Friday, August 21, 2020

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Spinach Orzo Salad with Chickpeas

A healthy and delicious salad that is perfect for warm 
weather days!

Everyone loves a good pasta salad, and everyone needs a few in their go-to recipes to make quickly for weekend cookouts, potlucks, family gatherings, and picnics.  This is one of those recipes!  Simple, quick, and very tasty.  This is why this is my 15th installment of my Summer Fresh Recipe Series.  We all need items that use fresh summer produce and are quick and easy to make.  


Today's pasta salad recipe highlights some great produce that makes this one extra fresh.   The pasta is kept on the small side by using orzo, then we add in some baby spinach, parsley, and green onions for texture and flavor, and then some wonderful grape tomatoes that are at their peak right now. The additional of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) add protein and give this salad a little more heartiness.  I've also included a great little dressing for you that's simple and quick and give some zip to the salad with the addition of some lemon and hot sauce.  

This is the perfect side dish because it goes with everything from grilled meats, burgers and hot dogs, to sandwiches.  This will hold up well in the heat since there is no dairy.  You can also prepare this ahead and just leave off the dressing until you are ready to serve.  It's best served at room temperature but any leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (if they last that long!). 

This salad was a complete hit and is definitely on my "repeat list" for side dishes this summer.  

Additional pasta salads you may enjoy:

Spinach Orzo Salad with Chickpeas

serves: 6

1 cup chicken broth, low sodium
3/4 cup orzo pasta
2 cup fresh baby spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes, havled
1 can (15oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 green onion, sliced

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
pinch garlic powder
a dash or hot pepper sauce
pinch pepper

In a medium saucepan bring broth to a boil.  Add the orzo, stir and return to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered.  Cook 8 minutes until al dente.  Drain if needed.

In a large bowl toss spinach and warm orzo, to allow spinach to wilt slightly.  Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley and green onions.

In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Toss with salad and serve at room temperature.  Leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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