Orzo with Olives, Tomatoes & Chickpeas

I’m obsessed with using orzo for pasta salads. Maybe I’m just obsessed with orzo. When I was a kid my mom would cook a box and then store the cooked pasta in the fridge. She’d add it to soup (because we ate soup every day) for my sister and I to make the soup more interesting. Sometimes, we’d convince her to let us eat plain orzo. What a treat!!

Orzo with Olives, Tomatoes & Chickpeas

Orzo with Olives, Tomatoes & Chickpeas

Fast forward to adulthood and I still love orzo. I now give it to my own kids as the “noodle” in their chicken soup. I also love it in pasta salad. It’s daintier than rotini, easier to pick up than fusilli, more mature than childish elbows, etc. You name a pasta shape and I’ll find a reason that orzo always wins. I also love it because it’s easier to have a good pasta to “other stuff” ratio with orzo. It doesn’t feel like you’re eating a pasta salad, but a salad with pasta. That makes sense, right?

Great for potlucks, picnics, vegan dinner options… it’s a well rounded hit!

Enjoy!

Orzo with Olives Tomatoes Chickpeas

Orzo with Olives Tomatoes Chickpeas
Orzo with Olives Tomatoes Chickpeas

Orzo with Olives Tomatoes Chickpeas

Orzo with Olives Tomatoes Chickpeas

Orzo with Olives Tomatoes Chickpeas

Optional: Add grilled or broiled shrimp. Or swap out the chickpeas for the shrimp

Optional: Add grilled or broiled shrimp. Or swap out the chickpeas for the shrimp

Orzo with Olives, Tomatoes & Chickpeas

Serves 12-15 as a side

Ingredients

1 pound orzo (or GF pasta) cooked per package instructions until al dente
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) grape tomatoes, halved
2 3.8 ounce cans sliced black olives, drained
2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed*
2 shallots, finely diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
*Optional: Replace chickpeas with 1 pound of grilled or broiled shrimp

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine cooked and cooled pasta with remaining ingredients.
2. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for 1-2 days. Tastes best at room temperature.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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