Italian lemon orzo salad is made with juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, orzo pasta, and more! This is a perfect 15-minute meal!
Lemon orzo pasta salad
When I want a filling and delicious meal in under 30 minutes, I always look to quinoa, orzo, or pasta. Usually, the longest part in these recipes is the cooking of the pasta or grain.
This Italian lemon orzo pasta salad is made in under 15 minutes and was not only delicious but healthy! It has fresh flavors and a little tang to it, so it goes well with any dish!
The orzo pasta is cooked in boiling water, and while you wait, you can chop all the fresh ingredients. Once the orzo is done cooking, all the ingredients are tossed together and this dish is ready to be served! So easy, right?
My favorite part about this Italian orzo pasta salad is that you can eat it cold or hot, as a side dish or as the main course. I paired it with a rotisserie chicken (my favorite thing to grab from the store on super busy weeknights). SO GOOD.
Italian lemon orzo pasa salad ingredients
- Orzo pasta- Using orzo pasta for this dish is not a must, but it is a fun shaped pasta that is commonly used for pasta salads. You can use whatever pasta you like!
- Fresh herbs- Parsley and basil is a perfect and super fresh combination for this dish! Fresh herbs bring color and flavor to dishes that make is so much more appealing to eat!
- Produce- Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives are a classic Italian combination.
- Dressing- Olive oil, lemon juice, and raw garlic combined makes a delicious, flavorful, and healthy dressing!
Orzo: two ways
You can make orzo two ways – both will be delicious, but will taste differently. The first option is boiling the orzo. It boils within 10 minutes and then you can drain it and continue making this recipe.
The second option is to brown the orzo in a pan first. Splash a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pan over meidum heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, add the orzo. Stir the pan so that most of the orzo is touching the pan. Let the orzo pan fry for 2 minutes, then stir and pat it down again. Cook the orzo until it’s golden brown, about another 2 minutes. After, add double the amount of water to orzo to the pan, and boil it according ot package instructions.
The pan fry orzo method is delicious because it brings out a nutty flavor that boiling it doesn’t accomplish. It tastes so good and adds a layer of flavor.
Eat it hot or cold
This dish is delicious when it’s freshly made, but the flavor develops in the fridge and it tastes delicious cold. This is the perfect summertime side dish or cold lunch!
How to make Italian lemon orzo salad
- Cook the orzo. Boil the orzo in salted water and cook according to package instructions. Drain the orzo and place the pasta in a large bowl.
- Add the produce. Chop the fresh herbs, cucumber, and tomatoes, then add them to the bowl. Toss in the whole kalamata olives.
- Make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, chopped garlic, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle over the orzo mixture. Stir to combine.
- Serve. This dish can be eaten hot or cold, so store it in the fridge if you’d like to serve it as a cold dish, or eat immediately. Serve this orzo pasta salad with lemon wedges or coarse sea salt. Mangia!
What to serve with Italian orzo pasta salad
- Salt crusted fish is an Italian classic and is ready in 30 minutes! Redfish is crusted in coarse sea salt and baked, making it tender and flavorful.
- Italian sub pizza is packed with all your favorite sub fixings like Italian cured meats, onions, olives, bell pepper, and banana peppers. This pizza is loaded and super delicious!
- This delicious Italian sub salad is a tossed salad that is jam packed with all the best Italian sub ingredients and drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette- without the bread!
- White wine, parmesan cheese, fresh lemon, and Italian seasoning make the best stuffing for this Florida pompano fish! In under 20 minutes, you’ll have the most tender, flaky and delicious fish dinner!
- Tuna patties with Old Bay seasoning are easy to make and so delicious! These healthy patties are packed with nutrients and flavor!
Italian Lemon Orzo Salad
- 1 cup orzo
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives
- 1/2-1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup cucumber chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook the orzo. Bring a pot of salted water to a roaring boil. Add the orzo to the pot and cook according to package instructions. Drain the orzo, then place in a large serving bowl.
- Prepare the produce. Chop the parsley, basil, tomatoes, and cucumber, then place in the serving bowl with the orzo.
- Make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and garlic. Drizzle the dressing over the orzo mixture. Mix to combine, then serve immeditaly or cover with a lid and refridgerate. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.