If you are running short of time to prepare a meal, grab a roast turkey breast in the prepared foods section of the supermarket or look in the freezer for leftovers, and rummage through your pantry for the rest of the ingredients. Gluten-free and can be Paleo-friendly.

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  • Preparation Time

    10 minutes

  • Cooking Time

    12 minutes

  • Difficulty Rating


  • Serves



  1. 3 cups / 720 ml water
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1½ cups / 300 g whole grain orzo or 2 large raw parsnips, sliced
  4. 1 lb. / 454 g turkey breast, roasted and sliced into 8 even slices of about ½ inch / 1½ cm thick
  5. ¼ cup / 60 ml balsamic vinegar
  6. 1 Tbsp. / 14 ml olive oil
  7. Juice of 1 lemon
  8. 2 cloves garlic
  9. ½ cup / 67½ g pine nuts, chopped
  10. 2 Tbsp. / 10 g dried unsweetened cranberries
  11. 1 tsp. / 2½ g paprika
  12. 1 cup / 150 g zucchini, diced
  13. 4 cups / 113 g baby spinach leaves


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a pot, add the orzo or parsnips, cover, and cook over high heat for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Drain in a sieve, preserving the water.
  3. Place the spinach and roasted turkey breast in the cooking water for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and paprika.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the orzo or parsnip, zucchini, pine nuts, cranberries, and blanched spinach, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour half of the balsamic mixture and toss well to combine.
  7. Arrange turkey slices in a neat layer on a serving platter. Pour the remaining balsamic mixture across the layered turkey slices. Scoop the orzo/parsnip salad onto the platter alongside the turkey slices.

Serving Size: 1 cup / 200 g

Exchanges per Serving: 1 Carb, 3 Protein, 0 Fat

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Comments 42

  1. A good substitute for Orzo is a similar rice shapped pasta called ‘Rosa Marina’. But I’m sure any very small pasta will suffice.
    A ‘sieve’ is a fine mesh strainer. A collander will also work.

  2. Hi, Missb7712. Brown rice is a fine substitute here. Blanching spinach is just exposing it to heat very briefly until just tender – you can do this by inserting a steaming device in a pot when cooking. A sieve is another word for a colander.

  3. I read that orzo is rice shaped pasta found in UK. I’m in the US, what would be a good alternative? Also how do you “blanch” spinach. Also, what is a sieve, and if you don’t have one what can you do instead?
    I’m new at cooking and while this recipe is rated as a “1” for difficulty, I was a little confused by the first paragraph.

  4. If you are living in the uk I have just found a place where you can but rice orzo the store that stocks it is Morrisons I am not certain if all Morrison stores stock it but I know they do in the north of England

  5. If you would like to freeze this recipe, it is recommended to leave out the cottage cheese or substitute grated mozzarella. In the refrigerator, dishes like this would keep just a couple of days, depending on the temperature.

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