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NJBC Eats: Orzo Summer Salad

By Alana Weisman | July 8, 2022

Salads made with the traditional lettuce and tomato can get monotonous after a while so I decided to create my own version of an Orzo Summer Salad.

What I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can add in any of your favorite veggies – bell peppers, cucumbers or whatever you have available. This recipe even works great for meal prep as nothing gets soggy. You can prepare this salad the night before and bring it to work with whatever extra protein you’d like such as grilled chicken or chicken sausage. 

I typically like to serve it as a side dish at a BBQ or even as the main course if I add extra protein – chicken, shrimp or extra chickpeas. If you want to keep it vegetarian, load it up with a variety of beans, or add in some grilled tofu.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. 

Serves: 9
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7-10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Orzo pasta, uncooked
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 4 oz olives
  • 1 can chickpeas 
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp basil (fresh or dried)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup feta cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan bring water to a boil. Add orzo noodles and cook for about ten minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, dice cucumber, bell pepper and olives. Strain and rinse can of chickpeas. Add ingredients to a large bowl.
  3. Strain orzo and add to the bowl with the veggies. 
  4. Top with olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta cheese and mix well. 
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Alana Weisman, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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