Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

I made this side dish recipe for Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad as part of our Mother’s Day celebration.

It was pretty simple to make, perfect for serving it at room temperature, but most importantly… everyone freaking LOVED it!

Not you typical, boring pasta salad, that’s for sure 🙂

ingredients for the Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

How to make Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

Besides boiling the pasta, it’s mostly done in one large skillet.

First set a large skillet over medium heat and cut some bacon right into the skillet.

starting to cook bacon in a skillet

While the bacon was cooking, I started boiling half a pound of orzo pasta in salted water.

starting to boil the orzo pasta

Once the bacon is cooked, remove just some of the bacon grease.

Then add half of a diced red onion and cook it together for 3 to 4 minutes.

adding diced onion to the bacon in a skillet

Then add some chopped, fresh spinach and minced garlic.

Also season with kosher salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

By this time the orzo was done cooking, so I drained it.

adding spinach to Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

The spinach will cook down to almost nothing, then add the cooked orzo pasta and a cup of dried cranberries.

adding the cooked pasta and cranberries

Stir it all together and pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.

Taste for seasoning and determine if more kosher salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning is needed.

Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

Toss in some feta cheese and toasted almonds right before serving Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad 🙂

It’s best served at room temperature.

Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad


Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

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Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad

Bacon Cranberry Orzo Salad is an elegant pasta salad recipe perfect to feed a crowd and very impressive at any party or holiday!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon, Cranberry, Easy, Holiday, Orzo, Pasta, Recipe, Salad, Spinach
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 345 kcal
Author Cheri Renee


  • 1/2 pound orzo pasta
  • 7 to 9 slices bacon
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 5 ounces spinach chopped
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic minced
  • kosher salt, pepper, Italian seasoning (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds


  1. Boil the orzo in salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

  2. Set a large skillet over medium heat, use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon right into the skillet and cook 5 to 6 minutes. Drain some of the grease, add the onion, and cook 3 to 4 more minutes.

  3. Add the spinach, garlic, kosher salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in the orzo, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dried cranberries. Taste for seasoning and add more kosher salt, pepper, and/or Italian seasoning if needed.

  4. Stir in the feta and almonds right before serving. Best served at room temperature.

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