Orzo Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette


Last Updated on February 14, 2023

A simple orzo kale salad with lemon vinaigrette topped with parmesan, pumpkin seeds, and marinated olives. It’s the perfect weeknight meal!

orzo kale salad

Orzo Kale Salad

Orzo is one of my favorite pasta varieties to add into salads. It adds a heartiness to the dish that can take your salad from a light side dish to a meal.

This orzo kale salad comes together so easily, and is tossed in a zesty lemon vinaigrette. It’s a great make ahead option for lunch during the week. Just pair it with your favorite protein for a complete meal!

orzo kale salad

The salad base is made of kale and spinach, then topped with cooked orzo, pumpkin seeds, marinated olives, and shaved parmesan cheese. The ingredients are minimal, but the flavor definitely isn’t.

You can even add your favorite canned beans to this salad for a boost of plant-based protein.

What you’ll need for this orzo salad

I always try to keep it simple with my recipes, and this one is no exception. Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious salad:

  • Orzo– orzo pasta is the perfect size and shape for a chopped salad
  • Kale & spinach– for a base of greens & micronutrients
  • Marinated olives– you can use your favorite olive variety. I love a mix of marinated olives for added flavor
  • Pumpkin seeds- for an added crunch
  • Shaved parmesan cheese, or swap your favorite cheese
  • Zesty lemon vinaigrette
  • Optional add-ins: chickpeas, cannellini beans, or kidney beans

Toss everything together in one big bowl, and you have yourself a fresh and delicious salad. When serving, I love to top my bowl with some extra lemon zest and shaved parmesan.

Serve it cold, warm or at room temperature!

Preparing the orzo

I suggest cooking the orzo al dente for best texture, and letting it cool completely before mixing it into the salad. The orzo can be prepared in advance to save time, and the salad can be kept refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Pair this salad with your favorite protein for a fresh & delicious weeknight dinner. You guys are going to love!

What to serve with your orzo salad:

Walnut Lentil Veggie Burgers

Salmon in Parchment (Salmon en Papillote)

Walnut & Pistachio Crusted Flounder

Orzo Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

5 from 3 votes
Course: Main


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 cup 1 dry orzo

  • 2 2 packed cups of spinach, chopped

  • 2 2 packed cups of kale, chopped

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 shaved parmesan

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 pumpkin seeds

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 marinated olives, sliced

  • Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 olive oil

  • Juice from 1 lemon, about 3 tbsp

  • 1 tsp 1 lemon zest

  • 1 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1 tsp 1 honey

  • 1 tsp 1 dijon mustard

  • Salt & pepper


  • Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil then add in the orzo. Cook for about 8-12 minutes, then drain the water and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • To a large salad bowl add in the chopped greens, orzo, pumpkin seeds, olives and parmesan.
  • Combine the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and whisk together. Pour over the salad and mix everything well. Adjust the salt & pepper if needed
  • Top with extra pumpkin seeds and shaved parmesan when serving.
  • Leftovers can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can serve this cold, warm, or at room temperature.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!

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