Orzo, Goat Cheese, and Craisin Salad

Back to school time is tough not only for me but for my kids. They both start feeling a bit anxious before school starts. Thought they have been through this many times now it always surprises us when they start to get moody and acting out a bit two – four weeks before school starts. We try to do a few extra special things during this time to take their mind off returning to school.

Looking for a simple dish that you can almost feel good about serving? This salad was delicious and I loved that it had spinach and simple grilled or baked chicken (use whatever you have as leftovers or a rotisserie chicken) to make it. If you cook your chicken ahead of time or use leftovers this dish is ready in no time!


Simple, hearty, and flavorful this salad ticked off all the boxes for a great back to school meal. When you are getting used to new schedules and homework again dinners need to be easy and something everyone will want to eat. This is the perfect meal.

I served this as is for a meal. If you wish you could add another green side or stir in a few fresh green beans diced into 1/3 rds to add a bit more crunch and an extra boost of vitamins!

Orzo Goat Cheese and Craisin Salad

A pasta salad with lots of flavor.


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach and arugula mix
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup Craisins or dried cranberries
  • 2-4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped bite-size
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toast the orzo with 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium heat until golden brown. Add chicken stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover with lid. 7-8 minutes. Drain any liquid, fluff with fork.Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked orzo, cranberries, almonds, and cooked chicken.
  2. In a bowl combine the oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.
  3. Top with goat cheese and toss lightly. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Diana Reis says:

    Sounds delicious and perfect for back to school!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!


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