Orzo Pasta Salad is a welcome change with its light and bright dressing!
This is no ordinary pasta salad! Colorful, crunchy, and tossed in a lemony Greek-style dressing, this pasta salad is always a family favorite. Cold and palate-pleasing pasta salad recipes like this one are just the ticket for late summer potlucks and picnics!
Orzo Pasta Salad
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Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe
- Six ingredients in just three steps make up this easy recipe.
- Make this salad in advance and chill until ready to serve so that the flavors have time to blend together!
- It’s a great side dish for lime grilled chicken kabobs, or honey garlic roasted pork tenderloin, and this mouthwatering crock pot Italian beef.
- Make orzo salad into a healthy, filling entrée and mix in some roasted chicken, smoked salmon, or bay shrimp.
- For a grab-and-go lunch, wrap up orzo pasta salad in a tortilla and take it to school or work.
Pasta Salad Ingredients
PASTA – Shaped like a slightly larger kernel of rice, orzo is a ‘short-cut’ pasta that can be made from white or whole grain flour and can be used interchangeably with other small pasta shapes.
VEGETABLES & ADD-INS – Colorful vegetables like grape tomatoes, English cucumbers, corn, and red onion give the salad color and crunch! Feta cheese brings a little tang to the salad, and parsley is added for some color.
DRESSING – All dressings require some type of oil and an acid. This recipe uses olive oil and lemon, and is enhanced with Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and salt and pepper. Why not double up on this versatile recipe and use it as a marinade over meats and fish!
How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad
- Prepare orzo pasta and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients (as per the recipe below) in a large bowl.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Chill until ready to serve.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Cook the orzo pasta just al dente so that it remains firm once the dressing is added.
- Cut the remaining ingredients (except corn) into the same-sized pieces for a uniform look.
- No need to pre cook the corn for this recipe. Uncooked corn adds a nice crunch and sweetness to the salad. Alternately, char the corn on the grill for an added smokey element.
- Use just enough dressing to coat the salad and save any remaining dressing in a cruet or mason jar for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
Storing Pasta Salad
Keep orzo pasta salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Be sure to drain and stir the salad before serving, and add more dressing or fresh veggies as needed.
Refrigerate this salad but do not freeze it because the pasta, cucumbers, and tomatoes will become mushy once thawed. Freeze any remaining dressing in a container, or ice cube trays, for future recipes.
Perfect Pasta Salads!
- Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe – delicious!
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad – creamy ranch taste.
- Southwest Pasta Salad – zesty flavors!
- Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad – a hearty entree style salad.
Orzo Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces Orzo pasta
- 2 cups grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
- 1 ½ cups small English cucumber diced
- 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels cut off from about 1 large or 2 small ears of corn
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- ½ cup red onion diced fine
- 1 Tablespoon parsley freshly chopped
- Cook orzo as directed. Drain and run cold water over until it's no longer hot. Allow to sit in colander to drain completely.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add drained orzo, vegetables, feta, onion, and parsley to the bowl and toss well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Garnish with additional feta and parsley if desired.