in a bag
- 16 oz package orzo , I use whole wheat but gluten free is also available
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas , about one 15 ounce can
- 1/4 cup veggie broth , low sodium if needed, can also use a drizzle of oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- sea salt , to taste if needed (see note)
- Wash and slice the spinach, basil, and mushrooms and chop sun dried tomatoes. Place in the bottom of a pasta strainer.
Cook the orzo according to package directions.
When ready to drain, pour the whole pot, orzo with water, over the veggies in the bottom of the pasta strainer. This will slightly cook them.
Rinse with hot water to remove starchiness from the pasta. Place everything in a big bowl once drained.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix until well combined. Enjoy!
- I measure the spinach and basil packed in.
- You can use sundried tomatoes in a jar just make sure they are packed in water if you want to keep this oil free. Also, if you want soft sundried tomatoes, you can soften them by soaking them in hot water for about 5 or so minutes.
- You don’t need much, if any, salt because the sun dried tomatoes have plenty but adjust to your preference.
Tips to prep ahead:
- Wash and slice all veggies and basil. Cook the orzo.
Baby/toddler food idea:
- Soak sundried tomatoes in hot water for 5-10 minutes to soften. Place them along with veggies, basil, and chickpeas in a food processor and chop into small pieces. Put the mixture into a bowl and then pour in hot cooked and drained orzo, mix well and cover with a pot top to allow the hot steam to “cook” the veggies. You could also follow the directions but use a fine mesh strainer so that the small veggie pieces don’t fall through.