Orzo Pasta Salad is one of the tastiest and easiest summer sides! I love the color and fresh veggies mixed together with the little grains of orzo pasta!
Orzo Pasta Salad is great for summer BBQs with friends and family! I love to serve it with Peach Raspberry Lemonade and grilled chicken made with my Citrus Chicken Breast Marinade! It’s also one of my go-to summer pot luck dishes!
Rainbow Macaroni Salad is another favorite with tons of fresh veggies! There are so many great pasta salad options for your next BBQ!
This orzo pasta salad is so easy to make that I mix up a batch a few times a month. I love to have it as a lighter lunch. It’s definitely healthier than many other side dishes can be, and it gets the kids to eat their vegetables.
A great pasta salad recipe is one of my go-to dishes for warm weather meals or get-togethers, like Memorial Day or Labor Day. If you’re ever looking for something to feed a crowd that would do well at room temperature, pasta salad is always a good idea.
I have to say, this recipe is right up there with my favorite Fruit Salad Recipe. I used Quick and Easy Italian Dressing for the pasta salad dressing as well as a hard salami that really helps take this dish to a whole new level.
ORZO PASTA SALAD
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I love all the colors of the fresh vegetables, like the red peppers, and all the benefits they provide, along with their incredible flavor! The broccoli is fantastic in this and the cherry tomatoes and bell peppers add a bit of sweetness. The shallot is great because it’s milder than an onion and adds a bit of garlic flavor too, and the salami and feta cheese add a bit of saltiness to the whole thing!
This has got to be at your next summer BBQ for sure! You can easily make it the day before and you’re all set! Just cook pasta, chop your veggies and add your dressing! It couldn’t be any easier!
What Is Orzo?
Orzo is a type of short cut pasta that looks a lot like a large grain of rice but don’t be fooled because it’s still considered a pasta. You won’t have to go all over to look for this ingredient, because you can find orzo in the pasta aisle of almost all major grocery stores.
How To Cook Orzo For Pasta Salad
Cooking orzo is just as easy as cooking any other regular pasta noodles. Just bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, then drain and rinse the pasta.
The only extra step involved when making orzo for pasta salad is that you’ll want to let the orzo cool completely before you add it to the dish. I’ll usually rinse it with cold water to speed things along. Once you’ve done all that you’re good to go!
Ingredients For this Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe
The ingredients for Orzo Pasta Salad are so fresh and amazing! I love getting the rainbow in when it tastes like this! A lot of people will use a color rotini for pasta salad but when you’re serving up all these fresh vegetables you don’t need to!
- Orzo pasta
- Hard salami
- Head of broccoli
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow bell pepper
- Cherry tomatoes
- Feta cheese crumbles (or goat cheese if you prefer)
- Quick and Easy Italian Dressing
The Quick and Easy Italian Dressing is super simple to make and I bet you have the ingredients in your kitchen already. I usually make up a big batch of it on the weekend to use in my salads. I use red wine vinegar in the dressing but you could add lemon juice to it or even in the salad for an extra bit of brightness.
Do I have you use Italian dressing for Orzo Pasta Salad?
You have a few different options when it comes to the dressing for pasta salad. You could follow this recipe exactly and make your own Italian dressing, or you could pick up your favorite premade bottle from the grocery store.
Another option is to swap out the Italian dressing for another type such as greek dressing or a simple vinegarette of olive oil and vinegar. I wouldn’t suggest using a dressing with too complex of a flavor, as you don’t want it to clash with or overpower the other ingredients.
Some other great additions for Italian Pasta Salad
If you want to really load this dish up with even more veggies, or meat, you absolutely can! This is one of those recipes that only gets better the more you add to it, so feel free to load it up with as much as you want, just make sure you have a bowl big enough to hold it all.
- Red onion
- Bacon bits
- Garbanzo beans
- Grilled chicken
These would all be great additions to your Orzo Pasta Salad!
Ways To Serve Pasta Salad with Orzo
How you want to serve your pasta salad recipe is all up to you. It’s most commonly served as a party side dish alongside other classic party food like mac and cheese, cucumber salad, and BBQ. That’s not the only way to enjoy a good pasta salad though.
Since this is a pasta salad with salami you could also serve it as the main dish for a lighter meal like lunch. It’s packed with everything you need to keep you full and help you power your way through the rest of your day.
Can I Save Orzo Pasta Salad For Later?
Yes! Pasta salad is notorious for being a great make-ahead side dish! If you’re hosting or have a party to head to but not enough time to make your orzo pasta salad the day of make this up the day before! In fact, the further ahead you can make it the better! All the flavors come together with the cold pasta, dressing, and veggies and make the flavor even more incredible!
The day of your party you can head to the fridge and grab this amazing cold pasta salad and you’re all set! Your friends will be asking you for the recipe, trust me. It happens every time!
As long as everything is stored in an airtight container, or covered in plastic wrap, the orzo salad will keep for at least 4 days in the refrigerator.
Like This Pasta Salad? Then You’ll love these recipes too!
- Creamy Taco Pasta Salad
- Easy BLT Pasta Salad
- Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- More side dish recipes…
Tools used to make this Orzo Pasta Salad recipe
Large Pot: This pot is a kitchen essential for everything from dinner to desserts. I use mine all the time and with proper care, it’ll last for years and years.
Mixing Bowl: These mixing bowls are perfect for mixing and serving. I love the varied sizes so I always have to right-size bowl for all my mixing needs.
*This post originally posted on 06/30/2015.
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 7 ounces hard salami chopped
- 1 head broccoli chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbles crumbled
- 1 shallot diced
- Quick and Easy Italian dressing (about 1 cup)
- Cook orzo pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water to help stop the cooking.
- Add orzo, salami, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, feta, and shallot to a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over everything. Gently stir until everything is coated in the dressing.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.