Orzo Salad with Spinach Tomatoes and Feta

Orzo Salad with Spinach Tomatoes and Feta Recipe
Yields:Nutrition:Prep Time:Total Time:
12 servings 350 calories 30 min 30 min

Helps with these side effects:
 Taste alterations, weight loss

Orzo, rice-shaped pasta, makes a great base for this colorful red, white and green pasta salad. If you don’t have orzo on hand, the dish can also be made with other small, shaped pasta.

For a version that’s lower in fat and calories, decrease the amount of cheese, oil and nuts. This recipe makes enough for a crowd but can easily be halved or even quartered. If you're not eating all at once, reserve some nuts to sprinkle over the salad just before eating.

Lightly toasting the pine nuts gives them added flavor and crunch. Bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes, or cook in a dry skillet until golden and aromatic. Watch to make sure they don’t burn.

This recipe could help with the following symptoms or side effects: taste alterations and unintentional weightloss.

Before making any drastic changes to your diet be sure to consult with your doctor or nutritionist. While these recipes may relieve common symptoms, your doctor may have you on a specific diet due to your treatment plan. If you have questions regarding your diet please consult with your doctor. The information presented here is not intended to substitute the advice of your doctor or care team.


  • 1 (16-ounce) package orzo or other shaped pasta
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag baby spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (1/2 pound) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted


  1. Prepare the orzo according to package directions. During the last minute of cooking, add the spinach to the pot. Drain and rinse with cold water.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, feta, onion and basil. In a separate bowl, combine the oil and vinegar. Add the drained orzo and oil mixtures to the tomatoes, and stir gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, top with pine nuts.


This material is furnished for informational purposes and is for your personal use only. It is not intended as a substitute for the expertise, judgment and specific advice of your health care professional. Based on your condition and treatment plan you may have different dietary needs. Please consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet plan.

Reproduced, with permission, from Jeanne Besser et al., What to Eat During Cancer Treatment (Atlanta: American Cancer Society, 2009) 124. ©2009 by the American Cancer Society.