Summer is the time for fresh salads, lots of veggies, and vibrant flavors. This summer I have been on a pasta salad kick. With four kids and a hungry husband, pasta salad makes the perfect side dish. The pasta makes it filling, but also has lots of fresh veggies and quick, healthy dressings. This Mediterranean orzo salad is full of olives and fresh veggies and dressed with a lemon garlic vinegarette.
Is Mediterranean orzo salad served hot or cold?
Orzo, like other pasta, can be served hot or cold. This salad is eaten as a pasta salad and is served cold. This cold pasta salad makes a perfect side dish or dish for the next potluck you go to. You can alter the vegetables in this dish to fit your personal likes. Here are some ideas of some other vegetables you can add.
- Chopped cucumber
- fresh arugula
- Fresh parsley or basil
- Mozzarella balls
- Green olives or other olives
- Chickpeas for added protein
- Green onion
What can I serve orzo salad with?
This dish is heavy enough to be the main dish for lunch, or it could be a side dish for dinner. This dish goes well with BBQ mains like these grilled portobello burgers or this delicious eggplant parm sandwich! Other side dishes that would pair great with this orzo salad is this amazing coleslaw or these stuffed jalapenos!
Is Mediterranean orzo salad healthy?
I consider this pasta salad healthy. Pasta salads that are made from a box with spice packets are a bad choice and add unneeded chemicals and spices like MSG. This salad is full of vegetables, greens, and olives that have good fat. The dressing is refreshing and healthy with fresh lemon juice, fresh garlic, and olive oil. Make sure to use good quality healthy salt like good quality sea salt or pink salt. Table salt is depleted of natural minerals and is highly processed. Pink salt contains 84 essential minerals and promotes healthy PH in the body. Taking the extra couple extra minutes and making dishes homemade can improve the health of you and your family. Also, using good quality ingredients is important.
If you want a vegan option for this dish you would just need to eliminate the feta. I would add some extra salty olives in its place if you decide to eliminate the cheese.
Looking for other great salads? Here are some of my favorites!
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- 1 lb box orzo pasta cooked with 2 tsp of salt
- 1 cup spinach leaves packed
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives halved
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 large lemons juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 1-1/2 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Cook pasta according to directions on the box and add 2 tsp salt to the pasta water. Strain and dump into a serving bowl. Let this cool on the countertop or in the fridge.
- Chop onion and half the cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Add to the cooled pasta.
- Add in spinach leaves and feta cheese and stir.
- Make the dressing.
- Juice 2 large lemons into a small bowl.
- Whisk in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grate garlic in and mix into salad.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Check out the post for additional add-ins! I like to add a de-seeded red jalapeno, but bell pepper is also great!