This dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next potluck, family gathering, or barbecue.
Wondering what dish to bring to your next party, or simply looking to add a new recipe to your dinner lineup? It's time to swap out some of your soup recipes for chilled dishes, and we've got you covered with this orzo caprese pasta salad. (See also: 12 Pasta Recipes Under 500 Calories)
This pasta salad is a fun, flavorful twist on a traditional caprese salad and comes together quickly. In fact, it can be whipped up in 20 minutes or less! It includes all the stars of a typical caprese salad—mozzarella, tomato, and basil—and combines them with orzo pasta and a light, fresh dressing of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and white balsamic. Throw some toasted pine nuts into the mix for some crunch, along with some nutrient-packed baby spinach, and you're ready to go.
This dish can be made ahead of time, and leftovers keep well in the fridge for an easy lunch or dinner later in the week.
Orzo Caprese Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts & Spinach
Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 lb orzo pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 cup packed baby spinach
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
- Cook the pasta al dente according to directions.
- Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes, cube the mozzarella, and roughly chop the spinach and basil. Place everything in a large bowl.
- Toast the pine nuts until they're lightly browned, then add them to the bowl.
- Once the pasta is done cooking, strain and rinse it with cold water until the pasta is cooled. Transfer the pasta into the large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic, and lemon juice together. Drizzle it over the orzo, and add in the salt and pepper. Toss everything to combine well. If you'd like, add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
Nutrition stats per 1/6 of recipe: 470 calories, 16g fat, 6g saturated fat, 62g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, 22g protein