High-Protein Orzo Pesto Salad

Author: Sarah Cobacho

Published: January 1, 2023

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This High-Protein Orzo Pesto Salad looks so simple but packs so much flavor and nutrition! It’s fresh and zesty and oh-so-delicious. It’s more than just a meal; it’s a nutrient-rich experience that’s quick to prepare, high in protein, and full of fiber. It’s a testament to the fact that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With this salad, you’re not just feeding your body; you’re nourishing it, providing it with the essential nutrients it needs to function at its best.

Boasting a whopping 31g of protein, this salad is a protein lover’s dream. But the nutritional benefits don’t stop there. With healthy fats and a high iron content of 11.5 mg, this salad is a nutritional powerhouse. The presence of vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron – the type of iron found in plant foods, making this salad an excellent addition to your meal plan, especially if you’re focusing on your iron intake.

But what makes this salad truly special is its versatility. It’s vegan-friendly, making it a great choice for those following a plant-based diet. It’s also perfect for meal prep, allowing you to prepare a nutritious meal ahead of time, saving you time and effort on busy days.

This nutrient-dense salad is not just delicious but also a convenient choice for those who value both health and taste. It’s a salad that’s sure to become a staple in your meal plan, a dish you’ll find yourself coming back to time and time again.

Every bite of this Iron-Rich Salad is a burst of fresh, zesty flavors, a testament to the fact that healthy food can be delicious too. And with the health benefits it brings, it’s more than just a salad; it’s a lifestyle choice. A choice to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs, to enjoy the flavors of fresh, wholesome ingredients, and to make healthy eating a part of your everyday life.

Once you’ve tasted the fresh, zesty flavors of this High-Protein Orzo Pesto Salad, you’ll understand why it’s set to become your new favorite meal. It’s a celebration of health and flavor, a dish that proves that eating well doesn’t have to mean compromising on taste. So go ahead, give it a try, and discover the joy of healthy eating.

Why You’ll Love This High-Protein Orzo, Pesto Salad

This salad is not only quick to prepare and high in protein, but it’s also full of fiber, vegan-friendly, and nutrient-dense. It’s a delicious way to boost your iron intake, perfect for meal prep, and sure to become a staple in your meal plan. Enjoy the burst of flavors in every bite of this Iron-Rich Salad, and relish the health benefits it brings.


High-Protein Orzo Pesto Salad

5 from 4 votes
This High-Protein Orzo, Pesto, Avocado Salad is a simple yet flavorful dish packed with fiber, healthy fats, and protein. It's fresh, zesty, and sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied. Perfect for those focusing on iron intake!
Sarah Cobacho (plantbaes.com)
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


Servings 2


  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1.5 cups cooked orzo
  • 2 cups cooked beluga lentils
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small zucchini sliced
  • 200 g cherry tomato diced
  • 2 tbsp diced walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • ½ cup basil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • cup walnut


  • Start by grilling the sliced zucchini on a pan over medium heat. Ensure each side is grilled for 2 to 3 minutes for an even cook.
  • While the zucchini is grilling, blend together all the dressing ingredients – basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic clove, and walnuts.
  • Once the zucchini is grilled and the dressing is blended, it’s time to assemble the salad. Combine the spinach, cooked orzo, cooked beluga lentils, diced avocado, diced tomatoes, grilled zucchini, diced walnuts, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Pour the blended dressing over the salad and mix well. Your High-Protein Orzo, Pesto, Avocado Salad is ready to enjoy!



Can I substitute the orzo for another type of pasta? Yes, you can substitute orzo with other small pasta like farfalle or penne. However, the protein content may vary.
Can I use a different type of lentils? Yes, you can use green or brown lentils instead of beluga lentils. Just make sure they are cooked properly.
Is this salad suitable for meal prep? Absolutely! This salad can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I add other vegetables to this salad? Yes, feel free to add other vegetables of your choice. Just remember to adjust the dressing accordingly.
Can I use store-bought pesto instead of making my own? Yes, you can use store-bought pesto. However, making your own ensures you control the ingredients and their quality.

Per Serving

Calories 707kcalCarbohydrates 89gProtein 31gFat 28gSodium 65mgFiber 22gVitamin A 384IUVitamin C 56mgCalcium 168mgIron 11mg
COURSE Main Course
CUISINE Italian-Inspired
KEYWORDS Easy Vegan Dish, High-Protein Meal, Iron-rich, nutrient-dense, quick and easy
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