Orzo Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is light and flavorful! Perfect for picnics and potlucks! This recipe is super easy!

Photo by Allison of Culinary Cupcake

Orzo looks like rice, but it is actually a pasta! In Italian it is called risoni or “large grains of rice”. It is a short pasta, traditionally made with white flour, but can also be made with whole grain flour. Orzo pasta originated in Italy, but it is a very popular ingredient in Greek cooking. It is also commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Orzo can be served in many different ways and can be used for soups, pilafs, casseroles, and pasta salads.

I was one of the many people that thought orzo was a rice for the longest time. I did not realize it was a pasta until I wanted to cook it for myself one day. I went to the store to the rice section and could not find it. Then a helpful grocery store worker told me it was in the pasta section. Up until that point I had only had orzo at parties or bought it pre-made in the refrigerated section. Now I am ecstatic that I can make it for myself. It is very easy to prepare, super versatile for many dishes, and it is one of my favorite things to bring to picnics. Please enjoy this recipe!

Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Yields 4 servings


Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 5-9 minutes

Inactive Time 20 minutes

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Pinot Grigio


1 cup orzo pasta

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup cucumbers, cubed

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded, or Feta Cheese, crumbled


Prepare orzo according to package directions.

In a large bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil.

Coat with red wine vinaigrette and cheese. Toss again.

Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Set aside to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Serve at room temperature or cool.

Feel free to throw in any vegetable that is local and in season for you! Bell peppers, broccoli, and zucchini all work well in this pasta salad!


Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake


5 thoughts on “Orzo Pasta Salad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: