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Italian Orzo Salad

Summertime isn't complete without an easy to make, fresh and delicious salad. This is your new go to healthy picnic staple!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword easy pasta salad, quick healthy side dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 597kcal
Author Sophia DeSantis

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 1423mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1950IU | Vitamin C: 16.3mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 6.2mg