White Bean and Orzo Kale Salad


Last Updated on February 2, 2023

Elevate your salad game with this simple white bean and orzo kale salad. It’s packed with flavor and feel-good ingredients. It can even be made a few days in advance for an easy meal prep!

kale salad

White bean orzo kale salad

We’re team no boring salads in the something nutritious household, and kale salads are my of my absolute favorite salads to prep. They stay fresh for a few days, and go well with just about any flavor combination.

This simple white bean and orzo kale salad is not only nourishing, but loaded with ingredients that will help keep you satisfied and feeling your best.

orzo kale salad

The kale is massaged in a simple lemon dijon dressing, then tossed together with canned cannellini beans, cooked orzo, olives, pumpkin seeds, and grated cheese.

Massaging the kale with the dressing, ideally with your hands, is KEY to a good kale salad. It helps break down the fibers, making it easier to chew and digest.

The flavors work so well together, and make for the perfect satisfying salads. You know, like the kind you get at a restaurant and spend $16 on.

How to build a satisfying salad

The key to any good salad is variety. Incorporating a combination of fiber, fats and protein will create a salad thats not only nourishing, but one that is filling.

Here’s my formula for building a nourishing salad-

  1. Choose a base of greens– kale is typically my main choice for a salad base because it absorbs flavors so well, and will still stay fresh in the fridge for a couple of days
  2. Add a protein– protein is one of the foods that will help keep you full, so its essential when prepping a salad that can serve as a main dish. The cannellini beans and grated cheese add the protein to this salad, but it can also be served with an additional source, like salmon or tofu
  3. Add a carb– the orzo adds a simple and delicious carb to this salad
  4. Add a crunch– seeds and nuts are a staple in my salads for an added crunch and boost of fat
  5. Choose your dressing– I always say a salad is as good as its dressing. Whether its homemade or store-bought, choose one that enjoyable to you
White Bean and Orzo Kale Salad

This kale salad is delicious on its own for a light meal, but you can serve it with an additional protein source, like baked salmon or crispy tofu, for more fo a complete meal.

You guys are going to love this delicious salad! It’s so simple, but so delicious 🙂

What to serve with your orzo kale salad:

Honey Za’atar Salmon

Lemon Pepper Tofu

BBQ Spiced Salmon

Lemon Butter Fish

White Bean and Orzo Kale Salad

5 from 2 votes
Course: Salads


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 cup 1 dry orzo

  • 2 cups 2 water or vegetable broth

  • 2 tsp 2 olive oil

  • 1 can 1 cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)

  • 6 6 -8 oz chopped kale, about 5-6 cups

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 grated cheese, like parmesan or asiago

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 toasted pumpkin seeds

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 sliced olives (optional)

  • Lemon Dijon Dressing
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 olive oil

  • 1 tbsp 1 dijon mustard

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tsp 1 lemon zest

  • 2 cloves 2 garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 salt

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 black pepper


  • Add the oil to a pot over low-medium heat. Add in the uncooked orzo, and stir continuously until the pasta is lightly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the water, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about bout 15-18 minutes. Once done, drain out any excess liquid.
  • While that cooks, combine the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add the kale to a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing over it. Massage the dressing into the kale- I like to use my hands or tongs to incorporate the dressing well- it will help soften the kale making it easier to chew and digest.
  • Once the orzo is ready, add it to the kale along with the cannellini beans, grated cheese, olives and toasted pumpkin seeds. Toss together to combine and enjoy!
  • Leftovers will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Did you make this recipe?

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


  1. Niveen Asheikh


  2. This was seriously one of the best salads I’ve ever had!! Going to make it a staple, thank you

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