RSS     Pinterest     Google+     Facebook     Twitter

Spinach and Orzo Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

by Aggies Kitchen on January 24, 2010

Spinach and Orzo Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

I’m in love with this salad.  Actually, I started out being in love with Jamie’s Spinach Salad recipe that I found on allrecipes.com, but after making it 3 or 4 times I wanted to turn into something a little more.  The kids and I were heading over to a friend’s house for a playdate with their classmates and their mommies and I wanted to bring over something healthy and yummy for the mommies to munch on for lunch.  I love using orzo in pasta salads, especially whole wheat orzo.  It has a nice punch of protein (7g) and fiber (9g) already in the pasta and turns the salad into more of a meal in itself.

The recipe for the dressing makes a good amount, so I’ve been actually keeping it in the fridge to dress pretty much anything and everything from leftover black beans and quinoa to a Spicy Slaw Salad that I’ll be posting later this week.  Enjoy!

Spinach and Orzo Salad with Cranberries and Almonds

Spinach and Orzo Salad with Cranberries and Almonds
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com


(Printable Recipe)

1 cup whole wheat orzo, uncooked
3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
about 3/4 of a 6 oz bag of baby spinach, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dried cranberries
4 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (I toast in a nonstick skillet over med heat for about 5 minutes)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup oil (I used grapeseed oil, but canola or light olive oil will work)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to instructions on package, set aside to cool.

In bowl, whisk together sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, vinegar, oil and pinches of salt and pepper.

In a large salad bowl combine orzo, almonds, spinach and cranberries. Gently toss ingredients with 1/3-1/2 amount of dressing, add more or less to your liking. I don’t like my salad overdressed. Add gorgonzola and gently toss again. Serve immediately at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print Friendly

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica January 24, 2010 at 6:56 pm

YUM! I bet the moms were loving this. Love the addition of the gorgonzola. Perfection :)

Reply

HoneyB January 24, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Aggie, you are the one who finally convinced me to try orzo! This salad looks yummy!

Reply

Amy from She Wears Many Hats January 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm

This looks good. I was actually trying to decide what to put with my spinach salad other than the regular bacon or boiled eggs. Perfect combo.

Reply

Betsy January 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm

It was good…everything about it. Thanks Aggie!

Reply

Bob January 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I’ve been wicked bad and haven’t been eating salads much lately. That looks really good to me right now! Heh.

Reply

April Marie (so spiffy) January 24, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Now this is what I call a salad Aggie = ) How have you been? Were your holidays smashing?

Reply

Julie January 24, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Beautiful salad! I’ll bet it’s loaded with flavor!

Reply

patsy January 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

What a refreshing salad! I need to try adding orzo to my salads like this… what a great idea!

Reply

bellini valli January 25, 2010 at 9:01 am

I do love jamies’s Spinach Salad amd make it with bacon, feta or sometimes blue cheese so adding orzo would be a natural.

Reply

Maria January 25, 2010 at 10:35 am

I make a similar salad. Your photos keep getting better and better! Nice work:)

Reply

teresa January 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm

bookmarked! this looks fabulous!

Reply

Duchess of Fork January 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm

This looks amazing, Aggie! I’d probably substitute feta for gorgonzola, though. Might have to add this to a menu in the near future!

Reply

Jessie January 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm

i truly love orzo pasta! this is such a great salad very light yet tasty

Reply

Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen January 25, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Aggie! I am so loving your salads lately! YUM

Reply

Natalie (The Sweets Life) January 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm

This looks AWESOME. bookmarking it and trying it soon!

Reply

Leslie January 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm

ohhh girl…you are rockin that ego light!!!

Reply

Jamie January 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Aggie,
I need to make that Jamie’s Spinach salad (since it does have my namesake) and I also need to try your version. Your salad looks so delish, flavorful and healthy. Everything a salad should be.

Reply

Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 26, 2010 at 8:59 am

Wow, that’s beautiful. I love anything with orzo. I don’t know why but that the texture is so smooth that you can’t go wrong.

Reply

eatingRD January 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

That looks delicious and fresh! I love salads like that because there are so many possibilities for ingredients too :) Love the light, must try that out soon. I may try to make my own, but we’ll see how that goes lol

Reply

Kiki June 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm

This was delicious! I will definitely be back to try some more of your recipes!!

Reply

Jacob January 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm

One idea I had for salads with a cranberry theme was to add cranberry powder (or dried cranberries sent through a blender) to a vinagrette. This way there is a more prominent cranberry theme great for the summer time.

It may be too strong for some but its worth a try.

Reply

Daniela November 24, 2012 at 4:03 am

Made this for our thanksgiving salad- It was a hit!!
I changed a few things to tweak to our tastes:
Slivers of Parmesan
1/4 cup of lemon olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
lots of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
(no poppyseeds)
Added sliced cucumbers and tiny sunburst tomatoes (like cherry but sweeter and smaller)
Def used the cranberries and almonds and spinach base.

Everyone loved it!
Thanks and by the way I found this recipe on Gojee.com ( who scours the internet for the best recipe’s on earth!)

Reply

Aggies Kitchen November 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Yay! Sounds like an absolutely wonderful version of the salad, thanks so much for letting me know! And I love Gojee :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

Aggie's Kitchen, 2008-present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Aggie and Aggie's Kitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Site initially designed by Zesty Blog Consulting and later modified by Alison at Polish Your Blog