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Overhead shot of orzo salad in a bowl topped with roasted tomatoes

Spinach Orzo Pasta Salad

The perfect side dish for any picnic, cookout or potluck, this spinach orzo pasta salad is easy to make and full of fresh and bold flavors.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Betty Davies


  • 12 cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper added to taste
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 4 ounces baby spinach leaves


  • Pre heat the oven to 390F / 220c.
  • Place the tomatoes on a parchment lined tin, drizzle with a little oil and roast for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Place to one side.
  • Add the oil, basil, sugar and lemon juice to a blender. Blend on high speed until well mixed.
  • Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions; cook in salted boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • While the pasta is cooking, roughly chop the baby spinach.
  • Drain the spinach and transfer to a large bowl. Stir the spinach in straight away so that the pasta is still warm and the spinach wilts a little.
  • Pour over the basil oil and stir until combined.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes before serving with the roasted tomatoes.


  • Don't overcook the orzo. Orzo has a quick cooking time, around 8 minutes, and as with all pastas it should be cooked al dente.
  • Stir in the spinach while the pasta is still hot. The heat will cause the spinach to wilt and become tender.
  • Taste for seasoning before serving and adjust if needed.
  • Let the pasta sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will help the flavors develop and meld together.


Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1290IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg