Orzo Summer Salad Recipes

Kathryn Vera

There's nothing better than a light salad on a hot summer day. Try one of these summer orzo salads tonight!

Watermelon and Feta Orzo Salad

Nothing screams summer like a fresh slice of juicy watermelon. This summer orzo salad is not only refreshing and tasty, but packs a color punch.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 4 cups seeded, diced watermelon
  • 4 cups firmly packed baby arugula
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook orzo according to the instructions on the package, drain, and place in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, shallot, olive oil, parsley, honey, and mustard to orzo. Toss well.
  3. Chill pasta mixture for at least three hours, and up to 24 hours.
  4. Remove pasta mixture from the refrigerator.
  5. Carefully toss watermelon, baby arugula, and feta cheese with pasta mixture.
  6. Season the pasta salad with salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Chicken and Orzo Salad

Grilled chicken is a classic part of any summer barbeque. This year, let your grilled chicken shine by placing it front and center in this unique orzo salad.

Serves 6

Ingredients

Creamy Chicken and Orzo Salad
  • 1 1/2-cups orzo pasta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 4 cups grilled chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 1 medium-sized cantaloupe, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head lettuce leaves, if desired

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package, drain, and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine olive oil, orange juice, white wine vinegar, salt, and orange rind. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Add grilled chicken to marinade mixture.
  4. Carefully toss cooked orzo, cantaloupe, grapes, and mayonnaise into chicken and marinade mixture.
  5. Chill orzo salad for at least four hours, and up to 24 hours.
  6. Before serving, stir cashews into orzo salad.
  7. Serve orzo salad over torn lettuce leaves, if desired.

Pea and Orzo Summer Salad

Packed with summer vegetables -- including sugar peas and zucchini -- this orzo salad is sure to please!

Serves 6

Ingredients

Pea and Orzo Summer Salad
  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • 1 pound sugar peas, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 small yellow zucchini, cleaned and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small green zucchini, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add orzo to pot, and cook for five minutes.
  3. Add prepared peas and zucchini to pot.
  4. Cook for an additional three minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender and orzo is al dente.
  5. Drain pasta and vegetables, and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese to orzo mixture, and toss carefully.
  7. Season orzo salad with salt and pepper to taste.

Simply Salad

Salads don't have to be boring. By using fresh ingredients and a little ingenuity, you can create a delicious summer orzo salad that will leave your guests begging for seconds.

Orzo Summer Salad Recipes