This easy Turkey Orzo Salad Recipe is made with leftover turkey and takes just 30 minutes to make for a healthy, satisfying lunch or dinner. It’s a Mediterranean orzo salad with sundried tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here’s why this is one of our favorite quick and easy dinner recipes that’s healthy and filling:
- This easy turkey orzo salad recipe takes just 30 minutes from start to finish! It’s a weeknight winner, just like our Beef And Broccoli Stir Fry.
- You can easily mix and match the ingredients in this Mediterranean orzo salad recipe, using any veggies or protein you have on hand.
- This is a great way to use leftover protein like turkey, chicken, beef, or sausage. So next time you make Pan Seared Garlic Butter Chicken, make extra to turn it into this salad for lunch the next day.
- Speaking of lunch, you can make this leftover turkey orzo salad recipe for meal prep and enjoy a healthy lunch all week long.
What Goes In this Easy Turkey Pasta Salad Recipe
Here’s what you need for this easy turkey pasta salad recipe:
- Pasta. I like using orzo, but another small pasta or even rice will work.
- Tomatoes. I like using multicolored tomatoes for the most color and flavor.
- Olives. Kalamata work great, but another variety will also work. Just make sure they’re pitted.
- Parsley. You could use a different fresh herb if you prefer.
- Red onion. If you don’t like the sharp flavor of red onion, use sweet onion or omit it.
- Sun-dried tomatoes. I prefer olive oil-preserved sun-dried tomatoes, but any kind will work.
- Parmesan cheese. Pecorino romano or another hard cheese will also work.
- Turkey. I use leftover chopped turkey, but you could use a different protein, such as chicken, steak, or even canned tuna.
- Almonds. I use thinly sliced almonds, but another nut will work, or even use a seed to make this recipe nut-free.
- Lemon. Be sure to use the fresh stuff for the best flavor in this Mediterranean dressing.
- Olive oil. Choose a nice flavorful oil to make the best dressing.
- Garlic. Fresh is best!
- Mustard. I like Dijon, but whole grain or honey mustard will work too.
- Maple syrup. You can use honey or agave if you prefer.
Here are some simple swaps if you don’t have all of the ingredients for this easy turkey pasta salad recipe:
- Swap the cooked turkey for rotisserie chicken, deli beef chicken, or small-chopped salami or sausage.
- In terms of veggies, you can mix and match with whatever you have on hand! Try bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, corn, celery, diced zucchini, the options are endless!
- You can swap the cooked meat for canned tuna for a meat-free version.
- Try using a different type of small dry pasta, like stelline (kids will love these), orecchiette, or ditalini.
- Or, use cooked rice instead of pasta.
How to Make the Best Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Sundried Tomatoes
To start, cook your orzo in well-salted water according to the package instructions. Let the cooked pasta cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
To do so, simply toss together all of the chopped veggies in a large bowl. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, cooled orzo, turkey, and almonds.
For the dressing, simply add all the dressing ingredients to a jar, screw on the lid tightly, and shake well. Finally, pour the dressing over the salad in the bowl and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!
Yes, this salad tastes even better the next day once all the flavors had time to meld.
Bring a medium pot with salted water to a boil, then cook the orzo according to package directions. It’s usually somewhere between 8-10 minutes. Once the pasta is ready, drain, and set aside to cool.
This salad will last well refrigerated in air-tight containers for up to 3 days. Also, it’s perfect for meal prep and makes a great lunch the next day.
Small-sized pasta like stelline, orecchiette or ditalini.
After cooking the pasta, you can drain and rinse it in cold water to speed up the cooling process. If you cook the pasta ahead and plan to make the salad later on, then stir in a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
To make this easy turkey pasta salad recipe even quicker, use your favorite store-bought dressing and use precut veggies. This way, you’ll have it ready in less than 15 minutes. YAY
More Easy Salad Recipes
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Leftover Turkey Orzo Salad Recipe
- 12 oz (340g) orzo pasta
- 1 1/2 cups (1 pint) mixed color cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup (180g) Kalamata olives - pitted and halved
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley - chopped
- 1 medium red onion - diced
- 1/3 cup (18g) sun-dried tomatoes - drained and finely chopped
- 3/4 cup (75g) Parmesan cheese - shaved
- 2 cups (280g) cooked leftover turkey - chopped
- 1/2 cup (54g) sliced almonds
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic - pressed
- 1 tbsp (15ml) Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp (15ml) maple syrup
- Bring a medium pot with salted water to the boil then cook the orzo according to package directions.
- Once the pasta is ready, drain, and set aside to cool.
- While the pasta cooks, you’ve got the time to chop all the veggies for the salad and add them to a large bowl.
- Add in the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, cooked orzo, chopped leftover turkey and sliced almonds.
- To a small jar, add all the ingredients for the dressing. Shake vigorously to emulsify.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- You can swap the leftover turkey for rotisserie chicken, deli beef, small chopped salami or sausage.
- Use your favorite veggies like celery, cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, etc. Just make sure you chop them small.
- You can make this salad up to three days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy for lunch the next day.
- Use different types of small dry pasta, like stelline (kids will love these), orecchiette, or ditalini.
- To make this easy turkey orzo salad recipe even quicker, use store-bought dressing and pre-cut veggies. It will reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes.
- After cooking the pasta, you can drain and rinse it in cold water to speed up the cooling process.
- If you cook the pasta ahead, and planning to make the salad later on, then stir in a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
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