Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

For the past 27 hours or so (not that I was counting) we have been without internet.  I mean, what is a girl to do when the internet is down, she is snowed in and her phone doesn’t work without wi-fi in the house?

Well, this girl cooks and bakes.  Paul kept saying “well, maybe this is a sign that you need to slow down.”  Um…not really. I just had to improvise.  No looking up recipes online; instead, I dug through my cookbooks.  No Instagramming; instead I just took random shots with my phone (which I’ll share a little later today.)  No Facebook; and truthfully – I didn’t miss it. 

All-in-all, an internet-less, data-free cold, snowy day proved itself to be quite productive around here.  I have lots of fun stuff to share with you in the coming weeks and found out that I could really, really, really use a phone/internet-free day more often.

So this orzo pasta salad – another of my quick lunch ideas with TONS of flavor – Greek flavors, that is.  Spinach, feta, olives, banana peppers, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, you get the idea…

So flavorful, so simple and sure to please a crowd for a simple side dish or quick weekday lunch!

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

PrintPrint Recipe

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Yield: 4 as a main dish; 6 as a side

Total Time: 25 min

A simple orzo pasta salad with Greek flavors - tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, banana peppers, spinach and herbs. Perfect for a simple lunch or side dish.


1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 mushrooms, roughly diced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 can (2.25 ounce) sliced black olives
2 Tbs. banana peppers, chopped
2 Tbs. lemon juice (about half a lemon)
2 cups baby spinach, packed
2 Tbs. pesto (store-bought)
1/4 cup feta cheese + more for garnish


Cook the orzo according to package directions.

While the orzo cooks, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat until the onion begins to soften. Add the mushrooms, oregano and thyme and stir, cook another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are softened.

Add the tomatoes, olives, banana peppers, lemon juice and stir, and add the spinach. Continue to cook until the spinach wilts and then add the pesto and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper and add the cooked orzo. Serve with additional feta for garnish.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cassie's Notes:
If you don't like an ingredient included, feel free to swap it out for more of something else you like. Try some slivered almonds, additional veggies or add some chicken or fish.

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad


42 Responses to “Greek Orzo Pasta Salad”

  1. #
    Suzan @ The Lazy Suzan — February 27, 2013 @ 7:29 am

    This sounds amaaaaazing!

  2. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — February 27, 2013 @ 7:43 am

    If disconnected internet equals a meal this yummy, I might just cut myself off from technology on purpose. This looks great Cassie. Can’t wait to see what else you came up with while the blizzard roared! Stay safe; I know you guys are getting round II.

  3. #
    Kristi Rimkus — February 27, 2013 @ 7:55 am

    I bet you would get a lot done without all the internet distractions. In fact, I think it sounds like a good idea to go communication free for a day. I might just try that. Maybe I’ll be able to whip up a delicious looking salad too. 🙂

  4. #
    Amanda — February 27, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    I would go crazy without power. I am that lame. Looks to me like you handled it beautifully! 🙂

  5. #
    Audra | The Baker Chick — February 27, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    yum! I love Orzo pasta salads- especially when feta is involved.

    Sounds like technology free was amazing for you- I’m gonna have to try that one day! (maybe)

  6. #
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — February 27, 2013 @ 8:34 am

    It’s hard to beat this classic combo, and I love how you made everything so perfectly bite-size. What a perfect pasta salad for spring!

  7. #
    Sandy @ RE — February 27, 2013 @ 8:35 am

    Cassie, I’d love this for lunch today! I love Orzo pasta. Love the combinations here, girl! Have a lovely day!

  8. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — February 27, 2013 @ 8:35 am

    This looks incredible and so worth switching off the internet for a bowl! 🙂

  9. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Montain — February 27, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    I seriously can’t believe how much snow Kansas/Missouri has gotten!! Crazy! Thankfully, you have these pasta salad bowls to keep you distracted! Looks delish!

  10. #
    Joann@The Italian Next Door — February 27, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    This looks so good Cassie! Love all the ingredients! Great lunch idea!

  11. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — February 27, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    I can’t imagine!

    But I can imagine this food in my face.

  12. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — February 27, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    I love days that I don’t touch my phone for any social media and just have a family day! So glad you got a day of cooking in with no distraction.

  13. #
    Christine (Cook the Story) — February 27, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    Without internet for a whole day??? Why??? (To be honest, I love the idea of going internet-less for a day. We bloggers should organize an internet-free day followed by a show-and-tell of all that we got done! lol). But really, if the result is delicious food like this pasta salad, then I guess all is good. This makes me wish it was lunchtime already. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — February 27, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    An internet-free day kinda sounds magical. So does this pasta. YUM-ness!

  15. #
    Julie — February 27, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    This has inspired me to try to have an unplugged day this weekend!

  16. #
    sarah k @ the pajama chef — February 27, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    this sounds delightful! i love the internet but also enjoy a day off (though i do go a little crazy if it’s not self-imposed) 🙂

  17. #
    Tracey — February 27, 2013 @ 10:32 am

    I always talk about taking a break from the internet for a day but am rarely ever able to follow through. Sounds like yours was lovely! And this salad is just the kind of lunch I’m craving today 🙂

  18. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — February 27, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    I love orzo salad and I love those bowls!

  19. #
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — February 27, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    This pasta is gorgeous! I love orzo!

  20. #
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — February 27, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    This looks deeeeelish Cassie. I love orzo. Love it. Great recipe.

  21. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — February 27, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    I love orzo but don’t cook with it nearly enough.

  22. #
    Aggie — February 27, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    What a beautiful orzo salad – I absolutely love orzo!

    I am so much more productive on those kind of days. Makes you realize what life used to be like ‘back in the day’! 🙂

  23. #
    Kathryn — February 27, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    I’d love this salad for lunch – such a tasty combination of ingredients.

  24. #
    Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry — February 27, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    What a great recipe to mix up my lunch routine of a peanut butter sandwich! Healthier too.

  25. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — February 27, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

    Our cells don’t work at home either, just kills my teenagers! I am so attached to the internet and would get more done if my went out for part of the day every day! Love this salad, it looks so wonderful.

  26. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — February 27, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    i love greek orzo pasta salad! it’s so easy to make and so versatile cause you can add anything you want to it 🙂 stay warm!

  27. #
    Jess — February 27, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

    Orzo pasta is one of my all time favorites. I used to ask for it for my birthday dinner as a kid – something about that little shape makes it so fun and comforting. I’m intrigued by the banana peppers, and bet the crunch is delicious! Sadly, none of those here, but would still love this for lunch!

  28. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — February 27, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    What gorgeous photos! I love all the flavors in this pasta salad.

  29. #
    Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine — February 28, 2013 @ 12:37 am

    No electricity! You sure did use your time well thou! This looks great Cassie!

  30. #
    Jamie — February 28, 2013 @ 7:32 am

    Our internet was down for a day a few weeks ago and I kinda enjoyed it too! This pasta salad looks great. Makes me long for summer!

  31. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — February 28, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    Orzo pasta is so fun to make. Love your Greek version, Cassie!

  32. #
    natalie@thesweetslife — February 28, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    I think I need to be FORCED to have an internet-free day because I need one and yet it’s too hard to impose upon myself 🙂

  33. #
    Tara @ Unsophisticook — February 28, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

    Love a good pasta salad — and this looks like a great one!

  34. #
    Kiran @ — February 28, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

    I’ve been without Internet and it’s so wonderful. It’s amazing how much we get things done!!

    Love this salad — looks so comforting!

  35. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — February 28, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    I wish I could come to lunch at your house! My lunches are never as good 🙁

  36. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — February 28, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    I totally hear your frustration, but sometimes being without technology is the biggest blessing…and I wish I could do it more often! Beautiful orzo salad, Cassie!

  37. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — March 1, 2013 @ 12:43 am

    Sometimes it’s refreshing to get away from all that technology! Glad you made it work with this awesome pasta salad. It’s hitting 11PM but I sure could use this as a second dinner!

  38. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — March 1, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    Orzo is one of my favorite pasta shapes and you have paired it with some of my favorite flavors! YUM!

  39. #
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — March 1, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    I am so lost without internet, but it looks like you made the best of it. This looks so good!

  40. #
    Shaina — March 5, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    Love, love, love orzo. Hate, hate, hate when the internet is out.

  41. #
    volcano vaporizer — July 3, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a
    quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out
    there. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!

  42. #
    Peter @ Feed Your Soul Too — July 4, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

    I googled looking for a Greek Orzo salad and I found your recipe. I liked the addition of the lemon juice for the Greek flavors.

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