Orzo Pasta Salad

I don’t know why orzo salads make me so cheery but they do.  Something about the way the tiny rice shaped pasta plays with small bits of vegetables is just festive and charming.  And whether the other ingredients are a bit more restrained in terms of variety and color, or a full on explosion of ingredients, it all just works.

Herb Orzo Salad

This salad is a bit in the full-on explosion camp.  The dressing is simple, a bit of lemon juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil.  Then there is the orzo.  And then there are red peppers, red onion, fennel, basil, mint, parsley, and crumbles of goat cheese.  You can use feta instead, or leave out the goat cheese for a vegan salad. Use more than one color bell pepper for more color.  

Orzo Salad: Tiny rice shaped pasta is surrounded with chopped herbs and vegetables in this colorful, cheerful, portable orzo salad.

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Herb Orzo Salad

And feel free to add in or sub in any other vegetables you like: sliced or diced zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, sugar snap peas, tomatoes.  One of those good salads to think about after a trip to the farmers’ market.

What to Serve with Herb Orzo Salad:

Herb Orzo Salad

Other Orzo Recipes:

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Herb Orzo Salad

Tiny rice shaped pasta is surrounded with chopped herbs and vegetables in this colorful, cheerful, portable orzo salad.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Diet: Vegetarian


  • 12 ounces dried orzo
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 bell peppers finely diced
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 1 small bulb fennel finely diced
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese crumbled (approximately 2/3 cup; optional)


  • Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Let it sit in the colander while you make the dressing.
  • In a large bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add the cooled orzo, bell peppers, onion, and fennel and toss. Add the basil, mint, parsley, and goat cheese and lightly toss to combine.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2175IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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