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Yummy Easy Veggie Salad, Crunchy, Filling and Healthy!

Updated on February 16, 2014
4 stars from 1 rating of Rice and Orzo Salad

I love this recipe. It is so healthy. Brown rice is different from white rice in that only the outer husk is removed in brown rice leaving the healthy bran and endosperm with lots of B vitamins and magnesium. One cup of brown rice contains 84mg of magnesium while white rice contains only 14mg. By not removing the bran layer rice bran oil is left on the rice which is thought to lower LDL Cholesterol.

Even with the enriched vitamins added to polished white rice you still do not get the magnesium, fiber and LDL lowering benefits back

Rice is best stored in the freezer as it controls infestations of Indian Meal Moths.

Orzo is a form of short cut macaroni. It is Italian for "Barley".

Not only is the rice and orzo healthy but the vegetables, cheese and herbs I like to add make this a complete meal if desired.

How to Prepare

Finished Salad with Chives on the side
Finished Salad with Chives on the side | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Serves 10 people two 4 oz. servings


  • 1 cup Rice and Orzo, I like Sprouted Rice and quinoa Blend
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Cut up Carrots, Washed and Peeled
  • 13/4 cup Water or Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea or kosher Salt
  • 1 to 2 large Zucchini Squash, Wash and scrubbed well
  • 1 cup Baby swiss or Jarlesburg Cheese, Cut into 1/2 in pieces
  • 3/4 cup Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing, You can use your own favorite dressing
  • 1/4 Red and Yellow Bell Pepper, Washed, scrubbed and cut into 1/4 in pieces
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds or roasted pine nuts, I like to roast my pine nuts under the broiler on a cookie sheet, turning often till brown.
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
  • garlic and other spices you prefer., Fresh garlic cloves are awesome.
  • 2 Tbls fresh Basil and/or chives, chopped well
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of any fresh vegetable you like

Putting it All Together

  1. Bring water with salt or chicken stock to rolling boil. Add rice and orzo and stir well. Lower heat, cover and continue cooking for about 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. I like to use the chicken broth when available for extra flavor and nutritional value. Cool cooked rice and orzo on a cookie sheet mixing with about 1 tsp. of olive oil. Spread the rice and orzo evenly across the cookie sheet.
  2. While the rice is cooling prepare all of your vegetables. I like to add any fresh herbs like basil and chives that I might have growing in the garden.
  3. You can really add any of your favorite fresh vegetables. I have used broccoli, sweet peppers, garlic cloves, carrots, zucchini squash, yellow squash, etc. Just use your imagination
  4. Once you have combined your vegetables, rice, cubed cheese, chopped herbs and your favorite seasoning. I like garlic salt, pepper, and/or dill. You are now ready to pour your salad dressing on. I use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Aldi's oil free garlic vinaigrette dressing but any favorite salad dressing or marinade you like would be work well.
  5. Refrigerate for several hours before serving and just before you are ready to serve sprinkle with slivered almonds. Use as many as you like. Toasted pine nuts would be great also.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 8 servings/nutritional value per serving
Calories 200
Calories from Fat36
% Daily Value *
Fat 4 g6%
Saturated fat 5 g25%
Carbohydrates 50 g17%
Sugar 5 g
Fiber 25 g100%
Protein 20 g40%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Nutritional Value Addendum

The nutritional value is dependent on the salad dressing that you use. Follow the nutritional value on the side of your dressing and alter your numbers accordingly.

Quick oil and vinegar Dressing

If you are out of a garlic salad dressing you can easily make your own. Just add 1 cup extra virgin olive oil to 1/3 cup balsamic, rice or raspberry vinegar, add grated or chopped garlic, shallots, 5 tsp honey, herbs to taste, kosher salt and pepper

Ways to Serve

This salad lasts a long time in the fridge. It is great serve on spinach leaves with cold grilled or baked salmon and fresh fruit. Enjoy it for an easy summer meal.


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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Not much for quinoa, but the rest looks good!

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 5 years ago

      This sounds perfect for a hot summer's evening, and even better that I can make it in advance and not have to rush around to make tea in the evening! I love the idea of adding a handful of toasted pine nuts - they're one of my absolute faves :)

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      Thanks Peggy I make it literally every week and always have a go to side. My family loves it and I can use lots of the veggies in the refrigerator. Thanks for reading and writing back. Nancy

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I love healthy sounding and good sounding recipes that can be kept in the refrigerator for a number of days and paired with a variety of meals. This sounds like just such a recipe. Thank you! Will put this on my list of recipes to try soon. Voted up and useful.

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      Thanks Crystal . I love to make this in the summer. My family loves it and it travels well in a large food storage bag. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      Thanks so much Pamela. I make this all the time in the summer. It is so easy. Hope you like it.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      This sounds like a great recipe. Can't wait to try it!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I love brown rice and think I will try this recipe. It looks very good.