Super Fresh- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

A meal prep win! Make this Greek Orzo Pasta Salad recipe once and have a few delicious meals for the week!

I was inspired by two different meals we had from a meal delivery service. I took what I loved about both of them, and combined ingredients to make this delish Greek orzo pasta salad recipe. 

And the best part about this recipe is that you make it ahead of time. Hello meal preppers, this one’s for you. Make a big batch and eat it for a couple days!

What is Orzo Anyway?

When I used to teach a high school cooking class, we had an entire unit on grains and they would learn all about the variety of grains in the world that we can eat. This one is pretty simple. I would describe orzo as pasta that looks like rice. You cook it like pasta, but it is tiny like rice. 

Orzo is a good source of carbohydrates, but you can get more fiber from this pasta by choosing orzo made with whole grain flour instead of white flour.

The Recipe…

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare your orzo according to the box. Once the orzo is done, rinse it in COLD water to stop the cooking process. Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Rinse your garbanzo beans in a colander, pat dry, and arrange on a baking sheet.
  4. Coat the beans in a drizzle of avocado oil. Then sprinkle the smoked paprika onto the beans.
  5. Bake the garbanzo beans for about 18-20 minutes. (If they pop, in the oven or when cooling, don’t freak out. It’s because they weren’t dry enough, you’ll do better next time.) Set aside when they are done.
  6. While they bake, prepare your vegetables according to the ingredients list and combine with your prepared orzo.
  7. Coat orzo and veggies with a drizzle of your favorite Greek salad dressing and a good squeeze of a lemon. Sprinkle in the feta cheese crumbles. 
  8. Refrigerate and top with the garbanzo beans when you are ready to eat!

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really measure any of the ingredients. BUT if I did, I would estimate what I wrote above. It’s really about preference. If you LOVE cucumbers and feta cheese like I do, load it up! And so on. That’s why this salad is so easy.

This batch gave me 3 really good servings, that I had for lunch 3 days in a row. I prepared it in the morning, so when lunch time arrived it was all ready to go and the flavors were able to marinate together for a bit.

***The beans. Once cooled store in a container. They will lose their crunch over time, but they will still taste delicious and give you the added protein.

Greek Dressing

I picked up this avocado oil Greek dressing, but I have made my own before with oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and Greek seasonings. This salad would be just as good with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and Greek oregano too! 

Why Add Beans?

I added garbanzo beans for protein and a delicious crunch. Garbanzo beans are pretty mild in flavor alone, and they get a nice crunch when you bake them. If you are a toddler Mama, and have a picky eater, give these a try! My toddler loves them for a snack!

And if you’re never going to make this recipe, at least try baking garbanzo beans coated in a smoked paprika…they are the best!

Prepare Ahead of Time

The best thing I did was make this Greek orzo pasta salad in advance. The flavors were able to marinate together, and it was super convenient to just pull it out of the refrigerator and eat it when I was dealing with a baby and a toddler at lunch time too.

The advantage to using kale in this recipe is that it will not get soggy over time like lettuce would. 

*Again, don’t refrigerate the baked garbanzo beans if you want them to be crunchy longer! I just store them in a container on the counter. 

If you made this, I would love to hear what you think!

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