Spinach Orzo Salad Recipe for a Dinner Party

Serve this spinach orzo salad recipe for a party side dish. Dark leafy greens and orzo pasta with feta cheese are topped with toasted crunchy pine nuts and drizzled in a delicious balsamic dressing. It’s the perfect salad to add to your dinner party menu ideas or summer cookouts.

spinach and orzo salad recipe

Spinach and Orzo Salad

Our recipe for orzo salad with spinach is loaded with delicious toppings that burst with color, flavor, and texture. Gone are the days of salad being a boring afterthought or the least wanted item on the menu.

Salad ideas for parties are in abundance and a welcome addition to any gathering. All it takes is a little creativity! Leafy greens, healthy vegetables, citrus, berries, and other fruits create an ideal base for any dinner party appetizer salad. And using different cheeses, grains, and nuts makes it even more appetizing!

This orzo pasta salad encompasses all of that and is a healthy and light addition to summer entertaining.

This is an easy recipe for parties. Using bagged baby spinach can add convenience to make life easier if you want to make this on a busy weeknight. Toast the pine nuts and cook your orzo the day before and you’ve got another recipe to add to your list of make-ahead salads for potluck parties.

dinner party salad recipe

When to Serve

Serving a bright and beautiful salad full of flavor is a great way to spice up your dinner party or luncheon menu for various occasions.

  • tea party
  • bridal shower
  • dinner party alfresco
  • ladies luncheon
green salad for dinner party menu

What is Orzo?

Orzo can sometimes be confused with Arborio rice due to its similar look and texture when cooked. The word Orzo in Italian means Barley. This is due to its shape and resemblance to Barley but it is in fact tiny pasta. It is used in many cultures typically for soups, salads, and sometimes creating a similar dish to risotto.

What to Drink with Orzo Salad

Because Orzo is technically a pasta, it can be paired with a lovely white or red wine, depending on how it’s served. In the case of a salad with several other ingredients, pairing with a cold glass of rosé or buttery chardonnay would be great.

pouring dressing on spinach salad

Combine Spinach leaves, cooked orzo, sliced purple onion, feta, and toasted pine nuts in a bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette to taste. Toss and serve!

salad prep toss

PARTY TIP: Make pickled onions a day ahead to mellow the sharp bite of raw onions.

How to Make Simple Vinaigrette Dressing

Most balsamic vinaigrette recipes call for honey or sugar to be added. I find that the balsamic vinegar adds enough sweetness on its own for this particular salad.

You can experiment with different balsamic flavors like fig, pear, orange, etc. when making your dressing at home. Each one will add subtle differences in sweetness and taste.

To make it just add a 1 to 2 ratio of Balsamic vinegar to Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add Dijon mustard to help bind the oil and vinegar together, and a pinch of salt & pepper to taste.

green salad on amber plates


This recipe is fantastic as it is but you can still experiment with these options.

  • Swap out the feta for blue cheese.
  • Try slivered almonds instead of pine nuts.
  • Add sliced strawberries or mandarin oranges for a pop of color and sweetness.

The important thing is to create a balance of flavors and textures. Sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy are everything you want in a fresh summer salad.

More Salads for Parties

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spinach and orzo salad recipe card

Spinach and Orzo Salad recipe

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

A delicious green salad for dinner parties, with spinach and orzo pasta. This easy recipe has lots of flavor and texture.


  • Fresh baby spinach leaves {I use the bagged spinach}
  • 1 cup orzo pasta, cooked and drained; chill until ready to use
  • 1/2 purple onion, sliced into bite-sized strips
  • about 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta cheese
  • about 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard - helps bind the oil and vinegar together
  • Pinch each of salt & pepper to taste


  1. Add dressing ingredients to a lidded jar and cover tightly. Shake vigorously until well combined.
  2. Mix all salad ingredients and drizzle with balsamic dressing.
  3. Toss and serve.

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