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Simple Vegan Summer Orzo Salad

Summer Orzo Salad Recipe

Summer Orzo Salad

This Simple Vegan Summer Orzo Salad recipe has grape tomatoes, fresh corn, green beans, and basil leaves. It’s light and fresh—perfect for a picnic!

Where I Am Today

Happy Canada Day! I am not Canadian, but I have had an affinity for the fine country to our north ever since discovering Kids in the Hall at the tender age of 12. (I really shouldn’t have been watching Kids in the Hall at the tender age of 12.) And also, Happy 4th of July a few days early because I’m taking Thursday off. I’m going to spend the day celebrating America by throwing bang snaps on the driveway while chanting “USA! USA!” This is the freedom that our founding fathers envisioned when they sailed over on the Santa Maria so many years ago.

Last year, I was eagerly anticipating July 4th because I’d have time off from the job I hated. And then a month later, when I was laid off, I felt completely crushed, despite the fact that I had daydreamed about quitting for a good year or so. Since it’s almost a year since I started blogging full-time, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately—where I was a year ago vs. where I am today. And even where I am today vs. where I was a few years ago. I went from being a librarian and planning on getting a second master’s or PhD to running a food blog for a living. I’m sure to most rational people, that sounds like a terrible, terrible decision, on par with, “I think I’m going to quit my job as an accountant and start a reggae band,” but I feel like I’m finally able to express a creativity that was always just under the surface, but I never quite had an outlet for.

Green Beans, Grape Tomatoes, and Corn

Summer Orzo Salad4th of July

Back on topic: 4th of July! I don’t have cake topped with Cool-Whip and berries arranged to form the American flag for you today, but I do have a light Simple Vegan Summer Orzo Salad recipe. It can easily be doubled or tripled, so it’s perfect for bringing to your next summer get-together. Every summer get-together needs a pasta salad, right? It also makes a great main dish when you need something easy for dinner. With the hot weather we’ve been having here, I’ve been craving light, fresh meals like this.

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Simple Vegan Summer Orzo Salad

Summer Orzo Salad Recipe

A simple summer pasta salad made with orzo, grape tomatoes, fresh corn, and green beans.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings as main dish or about 6 servings as a side

Ingredients

  • 8 oz orzo
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed
  • 2 ears corn, kernels removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook orzo according to package. Two minutes before cooking time is done, add green beans to pot. Drain in a fine mesh colander and rinse with cold water.
  2. Transfer orzo and green beans to a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This post was originally published on 1 July 2013.

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78 Comments

  • Reply
    Joy // For the Love of Leaves
    July 1, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I was just thinking yesterday that I should make a pasta this week and bam! One appears before my eyes. Love it! I also made your mushroom lentil burgers this week so good!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Yay, I’m glad you liked the burgers! 😀

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    July 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I LOVE orzo! Will definitely be making this!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    July 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Can I just say that your pictures are GORG! This looks like a perfect side dish for the 4th. I’ve actually never cooked orzo, but that can definitely change. Yumm!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Orzo is easy peasy! It’s pasta, so you just boil it in water and it’s done. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    July 1, 2013 at 9:37 am

    You make the prettiest food! And it is always simple, too! SUCH a win-win :).

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Sometimes I feel like I need to make more elaborate dishes, but as a cook, I like easy. 🙂

  • Reply
    Julia
    July 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

    It’s so much more satisfying to do the things you love versus the get-up-go-to-work routine for a job you aren’t passionate about. You should be so proud of yourself for how far you’ve come in just one year! This orzo salad is gorgeous and looks perfect for a 4th of July barbecue!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Thank you! There are definitely times when I miss being able to work a mindless job and then come home after 8 hours and think about other things, but overall blogging is definitely worth it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Martina
    July 1, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I’m so impressed with people who take big risks in life – leaving mainstream work behind to do something you love and dream about is not only admirable it’s downright impressive! Hats off to you!

    Martina

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      I would really never peg myself as someone to do something like that, but after I lost my job, I felt like I had nothing to lose. Because, you know, I already lost my job. 🙂

  • Reply
    dixya| food, pleasure, and health
    July 1, 2013 at 10:51 am

    i have never tried orzo before but this recipe is perfect for summer 🙂

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    July 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

    reading things like this always make me contemplate making a huge change in my life. thanks for the words of wisdom and happy canada day/4th of july!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      I am not a leap of faith type of person, so I totally get that hesitation to make big changes. But sometimes you do need to take that leap of faith and just go for it. I’d hate to think where I’d be if, instead of giving this full-time blogging thing a chance, I just went onto the next dead-end job. It’s important to be realistic and have a back-up plan (I set a deadline for myself–if in 4 months, I wasn’t matching what I was making before I got laid off, I would look for another job), but if you have a chance to pursue your passion, you should take it. (Oh man, I feel like this sounds so sappy and motivational speaker-y. My apologies.)

  • Reply
    Christina @ Pinch of Healthy
    July 1, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I think it is so great that you followed your dreams, even if it was scary at the time. I always say anything is possible so long as you have the passion and drive to back it up, which you clearly have!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you! I never would have quit my job on my own, so I definitely needed that push out the door. 🙂

  • Reply
    Robin Gagnon {Mom Foodie}
    July 1, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Love the colors in this!

  • Reply
    JulieD
    July 1, 2013 at 11:09 am

    First, this is so beautiful and it screams summer! I have been reflecting on the last year too…it’s amazing, isn’t it? And at the same time crazy and surreal…glad to be able to call you my friend. Soooo soo glad you emailed me last summer! xoxo

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Yes, it’s so nice to know someone who’s going through the same process! I remember how absolutely freaked out I felt when I got laid off. It was the push I needed to make this happen, but it was still so scary.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    July 1, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I love orzo salad, this is so perfect for summer entertaining!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving
    July 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    This looks beautiful! I was crazy addicted to Kids in the Hall too 🙂 I even had a strange dream here Scott was asking me out and I kept asking “Aren’t you gay?”

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      WOO HOO! I knew I liked you for a reason! 😀 I still get “The Terrier Song” stuck in my head once in a while.

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    July 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Confession: I’ve never made orzo. Real talk: I’m going to make this ASAP!

  • Reply
    polly kohler
    July 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I always look forward to your blog. The recipes, the photos and your musings are like sitting on a big wrap-around porch, looking out at a garden, visiting with a friend.

  • Reply
    Rachel Cooks
    July 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    These photos just SCREAM summer! Love them, and the salad.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    July 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    So summery and beautiful, Kiersten.

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    July 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Happy Canada Day to you too! What a difference a year can make, eh? I was thinking about where I was a year ago, and where I am today thanks largely to blogging. Your changed life and mine seem pretty different, but we’ve both got blogging to thank and I think that’s pretty cool. I’m co-hosting a Canada Day / 4th of July BBQ this week for my expat friends in Stockholm, and this salad looks like it would be a big hit. Thanks for another great recipe! Enjoy your freedom 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Isn’t it funny how something that seems so inconsequential can have such an impact on your life? I never thought anything would come of starting a blog and I definitely never thought, “Hey, I’m going to do this and then it will be my job someday in the future!” Because that’s just craziness.

  • Reply
    kum
    July 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I often cook with quinoa, but I have not yet tried orzo.

    Orzo salad looks so YUM, AND it’s VEGAN!

    Blog : Global vegan fare

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Orzo is so good, you will love it! It’s a rice-shaped pasta, so it’s perfect for pasta salads. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    July 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I’d say based on the look of this salad and how gorgeous your pictures are, that you have found your calling. 🙂 I also love the way you plan to celebrate the 4th, hilarious!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Thank you! And I really do want to buy some bang snaps, but I’m sure the neighbors would think I’m crazy (or even more than they already do). It’s just so satisfying to throw tiny little explosives on the ground.

  • Reply
    Judit + Corina @WineDineDaily
    July 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    We both love orzo and your delicious recipe is just perfect for summer! Your photos are beautiful and we are so glad that you are able to do what you love 🙂
    J+C

  • Reply
    Jackie @ The Beeroness
    July 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I was JUST trying to find an orzo summer salad recipe a few days ago, this one looks perfect.

  • Reply
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking
    July 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    How absolutely gaw-geous! This is so summery, easy and pretty I can’t even handle it. Must. make. now.

  • Reply
    Cassie | Bake Your Day
    July 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I want a big bowl of this one right now. These photos are so pretty!

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    July 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks for the Canadian love! The salad looks delicious!

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