Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

I’ve got Greek inspired food on the brain lately.  It might be because I don’t get good Greek food enough, or it could also be that Easter is coming soon.  Easter is a huge holiday for Greeks, complete with leg of lamb, spanakopita, baklava, and Greek butter cookies (kourabiethes).  There always, always has to be some type of Greek salad, as well.  I like to change things up, as I get bored with the same old thing.  This is true whether I’m talking about food, music, or exercise.  Variety is the spice of life, so let’s spice things up!  This Greek Orzo Pasta Salad is definitely not your run of the mill Greek salad.  It’s light, orzo pasta, studded with cherry tomatoes, fresh chopped spinach, Kalamata olives, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.  The pasta salad is dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette, and garnished with pine nuts.  Now that’s variety!.  🙂

This salad was inspired by one that my husband brought home to me from Whole Foods Market many years ago.  I was crazy about it, so I got right to it and made my own.  You can vary this up any way you see fit.  The ingredients that I’ve listed are my favorites, but feel free to add yours!  I think artichokes, red or yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, frozen spinach instead of fresh, or red wine vinaigrette instead of balsamic would be great, too.  Sky’s the limit, and we’re going for variety, remember.  The bottom line is, there’s nothing boring about this Greek Orzo Pasta Salad, so embrace your inner Greek.  OPA!  😉

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Greek Orzo Pasta Salad is light, orzo pasta studded with cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh spinach, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and red onion. It's dressed in balsamic dressing and garnished with toasted pine nuts.
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh spinach
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • Newman's Own Light Balsamic dressing (or your favorite), to taste
  • toasted pine nuts for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook the orzo according to package directions.
  2. While the orzo is cooking, place the chopped spinach in a colander. When the orzo is done, pour it into the colander, over the spinach, to drain. This will wilt the spinach nicely! Rinse the orzo with a bit of cold water to cool it slightly and drain.
  3. Once the orzo and spinach have drained and cooled completely, place them in a medium bowl with the cherry tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and red onion. Add the dressing and stir until it's well incorporated. Be sure to add the dressing just before serving as the pasta will absorb a considerable amount of the dressing as it sits. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.
Notes
To toast pine nuts, place pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, till fragrant and golden brown. Be careful not to burn them!

If you have leftover pasta salad, add more dressing as needed as the pasta will absorb a considerable amount of the dressing.

Inspired by Whole Foods Market Greek Orzo Salad