Hello, it’s been a while. I’m back today with a quick and easy recipe, one of our favourites, Orzo Pasta Salad! But hang on, where have you been I hear you ask? Well, I decided to take some time off over the summer and have a little break from blogging. The weather here has been amazing and as soon as my girl finished school that was it, I wanted to spend my days outside and not on my laptop. The break was so good and now I feel rested, restored and energised, I’m ready to get back in the
saddle kitchen. I didn’t completely switch off from the blog though, we have been working on a shiny new design and I have been working on some new recipes too, vegetarian recipes in fact!
Yes you did read that right, it’s been a long time coming for me, 13 years after giving up on being a veggie I have decided to jump back on the veggie wagon, and my lovely family are joining me! They’ve not been bribed or coerced, it’s just something we all agree on and the time is right for us to do it. So from now on The Last Food Blog will be a vegetarian blog. I know some of you are only here for the meat and I will leave those recipes on the site so you can still access them. However, as more and more people are choosing to eat less meat I hope that even my meat eating readers will be inspired by our favourite vegetarian recipes.
Vegetarian recipes have been my most favourite recipes to make, creating tasty veggie meals for my family is where I feel most inspired and have the most fun with. I really feel that this is the direction I need to go in and I hope you will come along with me for the ride. If you have any questions please do drop me an email or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think of the new design too!
So now, this orzo pasta salad, it’s one of our favourite recipes, especially as a pack up lunch, and I have been making this for some time now. It’s been a lifesaver for me this summer, especially on long road trips when it’s hard to buy decent convenient veggie food. This orzo pasta salad is also really great for back to school lunches and is a big hit with my daughter. It’s quick and easy to make and can be made the night before to save even more time.
You can mix this up a little, play around with ingredients if you like there are no rules. We sometimes change the cherry tomatoes for sundried tomatoes or add some chopped courgette if we feel like more veg. The pine nuts are optional but I really like the toasty flavour they add to this pasta salad. Feta works best here but a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese grated over the pasta works well too if you don’t like feta.
This Orzo Pasta Salad Is:
- Quick and easy to make, it’s ready in under 30 minutes
- Vegetarian and can easily be vegan-ised, see recipe notes
- Can be made the night before
- Under around 300 calories per portion
- Perfect for back to school lunches or pack up work lunches
- Filling, it will keep you satisfied until dinner
Orzo Pasta Salad
- 180 g orzo (dry weight)
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 small red onion (80g) finely chopped
- 12 kalamata olives pitted and sliced
- 100 g feta cut into small cubes
- 150 g cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
- The juice of half a lemon
- 2 1/2 heaped tbsp vegetarian green pesto
- Black pepper and sea salt to season
- A small handful of fresh basil chopped
- Cook the orzo according to the packet. Once cooked, drain then stir in 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil and leave the pasta to cool.
- Once the pasta has cooled stir in the pesto, lemon juice and the remaining oil. Mix well, until all the orzo is coated in the pesto.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Season with cracked black pepper and sea salt.
- Calories listed are approximate
- This can be made a day ahead, just store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Need to make this gluten-free? Use your favourite gluten-free pasta, small shape pasta is best.
- Want to make this vegan? Skip the feta, sub in some more veggies courgette works well and use your favourite vegan pesto.
- When cherry tomatoes are not in season swap them for about 6 or 7 sundried tomatoes from the deli. Cut them into thin strips then add them with the rest of the ingredients.
- Can't get your hands on some orzo? Any small pasta will work here, conchiglie or anelli would be fine.
- Not all feta is vegetarian, please check the label before you buy.
7 Tasty Vegetarian Recipes That Are Perfect For Pack Up Lunches:
- Quinoa Lentil Salad with Tomatoes
- Avocado Quinoa Salad with Spiced Chickpeas
- Taco Salad
- Mexican Bean Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Falafel Wraps with Minty Yoghurt Sauce
- Kale, Orange, Beet and Quinoa Salad
If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious food.