Orzo Salad: Presto Pasta Nights

June 5, 2007 | Filed Under Pasta, Presto Pasta Nights, Salad 


I like all types of salads and eat them all year round.  However, it seems to me that summer is the official season when everyone makes salads.  This orzo based salad is perfect with which to start out the summer.  Orzo pasta reminds me of rich (which I love). 

Like all my favorite recipes, it’s easy to put together.  The garbanzo beans, tomatoes,  red onion, basil, leaves, mint leaves, and red wine vinaigrette are perfect together.  Love it!

I’d like to contribute this to the Presto Pasta Nights event hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.  If you have a pasta recipe to share and are interested in participating, check out the guidelines here.  Ruth posts a line up of the recipe contributions every Friday on her blog.  Go for it!




Orzo Salad
Giada De Laurentiis

4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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 minutes. 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.

Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.


Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

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22 Responses to “Orzo Salad: Presto Pasta Nights”

  1. Sounds fantastic. I love garbanzo beans in pasta.

  2. Hi Kalyn: I like garbanzo beans too!


  3. I love orzo salads! For some reason I don’t cook orzo in the winter, but in the summer I combine it with anything and everything.

  4. Looks delicious!! I would drop in some black olives or capers in it too for some bite. :-)

    Great dish for warm summer weather.

  5. Orzo is so easy to use I love it! This salad looks perfect for summer.

  6. Like everyone else…I love it and it really does mean summer’s here. Beautiful shot as usual. Thanks for sharing with Presto pasta Night.

  7. looks so nice and tastefully simple! the only time i got orzo here, i put it in a tomato gunk, what a waste!

  8. I just made this yesterday! I used feta cheese instead of garbanzo beans because I just can’t get enough cheese.

  9. Hi Lydia: I like the idea of combining it with anything and everything. I’m going to do it! 😀

    Hi Ming the Merciless: Great idea about the olives or capers! Love it!

    Hi there, Kat: Yes, perfect for the summer.

    Hi Ruth: Thanks! And thanks for putting this event together.

    Hi Sra: I hope you’re able to make it again, soo.

    Hi Beth: Are you back? Yay! Oh, I love the idea of using the feta cheese. I love feta cheese. I think I’d use the cheese AND beans. Yum! I’m going to make this again and again and again, with all the suggestions. I love it!


  10. Great photo of a really lovely salad. And with all these suggestions, this salad has the potential to be new and tasty everytime. Lovely.

  11. Hi Tanna: I agree, this salad will be “new and tasty every time” with all the wonderful suggestion. I can’t wait to incorporate them. 😀


  12. Ooo, this looks so good. The rice looks so tender and buttery. I will try this but with veggie broth. Mmm Mmm Good 😛 Thanks

  13. Hi Lena: I love this pasta, which looks and reminds me so much of rice. The veggiebroth sounds great! Yum!


  14. Darlene UNITED STATES

    :grin:New here. I googled Orzo Salad today , saw your pic of it & had to make it. Oh my the fresh taste of the mint(we have lots), basil, squeezed lemon along with the rest was so fresh tasting & wonderful. I did cut way back on the oil & salt & added a smidgen of feta I had that wanted using (I almost always tweak recipes). Hubby & I ate all but one serving:oops: along with a small amount of leftover grilled chicken I had. A definite keeper and thank you!!!
    Garbanzo bean lovers unite, lol.

  15. Hi Darlene: Welcome! I’m glad you were able to try this recipe. And I love how you tweaked it to your tastes. I’m going to have to try it with feta next time. With grilled chicken, too? Oh, boy! You’re making me hungry and I just ate! LOL! Thanks for taking time to let me know what you thought.


  16. sherri ann UNITED STATES

    MMMM…I’m making this for Thanksgiving, I will add sundried feta instead of the garbonzos (although I do like them) and I will be adding toasted pine nuts. Oh so yummy!!

  17. Hi Sherri Ann: welcome! Your recipe plans sound divine. Happy cooking and eating!


  18. […] The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz – Orzo Salad […]


    That looks like heaaaven! Its such a gr8 picture. I am going to make it for tommorow lunch. I am hoping it actualy tastes good and its not only the picture!

  20. Hi Laura: Have fun making and eating this dish. It was definitely delicious. Let us know how it turned out for you.


  21. marlene wattam CANADA

    I make my Orzo Salad with Olive Oil juice from a lemon, then I add chopped celery, green onions, radishes, then I add some large shrimp. I put a lot of shrimp because everybody loves them. I get a lot of complements and its always gets devoured by all.

  22. Thanks, Marlene, for sharing your recipe tips with us. Sounds extra delicious. I will definitely try it. 😉


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