Everyone loves this easy orzo pasta salad recipe. with a simple vinaigrette of lemon, cucumber, olives, artichokes, tomato and fresh herbs. Upgrade to Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Olives, or read on for our prep tips.
This light and fresh orzo salad is inspired by the lemon herb couscous we shared a while back. It works as a side dish or as a main course.. Consider adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for extra protein.
How to make the best orzo pasta salad
I know calling this the best orzo salad is saying a lot, but every time we serve it to a crowd, it comes first! We have an absolute winner here.
nothing is easier. Begin by cooking the orzo, since it’s small it takes less than 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. I like to make the lemon dressing at the bottom of a large bowl so I can prepare the salad right on top.
Here are two other pasta salads you might enjoy: This easy pasta salad features mozzarella and parmesan cheese, or for a creamier version, try our perfect Creamy Macaroni Salad.
The dressing is dairy-free, making this pasta salad perfect for picnics or warm weather.. It has a magical combination of olive oil, mustard, fresh lemon and a touch of honey to balance it all out.
When the orzo is done, drain it and then, while it’s still hot, add it directly to the dressing. As we add the warm pasta, it soaks up all the flavors of the lemon vinaigrette.
The final step is to add your favorite veggies. and ingredients We love cucumber and tomato, so a must for us. We also like to add lots of fresh herbs. This time we used lots of freshly chopped mint, but feel free to play around with your favorite herbs. Parsley, cilantro, dill, and basil are great options. In the photo above you can see that we added olives and artichokes. Both are great in a pasta salad.
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out more of our fresh salads:
Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Olives
We love this light orzo pasta salad – it makes a great side dish, can be an entree, or goes well with grilled chicken or Adam’s favorite shrimp. Use your favorite baby herbs in this mix – we like to use one or a combination of mint, dill, basil, parsley or cilantro.
Makes approximately 8 (1 cup) servings
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) dry orzo pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
1 medium English cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced or 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs; Use any combination of fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, or mint
1/2 cup pitted olives, halved
1 cup canned or jar artichoke hearts, drained, chopped, see notes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes (check the box for actual cook time). drain.
While the orzo is cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the oil, mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the drained orzo to the dressing and mix well.
Add cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, olives and artichokes. For seasoning, taste and adjust salt and/or pepper as needed. Enjoy warm, or then cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Advice from Adam and Joanne
- If you can’t find orzo pasta, you can substitute any small form of pasta, quinoa, or couscous.
- Go ahead – This salad is delicious to eat right away, but you can also prep the salad, cover, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. This way, all the flavors come together and blend into an even more delicious salad. If you plan to make a day or two in advance, keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve. This is how they stay crisp.
- If using marinated artichokes sold in oil, you can substitute the oil from the jar for some of the olive oil listed in the recipe above.
- Nutritional Information: The nutritional information below is an estimate. We use the Verywell Fit recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
If you make this recipe, take a picture and use the hashtag #inspiredtaste. We love seeing your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
Nutritional value per serving: Part 1 cup / calories 166 / protein 4.4g / carbohydrates 20.5g / fiber 2 g / total sugar 1.8g / total fat 8 grams / Saturated Fatty Acids 1.1g / cholesterol 21mg / sodium 290mg
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Source : inspiredtaste.net
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