Summer Salad Series: Mediterranean Orzo Salad
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this pasta salad that is packed with fresh veggies and loaded with flavor!
If you’re looking for a fun and easy pasta salad recipe, then look no further! This Mediterranean Orzo Salad is packed with fresh vegetables and covered with a tangy vinaigrette. Best of all, you won’t believe how easy it is to make! It can be served as a side dish or a meal on its own. Grab your fork and get ready to dig in – this salad is addictive! I wouldn’t be surprised if you make this all summer long.
The tiny orzo pasta is slightly bigger than the size of a grain of rice, so when I make this salad, I like to cut all the veggies on the smaller side so that you get a little bit of everything in each bite. Yum! Although you could totally eat this as a main dish, this summer salad also pairs really well with grilled chicken or salmon.
When making orzo pasta, it’s important to cook it according to the package instructions and then rinse with cold water immediately after draining. This will stop the cooking process and prevent the pasta from getting too mushy. Nobody likes overly soft pasta. Am I right? It usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes to cook, which is super quick. While the pasta boils, I get all my veggies ready and whip up the vinaigrette at the same time. This salad comes together in less than 20 minutes. I’d say that’s a mom-win right there!
I keep it simple by using Pure Flavor® Azuca Red Cherry Tomatoes and Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers along with some olives, feta cheese and fresh herbs. The bold flavors stand out and compliment the orzo perfectly.
Normally when using cherry tomatoes in a salad, I slice them in half to release all the fruity juices – so delicious! For this salad though, to keep the veggies on the smaller side, I cut them into quarters. Let’s not forget those tiny Uno Bites™ – they are amazing in this salad! They give the most flavorful crunch. If you have kids running around the house like I do, be sure to have an extra bowl on the counter. Uno Bites™ are perfect for tiny hands. My kids can’t stop at just one.
With summer approaching, we’re all looking for light and healthy meals for those hot and humid days. This salad is perfect for enjoying pasta without that heavy feeling after you eat it. The veggies make it light and refreshing, while the vinaigrette ties the salad’s flavors together. Really, you’re getting the best of both worlds. That’s a win in my books!
Another great thing about this salad is that you can make it up to a few hours ahead of time, which is great if you’re taking it along to a picnic or a potluck. Simply pour the vinaigrette into the salad and store it in the fridge. The vinaigrette is where the Mediterranean flavor comes into play! It’s a mix of tanginess with a touch of sweetness. While the salad marinates, the flavors join together beautifully. The cherry tomatoes add their sweet juices, and the crisp cucumbers keep their crunch even after being in the fridge. Both combined really take this salad to the next level! Have I convinced you to try it yet? I’ll be back… I’m heading to grab myself another bowl!
To get Jenan’s recipe, click here.