Summer Orzo Salad

This is one of my most favorite dishes to make when the weather begins to warm up. It’s fresh and full of nutritious ingredients. Best of all, it’s super easy to make and actually gets better the longer it sits. It’s great at room temperature, but my favorite way to eat it is the next day, cold and with a couple extra splashes of red wine vinegar.

summer orzo salad
Orzo Salad
Giada De Laurentiis, Giada’s Family Dinners


4 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c. red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 c. finely chopped red onion
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 c. chopped fresh mint leaves
3/4 c. Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows (I use closer to 1 1/4 c.)
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Pour the broth into a heavy large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7–9 minutes.

2. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
3. Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat.

4. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.
Red Wine Vinaigrette


1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender.

2. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil.

3. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups

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  1. Tiff
    April 28, 2008 / 3:15 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious. I can’t wait to try it!

  2. Lindsey (Our Share of the Harvest)
    June 14, 2011 / 4:18 pm

    I made this for a cookout, keeping the orzo and vinaigrette and changing some of the veggies. It was delicious and got rave reviews!

  3. Kelsey
    June 14, 2011 / 11:53 pm

    I'm so glad you liked it, Lindsey!

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