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Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

I loved this orzo pasta salad and so did the rest of my family. I was in search of a light side dish to pair with some pork chops I was making for dinner. I found a recipe on The Recipe Critic that looked perfect. This pasta salad was light, lemony, and delicious – perfect for these hot summer nights. I roasted the veggies, grilled the corn, and cooked the orzo earlier in the day before it got too hot outside. I tossed all of the ingredients together along with the mozzarella, chopped roasted garlic, and lemon vinaigrette then put it in the fridge for an hour before dinner. This orzo pasta salad disappeared quickly and paired nicely with the Italian Panko and Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops I served it with.

Orzo Pasta Salad

How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the onion and bell pepper on the baking sheet then drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place into the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini to the baking sheet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes longer, or until the veggies are tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Orzo Pasta Salad

While the veggies are roasting, place a dry grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the shucked corn to the hot grill pan and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown. In my grill pan, it took about 15 minutes. Let the corn cool then cut the kernels off the cob with a knife. Set aside to cool completely.

Orzo Pasta Salad

While the veggies are roasting and the corn is grilling, cook the orzo in salted boiling water per package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain and place in a large bowl. Allow to cool completely.

While everything else is cooking make the lemon vinaigrette. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, minced garlic, and honey. Whisk until well combined. Set aside to allow flavors to mingle.

Toss completely cooled vegetables, cooled grilled corn kernels, cooled pasta, mozzarella, chopped roasted garlic, and chopped basil with the lemon vinaigrette until evenly combined and coated. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cover and place in the refrigerator until serving. Enjoy.

Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Sides
Servings: 4
Author: For the Love of Cooking - Pam

Ingredients

  • ½ sweet yellow onion diced
  • ½ red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small zucchini quartered & diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 ears of corn shucked
  • ¾ cup dry orzo cooked in salted water, per package instructions
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Small mozzarella balls quartered, to taste
  • 5-6 cloves of roasted garlic chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh basil chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place the onion and bell pepper on the baking sheet then drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place into the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini to the baking sheet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes longer, or until the veggies are tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
  • While the veggies are roasting, place a dry grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the shucked corn to the hot grill pan and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown. In my grill pan, it took about 15 minutes. Let the corn cool then cut the kernels off the cob with a knife. Set aside to cool completely.
  • While the veggies are roasting and the corn is grilling, cook the orzo in salted boiling water per package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain and place in a large bowl. Allow to cool completely.
  • While everything else is cooking make the lemon vinaigrette. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, minced garlic, and honey. Whisk until well combined. Set aside to allow flavors to mingle.
  • Toss completely cooled vegetables, cooled grilled corn kernels, cooled pasta, mozzarella, chopped roasted garlic, and chopped basil with the lemon vinaigrette until evenly combined and coated. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator until serving. Enjoy.
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7 Comments

  1. Great use of summers bounty – I know I would really enjoy this dish, especially with the roasted garlic.

  2. When did you roast the garlic cloves, with the onions, and red peppers, or when you added the zucchini?

  3. i don’t get excited about normal pasta salads, but orzo is an exception! love all the veggies and that yummy mozzarella!

  4. Annemiek den Hollander says:

    5 stars
    That looks so delicious and tasty, it must be full of flavor.