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Super Easy Orzo And Chickpea Salad Recipes

October 17, 2020

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Whip up a quick meal or side dish in minutes with my Orzo Chickpea Pasta salad recipe.

And check out the chickpea salad recipe variation, too.

They're easy, cold crowd pleasers you'll be making all the time. 

Delicious Orzo Chickpea Pasta Salad Recipe Graphic


Cooking has never really been my thing.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I'm actually quite a good cook.

I just don't like it.

However, as we must eat, I must cook.

To get through it, I usually rely on old favorites, easy recipes, like my no boil lasagna.

Or my mom's eggplant pizziola.

They're quick recipes that don't require much prep or mess and everyone loves them.

Well, this past spring, when we were all tucked in and food delivery was tough and sporadic, old favorites were a little bit harder to whip up.

In fact, there were a few weeks, when I had to solely rely on what I had in the pantry. I needed to get creative.

Um...like when I had to make bread without yeast.

Surprisingly, most of the recipes I whipped up, were a hit and have become new menu staples. Including that bread. 

My orzo salad is another one of them.

It's literally one of those kitchen sink kind of recipes where I threw in whatever we had and it was wonderful.

My daughter was dreaming of a version she'd had at a restaurant a few weeks earlier and as luck would have it, I had just enough of the right stuff on hand to make up my own. Even the artichoke hearts. 

Amazing.

It's a perfect side dish, but hearty enough to eat on its own. Feel free to add cheese or tomatoes, whatever you have on hand.

Here's what I did.

Quick and Easy Orzo Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Box of Orzo Pasta

1 Can of Black Olives

2-3 Stalks of Celery

1 Can or Jar of Artichoke Hearts (and about 1 tablespoon of the juice)

1 Large Can of Chickpeas

1 Cucumber

Vinaigrette Dressing if desired

Directions:

I started by boiling water to cook the orzo. When water came to a rolling boil, I added the pasta and cooked it according to the box instructions.

When done, I drained it, rinsed it and put it in a large bowl.

Cooked Orzo In A  Red Bowl

While the orzo was cooking I prepared the rest of my ingredients.

I peeled the cucumber and chopped it up and I rinsed the celery and chopped it up, as well.

Cut Cucumbers

Then I popped them in with the pasta.

Chopping Celery

A few years ago, I picked up this clever cutting chopping tool.

I have to say it makes very easy work of this task.

I use it all the time for cutting potatoes and veggies, cheese and meat. It comes in very handy for stews and salads.

Clever Food Chopper

So this step went by quickly.

Next up, I opened the chickpeas and the artichoke hearts.

Rinsing Chickpeas in a white strainer

I rinsed them off and added them to the pasta bowl.

Rinsing Artichoke Hearts in a metal strainer

I saved a bit of the artichoke heart juice from the can and added just a teeny bit of it to the pasta salad for flavor.

Like a tablespoon or so.

Orzo Salad Ingredients

The olives were up next, open, rinse, slice and add.

When everything was in the bowl, I stirred it all up and then added a tiny bit of vinaigrette dressing for taste.

Brianna's Vinaigrette Dressing

My kids like it as a main dish. Sometimes they add tomatoes. 

Orzo Salad Recipe

My husband likes it as a side.

Orzo Salad Side Dish on a plate with chicken

Either way, it makes a lot, so everyone can have it as they please for lunch and dinner for a few days.

It's such an easy recipe and as I said, you can make it with whatever you have on hand...just like my quiche recipes

For example, we've made the same meal without the orzo, when the store ran out. 

Then it just becomes Chickpea Salad.

Same basic ingredients and it's even quicker to whip up, since you don't need to cook the pasta. 

Chickpea Salad Ingredients

Just open the cans and toss everything together. I think I like this recipe best of all.

And it's perfect if you're not into the pasta part or you're watching your carbs.

Chickpea Salad Recipe

Needless to say, artichoke hearts have become a staple on my shopping list.

Which is funny, because I'd never cooked with them before.

The jar we had in the pantry was included in an Italian food gift basket we received some time ago.

I should probably look in that food closet more often.

Who knows what other inspiring treat could be hiding in there.

What's in your pantry?

  1. That sounds really good and I usually have all of those ingredients on hand. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You sound like an adventurous chef, Penny! Well stocked!

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  2. Yes, Kim your salad does look good and perfect for lunch, dinner, or a side dish. I love getting creative like that with making a salad. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will give this a try.

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    1. It was a happy little experiment, Julie! I’m sure it will be on the menu a lot more around here.

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  3. What no Greek olives to go with that Greek pasta? Haha. I love orzo Kim. It is truly one of my favorite pastas and I eat it with lamb roasted in the oven. Truly something to behold. Going to try out your recipe soon as I need some healthy food to eat.

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    1. I love Greek olives, Mary, but my stomach does not! And your dish sounds lovely, reminds me of dinners at home with my Albanian family. Lamb was always on the menu.

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  4. I've never tried orzo, but I can see I need to pick some up! And, how did I miss that bread recipe? Yum!

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    1. I'd never eaten orzo before either, Mari. I was prompted by my daughter to pick up a box earlier this year. Now it's become a staple.

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  5. This sounds like a wonderfully easy recipe! I don't have any orzo pasta or artichoke hearts, but you've inspired me, I want to try this recipe :)

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    1. It’s so funny, Marilyn, I’d never had those items in the pantry before either.

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  6. Hello Kim,
    Your salad does look good, many thanks for sharing the recipe here.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks so much, Jan. It was a happy accident.

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  7. I haven't had an orzo pasta salad in awhile - it makes a good alternative to regular pasta! I can't use chickpeas/garbanzo beans in my salads though as they tear up my stomach and I can't digest them. The only legume I can safely eat in a small quantity is black beans. My mom is the same way and so are several other people in our family. Anyway, I like these types of salads because you can sub whatever you want! I love artichoke hearts in pasta salads; they go great in a Mediterranean type salad, too if you wanted to add a little feta cheese, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon, oregano and red wine vinegar.

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    1. I'm with you, Melanie, beans aren't always as much friend as they are foe for me. I do better with them, when they're cooked. And yes, substitutions are definitely an option with this type of recipe. So add or subtract as you please.

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  8. Hi Kim,
    yum yum! So many of my favorite things in the recipe. I love artichokes. :-)

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    1. I can't believe my kids liked them so much! That was a nice surprise.

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  9. It's always interesting to me to see how people in different parts of the country eat so differently. I hope I don't hurt your feelings, but this chickpea dish doesn't sound like something I would like:) Many years ago my husband and I had to be in San Francisco for two weeks and I thought we would starve! We just didn't care for the kind of food that was available around us. In fact, one night we road miles and miles on the trolley to get to a Kentucky Fried Chicken!!! Can't say I'm wild about cooking after doing it for so many years, but we southerners do love to eat our down-home cooking:)

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    1. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, Cheri, and I'm sure you're not alone. Frankly, I'd take fried chicken over a salad any day of the week. Well, as long as I didn't have to cook it. I remember the days of leaning over the deep fryer for my mom. Salads are way more my speed!

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  10. At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, but I'd never even heard of ozra until I read this bit of yumminess. Now I'm on a mission to find some on our shelves here in SA.

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    1. It was a not a staple growing up in my very Italian household. I'd only recently discovered it, too. My kids were the ones who brought it to my attention. Now we all love it!

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