Orzo Salad

Pasta salad is always a big favorite around here. I have no doubt there will be more pasta salad recipes here in the weeks to come, but we’ll get started with this one. Remember – if there is an ingredient that you aren’t fond of, leave it out or substitute something else. This is a very flexible recipe, which is easily doubled or tripled for a large family or if you have guests.

We’ll begin with the dressing – smash two good sized garlic cloves with the side of a heavy knife and then mince, or use a fork to mash into a paste.15
It is time for fresh herbs again – mince them up for this. I used some basil, rosemary, parsley and oregano for this today – about a tablespoon of each. You can easily use dried herbs if that is what you have, but cut the amount in half. 24Put the garlic and herbs in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar and whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil.
Cook 10 ounces of orzo pasta, according to package directions, making sure not to overcook it. Orzo is shaped like large grains of rice and I like it because it’s easy to get a nice proportion of pasta to the other ingredients, avoiding overwhelming the fresh flavors of the herbs and vegetables. Drain the pasta, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, and then mix the warm pasta into the dressing, stirring to combine.34Chop vegetables of your choice – I used red peppers, cubanelle peppers, scallions and sun dried tomatoes – about 1/2 cup each. Mix into the pasta.44Along with about 6 ounces of crumbled feta cheese.54Mix well to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed, adding more salt or herbs or whatever. Chill and then taste again before serving. Some pastas absorb more dressing that others, so you might need more oil and vinegar, but only if it seems dry – you don’t want the salad swimming in dressing – just nicely coated.63This nearly makes a meal all by itself, but we often have it with grilled chicken that has been seasoned with some of the same herbs before grilling.73If you are like me, this is a salad you will go back time after time, when you need something fast and full of the bright flavors of summer.81Enjoy!

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24 Responses to Orzo Salad

  1. Pearl says:

    that looks so delicious!

  2. That looks beautiful and delicious! What time should I be there?

  3. annbb says:

    That looks delicious! I love orzo – could be my favorite pasta.

    What a perfect throw ‘n go recipe you’ve made here.

    Made the mistake of mashing my garlic and sea salt together into a paste in my wooden mortar and pestle.
    I do not think the garlic smell will ever leave. Thanks for a very sensible way that I never ever thought of to mash garlic!

  4. Charlane says:

    I am soooooooooooooooooooooooo making this! yum

  5. looks beautiful and delicious! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Marta says:

    thanks again for a fantastic, easy, versatile and adaptable recipe! this is so perfectly fitted for picnic season! I love orzo salads because they’re quite filling and you can put so much veg in them.
    I just love the way your blog is set up, the step-by-step is great!

  7. susan says:

    I am sharing this idea with my kids. I love Wegman’s as much as they do, but this is so easy, even they can see the cost benefit of making it at home!

  8. Gail says:

    This looks delish…and easy…now how can I get Mr. O to like orzo?

  9. Donalyn says:

    Thanks Pearl!
    MPM – last Thursday? ;)
    Ann – I can’t really claim it’s an original idea – saw it on a cooking show I think. It is the best way to do it though – much faster than the side of chef knife which is how I used to do it.
    Go for it Charlane!
    You’re welcome, oneshot
    Thanks Marta – so glad you like it
    Susan – the premade stuff can be ok in a pinch, but this is almost as easy as running to the store
    Gail – are there other pastas that he likes? you can make this with any pasta.

  10. ellyn says:

    Looks great. Love the second to last picture too. Very nice.

  11. SHERRI says:


  12. Bridgette says:

    You do make this look very easy. Now I guess I will have have to give it a try – do you think Parmesan or Romano cheese would work ok? No feta around the house right now.

  13. Lori says:

    You had me at Feta Cheese!
    Looks incredible and I cannot wait to try this on my own.

  14. Anna B. says:

    Got my grocery list written…will take this to the party that I am going to for the 4th of July…

  15. Debbie Jean says:

    Oh that looks absolutely devine. I love pasta salads. I have never seen that type of pasta before. Will have to look for it!!

  16. Donalyn says:

    Brigette – I make variations using all different kinds of cheese, and both Parmesan and Romano work very nicely. The flavor is a bit different of course, but it is still delicious.

    Lori – I can never turn feta cheese myself – try it on cornflakes sometime! [kidding] [I think]

    Anna – let me know how you like it.

    Debbie jean – you can use any kind of pasta really – I would just cut the veggies a little bit bigger.

  17. Judy says:

    Great looking salad!

  18. Elizabeth W says:

    Wow, that looks tasty!
    Well-photographed too!

  19. Pingback: Heirloom Tomato Orzo Salad | StreamingGourmet - The Blog

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  21. i have been looking thorough orzo recipes online and this is the best I have coem across so far!

  22. Donalyn says:

    Thanks so much TM – I hope you enjoyed it!

  23. Brenda says:

    Very nice Reciepes. Thanks for sharing them. Have a nice*Day.

  24. Keep on working, great job!

    My blog post :: brot macht krank

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