Pasta salad is the dish of our summer. It’s an easy way to throw fresh veggies into a bowl, add some carbs, and then have a ready-to-eat meal for lunch, dinner, and sometimes breakfast.
And Greek salads are the absolute best. Fresh crunchy vegetables like red onions and cucumbers, plus ripe tomatoes, zesty lemons, and so many more add-ins. Over fresh spinach with a balsamic dressing is usually my go-to choice, but what about making it into more of a pasta salad?
After finding an amazing chickpea and red lentil orzo pasta at Trader Joe’s, I instantly envisioned a delicious, fresh, gluten-free, vegan summery meal with a Greek salad as my inspiration.
The orzo added in some extra carbs perfect for either before or after my daily runs while training for a trail race, while the vegetables were items that we already had on hand leftover from other recipes. It’s a grain-free pasta full of protein and nutrients, but it’s still light and fresh enough to enjoy on a hot summer evening.
This recipe is also easy to make in large batches, so you always have an easy lunch in between working or running errands. And it honestly tastes better as leftovers after it sits in the fridge because all of the flavors have soaked into the vegetables.
Lastly, it’s easy to make this recipe your own. Add in anything from roasted chickpeas, fresh basil, quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, that tiny bit of dressing you have left in the fridge, or even vegan feta cheese. Top with crunchies like pita chips, pepitas, or homemade croutons. Toss in extras to add to the flavors and textures that are already present.
I made it into a little buffet style charcuterie board, so that Nic could have some salami in his bowl, while I could top mine with roasted chickpeas and cucumbers. It’s so beautiful and colorful, so it’s easy to put on a display and show off the recipe.
Description: Vegan Greek Chickpea Orzo Salad
Diet: Plant- Based, Vegan, Nut-Free, Dairy- Free, Gluten-Free
Ways to make low-waste: buy fresh bulk veggies, buy bulk olive oil, use leftover vegetables
Recipes makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup kalamata olives
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 can of artichoke hearts
1/2 small red onion
handful of spinach
1 package of Trader Joe’s Chickpea and Red Lentil Risoni (Orzo)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Cook orzo according to package instructions
Dice cucumbers, onions and tomatoes, slice olives, and chiffonade spinach
Combine vegetables and cooled cooked orzo in large bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar
Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over bowl
Optional: add in homemade roasted chickpeas and/or vegan Feta cheese for extra flavors and proteins.
Serve with fresh fruit, and some dry white wine or KYLA Sunset Trio Hard Kombucha
Your full-time plant eater and orzo salad eater,