Easy 30-minute vegan Orzo Salad recipe with fresh spinach, juicy tomatoes, and a garlic-vinegar dressing! Quick to prepare and only 7 simple ingredients.
This fresh Orzo Tomato Salad is such an easy side dish! And it only takes 7 ingredients and 30 minutes.
We combine chewy orzo with fresh spinach, juicy tomatoes, and a simple garlic-vinegar dressing.
Plus it's even better when made ahead of time. This gives the flavors a chance to blend and intensify after chilling in the fridge.
So it's great for meal prep, take-along lunches, and summer get-togethers as well.
Ingredients for Spinach Orzo Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Orzo pasta: Orzo is typically not gluten-free. So you can try replacing it with cooked rice, quinoa, or small gluten-free pasta if needed.
- Fresh baby spinach leaves: We will use about 3 to 4 cups fresh spinach for this recipe.
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes: I use these because they have the most flavor. But you could also substitute roma tomatoes or ripe garden tomatoes if desired.
- Green onion (scallion): Or use thinly sliced red onion for a bolder taste.
- Red wine vinegar: Or substitute fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for a different flavor profile.
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Dried basil: Or other herbs of choice such as dried Italian seasoning, dried oregano, etc.
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe. You can also include black pepper to taste if desired.
Tip: Pine nuts also add great texture to this salad!
Olives + dairy-free cheese: Kalamata olives and vegan feta cheese crumbles add a really nice, salty pop of flavor.
Adding oil: The dressing is made oil-free, but feel free to whisk in a tablespoon of good quality olive oil if desired.
Vegetables: Toss in other veggies as you see fit. Sun-dried tomatoes, red bell pepper, roasted bell pepper, artichokes, etc.
Fresh herbs: These can add more brightness to this recipe. Try adding fresh basil, parsley, dill, etc.
Either serve this dish immediately, or let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This gives the flavors a chance to blend and intensify.
Note: It's a great dish to enjoy year round! Just be sure to find ripe, flavorful tomatoes because it can make all the difference.
Orzo Salad with Spinach and Tomato
- 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
- 3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 8 oz. grape tomatoes
- 3 green onions
- Optional: kalamata olives or vegan feta add a great, salty pop of flavor
For the garlic-vinegar dressing:
- 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/8 tsp. salt (more to taste)
- Cook orzo: Boil 2 cups water with some salt. Add 1 cup orzo, reduce heat, and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk/stir to combine. Set aside.
- Halve/quarter the tomatoes. Slice green onions. Roughly chop spinach if desired.
- In a large bowl place spinach, tomatoes, and green onion.
- When orzo is cooked, drain and immediately add to bowl. Stir well for a minute. (The heat from the orzo will lightly wilt the spinach.)
- Pour dressing over top and toss to combine.
- Recommended: Cover and let sit in fridge for an hour before serving so the flavors get a chance to blend and intensify.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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