Mediterranean-Inspired Orzo Pasta Salad – Minimalist Baker Recipes


Large bowl filled with a vibrant Mediterranean-inspired orzo salad

Salads are nice, however pasta salads? The best! This Mediterranean-inspired orzo pasta salad is the final word recent and satisfying facet dish. It’s herby, vibrant, colourful, crammed with veggies, and prepared in simply half-hour!

It’s plant-based, optionally gluten-free, and rapidly changing into our new favourite salad for BBQs, picnics, or served with grilled protein for a satisfying summer time meal. Allow us to present you the way it’s executed!

Dried and fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, olives, bell pepper, red onion, lemon, garlic powder, maple syrup, artichoke hearts, nutritional yeast, and orzo

What’s Orzo?

Orzo (additionally referred to as risoni) is a sort of pasta with a form resembling a big grain of rice. It’s historically constituted of wheat flour, however it may be constituted of different varieties of grains and gluten-free variations are actually obtainable.

Orzo is claimed to have originated in Italy, however our seek for its origin story didn’t reveal a lot else. It’s additionally a well-liked ingredient in Greek delicacies.

How you can Make Orzo Pasta Salad

We begin by cooking the orzo in a pot of salted water. Salting the water offers the orzo extra taste and is considered one of our favourite tips for elevating pasta dishes. After cooking, we drain and rinse the orzo to chill it down, then toss it with just a little olive oil to forestall it from sticking collectively.

Cooked orzo in a pot

Then we transition to the flavorful, lemony dressing. Olive oil is the thick and wealthy base, lemon juice and zest add huge lemon taste, and the savory notes come from garlic powder, dried Italian herbs, salt, pepper, and dietary yeast. Whereas maple syrup provides sweetness, just a little reserved pasta water creates the precise consistency to evenly coat the orzo.

Fresh veggies beside a bowl of dressing with olive oil, red onion, dried herbs, and other ingredients

Subsequent come the vibrant, crunchy veggies and recent parsley, plus marinated artichoke hearts and kalamata olives so as to add swoon-worthy saltiness to each chunk!

Bowl of fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, parsley, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and orzo pasta

Lastly, stir in freshly chopped basil simply earlier than serving so it retains its vibrant inexperienced shade.

Freshly chopped basil over orzo pasta salad

We hope you LOVE this orzo salad! It’s:

& SO scrumptious!

We love this salad as a make-ahead lunch, for bringing to picnics and BBQs, or for dinner with grilled protein. It could pair fantastically with our Crispy Baked Tofu with Italian Herbs or Easy Marinated Grilled Chicken (30 Minutes!).

Be aware: If utilizing a rice-based gluten-free orzo, it’s greatest to make the salad simply earlier than serving as a result of it would harden as soon as it goes within the fridge.

Extra Summery Aspect Dishes

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Bowl of orzo pasta salad with a lemon slice

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook dinner Time 10 minutes

Whole Time 30 minutes

Servings 6 (~1-cup servings)

Course Aspect, Aspect Dish

Delicacies Gluten-Free (non-compulsory), Mediterranean-Impressed, Vegan

Freezer Pleasant No

Does it hold? 3-4 Days


  • 8 oz. dry orzo (for gluten-free* we like DeLallo // 8 oz. or 227 g dry yields ~3 cups or 480 g cooked // or sub equal quantity of farro, bulgar, or barley)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crimson onion (1/2 medium onion yields ~1/2 cup or 70 g)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper (1 medium pepper yields ~3/4 cup or 115 g // or sub crimson or orange)
  • 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped (we used Native Forest)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped recent parsley, massive stems eliminated
  • 1/2 cup chopped recent basil, massive stems eliminated


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus extra for tossing pasta)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 medium lemon yields ~2 Tbsp or 30 ml)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (1 medium lemon yields ~2 tsp zest)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning (or sub dried basil + oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp every sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp pasta water
  • Carry a big pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook dinner in accordance with the bundle directions. Reserve 1/4 cup (60 ml) of pasta water, drain the pasta, rinse with chilly water, and toss with just a little olive oil. Put aside to chill.

  • Whereas the water boils/pasta cooks, prep the pasta salad elements and make the dressing.

  • Add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic powder, maple syrup, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, dietary yeast, and pasta water (as soon as it’s prepared) to a big mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Add the finely chopped crimson onion and blend once more.

  • Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, artichoke hearts, parsley, and cooked orzo to the blending bowl. Toss nicely to mix.

  • Combine within the basil simply earlier than serving. Style and alter as wanted, including extra salt for total taste, lemon juice for brightness, or herbs for freshness. Retailer in an hermetic container within the fridge for 3-4 days. Not freezer pleasant.

*If utilizing rice-based gluten-free orzo, it’s greatest to make the salad simply earlier than serving as a result of it would harden as soon as it goes within the fridge.
*Vitamin info is a tough estimate calculated with DeLallo gluten-free orzo.

Serving: 1 cup Energy: 253 Carbohydrates: 39.9 g Protein: 3.9 g Fats: 9.3 g Saturated Fats: 0.7 g Polyunsaturated Fats: 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fats: 3.3 g Trans Fats: 0 g Ldl cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 489 mg Potassium: 233 mg Fiber: 2.7 g Sugar: 4.6 g Vitamin A: 1238 IU Vitamin C: 35 mg Calcium: 32 mg Iron: 1 mg


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