Orzo Salad Recipe Perfect For A BBQ

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By admin
April 15, 2024

I absolutely love gathering with friends for a summer BBQ, but let’s face it – the pasta salads can often be a bit predictable. You know the ones – bland noodles, a handful of veggies, and a drizzle of store-bought Italian dressing. It’s time to elevate your pasta salad game with this delightful Orzo salad featuring a zesty lemon dressing that’s versatile enough for any salad.

Orzo salad

Orzo Salad

This orzo salad combines cucumber, tomato, spinach, and a zesty dressing for a colorful summer BBQ or picnic. 
Servings 6 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 1 medium pot
  • 1 blender or food processor


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 cups English cucumbers sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • 1 zest from one lemon
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/4 TSP cracked black pepper


  • Cook orzo in generously salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water until cooled.
  • Place basil, garlic, and lemon zest in a food processor/ blender. Pulse repeatedly until uniformly chopped. Add lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Pulse a couple more times until combined, but not smooth.
  • Place cooled orzo into a bowl and toss with the flavorful basil lemon sauce.
  • chickpeas, snap peas, feta cheese, avocado could be added for more flavor



Orzo will soak up much of the salt after it sits, so make sure to taste for salt right before serving. I’ll usually add another ¼ teaspoon. Adjust the lemon, adding more to taste. If the salad tastes overly bitter ( it might be the olive oil) try adding a tiny bit of sugar- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, greek
Keyword: Orzo Salad, salad

Besides this delicious Orzo salad their are plenty of other pasta salads to help you ditch the mundane and explore a world of pasta salad possibilities. Here’s a lineup of diverse options, each boasting its own distinctive blend of flavors and ingredients:

  1. Classic Italian Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked rotini or fusilli pasta, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, black olives, basil, and Italian dressing.
  2. Greek Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked penne or orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and Greek dressing.
  3. Caprese Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked bowtie or penne pasta, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, balsamic glaze, and olive oil.
  4. Mediterranean Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked couscous or orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, feta cheese, olives, red onion, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette.
  5. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked penne or fusilli pasta, grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing.
  6. BLT Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked elbow macaroni or fusilli pasta, bacon, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise-based dressing, and optionally, avocado.
  7. Asian Noodle Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked Asian noodles (soba or rice noodles), shredded cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, green onions, sesame seeds, and a flavorful soy-based dressing.
  8. Southwest Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked rotini or penne pasta, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocado, cilantro, and a refreshing lime vinaigrette.
  9. Pesto Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: Cooked penne or fusilli pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, pine nuts, and a delicious pesto dressing.
  10. Vegetarian Pasta Salad:
  • Ingredients: Cooked pasta, an array of colorful vegetables (bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, etc.), feta or goat cheese, and a light vinaigrette.

Feel free to play around with different combinations of veggies, proteins, and dressings to craft your own signature pasta salad creations. Say goodbye to the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary world of pasta salads!

Try our other delicious Salad recipes.

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