This simple Summer Orzo Salad is bursting with flavor from fresh veggies and a homemade Italian vinaigrette. It's easy to make with simple ingredients, and almost no cooking at all! Perfect for those hot summer nights, or just a lazy weeknight dinner.
Sometimes on these hot summer nights, I just can't stand the idea of turning on the stove. I know - I'm a food blogger. I am not supposed to avoid cooking. 😉
But it's about ten million degrees in Florida, so when I find an easy recipe that doesn't require me to stand over a hot stove for an hour, it's a keeper.
I just love this summer orzo salad, because it's so incredibly easy. It's filled with fresh, raw veggies - which makes it nice and crunchy - and means very little cooking is actually involved! Plus, it's really simple to leave off the feta cheese and make it completely vegan.
Let's Make Summer Orzo Salad
Start off by preparing your Orzo.
What is orzo, you ask? Orzo is just a type of pasta - shaped a bit like large grains of rice. So to prepare it, simply boil some water and toss it in, following the directions on your package. The cook times will vary just a bit by brand.
While the orzo is cooking, you can chop up your veggies. I used cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. This is great for an easy vegan dish - you can swap in just about any veggies that you like!
Simply chop all the veggies up into tiny bite-sized pieces, and set them aside for your summer orzo salad
Next, make the Italian Vinaigrette.
Now, if you don't want to be bothered with this, you can simply pick up some Italian dressing from the market. But since this orzo salad is already super easy, I went ahead and took a few minutes to make a homemade dressing.
To make my dressing for the summer orzo salad, I whisked together some extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, basil, mint, garlic, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
The mint is a little unusual for a vinaigrette, but I think it gives such a nice, fresh flavor.
When the orzo is done cooking, let it cool to room temperature, and then toss with the veggies and dressing.
Sprinkle with a little bit of feta cheese for the final touch. Just skip this step if you want to make this recipe vegan. Or if you are feeling ambitious, you can try making your own vegan feta cheese.
That's it - you have a super easy summer orzo salad, with hardly any actual cooking. Enjoy!
- 2 cups orzo dry
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 cucumber chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled, optional
- FOR DRESSING:
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp basil chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil water, and prepare orzo according to package directions.
- Chop all veggies into bite sized pieces - tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, and broccoli.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- When orzo is done cooking, allow to cool to room temperature,
- Toss orzo with chopped veggies and Italian dressing. Serve your summer orzo salad.