Lemony Orzo Salad
Lemony orzo salad is a light pasta salad loaded with vegetables and chickpeas dressed in a light lemony dressing. This tasty lemony orzo salad recipe is a great side salad, or an entree salad. Add tofu feta cheese for a summery dinner.
Servings: 6 servings
- 12 ounces Uncooked Orzo Pasta or gluten-free orzo pasta
- 15 ounces Chickpeas rinsed and drained
- ½ English Cucumber diced
- ½ Red Onion diced
- 1 cup Grape Tomatoes cut in halves
- 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 3 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 3 Tablespoons fresh mint chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large lemon zested and juiced
- 5 Tablespoons Tahini
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- ½ cup water
Tofu Feta Cheese (Optional)
Cooking the Orzo
Bring 6 cups of water and 3 Tablespoons salt (yes, 3 Tablespoons; don't worry, you rinse it off) to a boil.
Add 12 ounces of orzo pasta and stir.
Once boiling again, reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes.
Then, transfer the pasta to a colander and rinse with cold water, moving the pasta around to ensure all the pasta is cooled to room temperature and the salt is removed.
Shake any excess water out and place cooled pasta into a large bowl.
While the pasta cooks, chop the vegetables and blend the dressing.
Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender.
Tip: Add the tahini last, so it doesn't stick in the bottom of the blender cup.
Blend until smooth
Assembling the Salad
Add the chickpeas, chopped vegetables, and herbs to the orzo pasta.
Pour the dressing over the contents of the bowl.
Stir and cover.
Place them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Add crumbled tofu (optional).
Serve with a lemon slice as garnish.
- Adding salt to pasta water gives each noodle a chance to absorb some salty taste as it cooks, enhancing the final dish's flavor.
- Ensure the water is boiling before adding the orzo, stir to combine, and reduce the heat to simmer.
- Orzo takes 8 minutes to cook al dente, so set a timer. Overcooked pasta is soggy and mushy, and no one likes soggy pasta.
- Running cold water over cooked pasta in a colander stops the pasta from cooking and cools it quickly for a quick and easy cold pasta salad.
- Make the dressing first and refrigerate while the pasta cooks, allowing it to chill.
- Allow this lemony orzo pasta recipe to be served cold; it can also be served warm.
- For variety, consider roasting the vegetables instead of adding them to the salad raw.
- Dress the salad beforehand and allow the flavors to develop in the refrigerator before serving.
Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 564mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 592IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg