A lighter but filling pasta salad you can make all year long.
I came up with this orzo tomato salad recipe on a short and cold day this January. It was the kind of day that makes you want to just curl up on your couch with your four-legged critters and family watching Netflix all day.
I tried by best to adult, though, and whipped this salad up first and then grabbed my puppies to chill on the couch. Enough with the productivity for the day.
Cook this Orzo Tomato Salad up tonight in under 25 minutes.
At least I didn’t also feel guilty about this salad. It’s satisfying but also not food coma inducing: the tender orzo absorbs the jammy tomato dressing while the veggies add some flavorful fiber. Oh, and that goat cheese just lightly ties it all together.
Since it’s not too heavy, it’s perfect served warm in the winter and but is also perfect for these beautiful spring days we’re now having. Bonus points as well for bringing it chilled to summer barbecues. Serve this salad alongside some grilled chicken or fish or serve it solo in a big bowl with extra cheese for a lighter, vegetarian option.
Orzo Tomato Salad & Double Tomato Vinaigrette Cooking Notes:
- Are you gluten-free? Just sub in gluten-free orzo.
- Are you vegan? Just make this without the goat cheese or sub in plant-based goat cheese.
A light but filling orzo salad. Get your veggies chopped ahead of time and then whip up the dressing while your orzo cooks.
Extra tomato dressing is delicious on roasted veggies, on leafy green salads, or spread on sandwiches or wraps.
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1 large shallot, peeled and cut in half
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup. white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 ½ c. baby spinach, roughly chopped
- ¼ c. loosely packed basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn into ½" pieces
- ½ c. grape tomatoes, cut in half
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 3 oz. softened goat cheese, crumbled
- Cook orzo according to package directions in a pot of pretty heavily salted water.
- While the pasta cooks: add all of the dressing ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or to a blender and blend for 20-30 seconds, or until smooth and creamy.
- Drain pasta and immediately stir ½ cup vinaigrette into to the pasta -- the warmer the pasta is when mixed with the vinaigrette, the more of the sauce it will be able to absorb. Stir it well until all the pasta is covered with the vinaigrette.
- Add in the baby spinach, basil tomatoes, and salt. Mix until combined. Serve warm right away with a few fresh cracks of pepper and crumbled goat cheese or let chill in the fridge for 1 ½- 2 hours before serving cold.
1. Leftover salad last in the fridge for 4-5 days.
2. Leftover vinaigrette lasts in the fridge for about a week.
3. You can also use sundried tomatoes not in oil. Just add 1 extra tablespoon oil to the vinaigrette ingredients before blending.
Amount Per Serving Calories 450Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gSodium 245mgCarbohydrates 45gFiber 5gSugar 5gProtein 8g
This nutrition breakdown is an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.