Greek Orzo Summer Salad

Recipe posted in: Flex™ Meals & Snacks, Healthy Sides & Snacks, Lunches & Dinners
The Leaf orzo Greek salad recipe

Forget boring pasta salad, coleslaw and potato salad this beach season! If you’re looking for the perfect summer side dish to take to a cookout, party or barbecue, our Greek Orzo Summer Salad is your answer! Featuring seasonal summer veggies, whole wheat orzo and freshly chopped herbs, this light and healthy Greek orzo recipe is the perfect crisp and refreshing dish to keep you cool. Plus, you can easily turn it into a full on Flex meal by topping it with grilled chicken, cooked shrimp or baked tofu!

If you’ve already tried out orzo in our Fall Pasta Salad recipe, you know that it’s pretty much just a fancy, rice-shaped pasta. Now you can enjoy this unique ingredient all year round with our summer-inspired twist! This small little noodle can transform any boring recipe into a gourmet creation. It’s made from the same ingredients as most pasta and tends to cook faster due to the smaller size. A fancy pasta replacement that is easier to make and tastes just as delicious? Count us in! Making this one simple swap in your favorite recipes can make it look like you spent a little extra time putting your meal together (even though you didn’t!).

The hardest part about this easy recipe is cooking the whole wheat orzo. Be sure to closely follow the package’s directions to avoid overcooking this main ingredient. As we just mentioned, it is smaller than other pastas and can easily get too soft or mushy if you cook it for too long. Once it’s ready, the rest of the recipe is a breeze!

Simply dice up some cucumber, red onion and red bell pepper. Next, chop up some fresh parsley and mint. Finally, add it all to a large bowl with your cooked whole wheat orzo and crumble on some feta cheese. Now that your salad is almost ready, it’s time to load on the flavor!

We put together a quick and easy salad dressing to drizzle over this summertime orzo salad. It only requires three ingredients that you probably already have on hand! You will need the juice and zest of one lemon, olive oil and black pepper. That’s it! Of course, like all of our recipes, you can always feel free to add Free Foods like spices and herbs to add more flavor. If you’re on our Nutrisystem plan, you’re probably looking for delicious ways to get in your four required servings of Vegetables. This simple salad dressing is the perfect way to dress up dark leafy greens and other non-starchy veggies. Write down this simple recipe so that you can always whip up a healthy salad dressing on the fly!

Do you crave making salads all year round? Then you have to check out these three simple and healthy salad dressing recipes you’ll surely love!

Healthy Hacks: Want to pump up the flavor in this chilled salad recipe? Cook up your orzo in a low sodium broth! This will infuse the pasta with savory flavor, while keeping the dish low in calories. You can use chicken, beef or vegetable broth, just make sure to choose a low or reduced sodium option. Broth is considered an unlimited Free Food on Nutrisystem. You can also add more Free Foods to the recipe by incorporating more fresh herbs and spices. Throw in some garlic powder, oregano or even some cayenne or chili powder for a spicy kick. Explore our extended Grocery Guide and learn more about Free Foods right here! >

One serving of this Greek Orzo Summer Salad contains 276 calories. You can log it into your NuMi journal as one SmartCarb, half of a PowerFuel, one Extra and one Vegetable. If you’d like to turn this recipe into a complete Flex meal, you can add another PowerFuel or two into the mix. The mild flavor and versatile ingredients of this salad can handle pretty much any protein that you enjoy. Whether you like grilled steak, rotisserie chicken or plant-based sausage, you can easily transform this Greek salad into a homemade feast. Want to pump up the fiber? Throw in another SmartCarb, such as chickpeas, white beans or chopped sweet potatoes. Brush up on your PowerFuel and SmartCarb knowledge here! >

Throw a summer party filled with Mediterranean-inspired appetizers and sides! The healthy recipe section here on The Leaf has many fresh and fun options that are tasty, easy and weight loss-approved. Check out the list below for some delicious ideas:

Still hungry? We’re still here for you! Our nutrition experts and recipe developers have created 20 nutritious and delicious salad recipes that are perfect for your summer menu. Some are sweet, some are savory and some are a little of both! Click the link below to take a look at this fresh recipe round-up. And don’t forget to bookmark the article so that you always have healthy salad ideas at the ready with just one simple click.

20 Easy Summer Salad Recipes for Weight Loss

Read More

We know life is busy and it can be hard to cook up healthy meals every day. Nutrisystem takes the meal prep out of your meal plan! Head on over to our a la carte store and stock up on properly portioned entrees for your weight loss diet. If you’re craving summer flavors and seasonal veggies, our Mediterranean Style Veggie & Grain Blend is plant-based perfection! Explore our menu and enjoy an easy, breezy summer that’s filled with deliciousness.

If you love to get creative in the kitchen, we want to hear your ideas! Whether you’ve come up with your own healthy pasta salad or a hot and hearty dinner, you can submit your recipe on our Recipe Submission page. Share the love with the Nutrisystem community and get the chance to have your recipe featured right here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog! Click here to learn more about this new feature. >

Lose weight eating healthy food delivered directly to your door! Learn more about the Nutrisystem meal delivery service or shop our menu a la carte. >

Servings: 2

Calories per Serving: 276

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, ½ PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo, cooked
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup parsley fresh, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Dressing
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss to coat.