Orzo Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is the perfect main or side dish that’s filled with crunchy fresh veggies and packed with filling orzo pasta.

orzo pasta salad in a bowl

If you guys haven’t noticed by now, I’m a big fan of salads. Pasta salads were a go-to for my mom feeding 4 kids, so they always bring back nostalgic memories of growing up. They are easy, you can add a ton of veggies to them and change it up each time with whatever you have on hand that week in the fridge. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, salads are awesome for getting in your leafy vegetables, and this Orzo Pasta Salad is PERFECT for a BBQ dish. Not only is it super filling and delicious, it’ll also keep you satisfied all day long.

What is orzo pasta?

Orzo pasta is a great option for salads because it’s so small, and it’s one of those things I always keep on hand in the pantry, especially for BBQ season. I like to think of it as rice meets pasta! The small pieces mean it’s super quick to cook. This whole recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. It’s also a great option for baby finger food – Sage loves orzo! If you can’t find orzo pasta you can substitute for another small pasta such as macaroni or shells, and if you’d like a gluten free option you can substitute the pasta for a gluten free version or swap with quinoa.

How to make the best orzo pasta salad

The beauty of this salad is it is so easy! Start by cooking the orzo and while it cooks you can prep the rest of your veggies. It’s really that simple! The salad dressing I love making for this salad is dairy free and the salad itself is vegetarian, but of course you can pair this salad with some grilled chicken, salmon or tofu for some extra protein.

This orzo pasta salad is also meal prep friendly – just pop it into an airtight container in the fridge and it will store for 3-5 days. That means even if you have leftovers (which I doubt you will!) it won’t go to waste!

What’s your favourite BBQ dish? Let me know in the comments below! 

If you make this recipe, be sure to share a photo on social media and tag me @healthnutnutrition #healthnuteats so that I can see your creations!

For more salad recipes, be sure to try my 5 minute Caesar dressing and this Rainbow Chopped Tuna Salad.

Recipe

Orzo Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Orzo Pasta Salad is the perfect main or side dish that’s filled with crunchy fresh veggies and packed with filling orzo pasta.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta (or other small pasta such as macaroni) 
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 English cucumber (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 sweet bell pepper (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1/3 cup fresh herbs (I like parsley and/or basil)

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • Zest from a whole lemon
  • Pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
orzo pasta salad in a bowl
category:
Course Salad, Side Dish
serves:
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Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, stir in the orzo, and cook following the directions on the back of the box - roughly 8-10 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain and transfer into a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small mason jar add in all of the dressing ingredients, screw on the lid and shake well to combine.
  • To the mixing bowl add in the veggies, beans and dressing and toss to mix.
  • Enjoy warm, or chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. You can store leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

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