Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a meal that was worthy of trying to remake at home. If your hand isn’t up then where the heck are you eating? Kidding!
For many, grocery shopping is a chore, but for me, it’s a chore that I love. Well at least when it means going to Trader Joe’s. One of the many reasons I love Trader Joe’s is for their pre-made salads and salad kits. They have so many good ones worth trying. I’ll have to write a post all about my love for Trader Joe’s someday, but today I need to share this copycat Mediterranean Orzo Spinach Salad recipe with you!
It was just recently that I started buying their pre-made Mediterranean Orzo salad, but it instantly became a regular item on my shopping list. The main reason I wanted to recreate this salad is because I wanted to eat it for more than one day. The main difference between my version and Trader Joe’s is the sun dried tomatoes versus fresh cherry tomatoes. I used fresh tomatoes from my garden, but I love sun dried tomatoes and will use them when I don’t already have fresh produce on hand.
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a short cut pasta that resembles a grain of rice. It’s often used for pasta salads or soups!
What do I serve with this Mediterranean Orzo Spinach Salad?
The recipe made below is vegetarian, but feel free to add grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon to make this more of a main course if you wish.
This salad makes a perfectly good side dish to serve alongside any of your favorite Mediterranean dishes. It would be delicious with Kabobs, grilled chicken or even salmon. The Mediterranean Dish has a lot of great recipes that would pair really nicely with this salad. The possibilities are endless!
Can I make this salad in advance?
Yes! In fact I suggest that you make it an hour or two before serving to allow the Orzo to absorb all of the delicious flavors.
One thing to note: if you plan on making this recipe ahead of time, hold off on adding the spinach until right before serving. This will ensure your spinach doesn’t get soggy from the Orzo mixture.
When I eventually go back into the office, this salad will for sure be on my meal prep rotation for lunches!
Additional topping suggestions:
Some other toppings you could choose for your salad are:
- Banana Peppers
- Different variety of olives (black, stuffed,
- Swap cherry tomatoes for sun dried tomatoes – YUM!
Mediterranean Orzo Spinach Salad
- 1 cup orzo uncooked
- ¼ cup pasta water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup red onion chopped
- ¼ cup kalamata olives halved
- cherry tomatoes quartered
- feta cheese crumbles
- ⅔ cup Spinach (per person) chopped, right before serving
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- Boil a medium pot of water and cook orzo according to package. Resever ¼ cup pasta water. Drain and rinse orzo with cold water. Pour into a medium sized bowl.
- Add pasta water, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat orzo.
- Add red onion, olives, tomatoes, and feta. Stir to combine.
- Right before serving, chop ⅔ cups of spinach per person. Place spinach in the bottom of a bowl. Top with orzo mixture.
- To serve, add some extra feta cheese and fresh organo for garnish.
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I’d love to hear from you once you get the chance to make this recipe. Leave a comment below with your review or any modifications you made! And don’t forget to tag @rightbackspatula on Instagram if you take any pictures!