Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad is an EASY and CHEAP pasta salad side dish to make when you need one quickly. It’s lemony, light to eat for those hot summer days. Plus, it’s great to serve as a vegetarian side dish. 6 ingredients, ready in 30 min and vegetarian/vegan.
Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
Going to a potluck? Need a to bring a side dish? This is perfect when you’re in a pinch and need something FAST without spending a lot on ingredients. Because this simple dish only has 6, easy-to-find ingredients! It also will appease those with vegan or vegetarian dietary restrictions. So, that’s another win!
This pasta salad is fresh and light and perfect for summer but, really can be eaten any time of year. With just a few ingredients, it comes together quickly and is even ready to eat immediately!
First, let me answer some questions you may have regarding orzo pasta. It’s shaped similar to rice but, it’s actually pasta and is sold in the pasta aisle near the pastina (little pasta stars,) alphabet pasta and Acini di Pepe.
Is orzo eaten hot or cold?
It can be eaten either way. You can eat it hot in Italian Wedding Soup or cold in a pasta salad.
Can you overcook orzo?
Yes, and don’t do it. It’ll turn out mushy. Set a timer. I like my pasta al dente but, you don’t want to over cook orzo. Cook it according to package directions.
How long should I boil orzo?
About 10 minutes. Set a timer. Again, you don’t want to overcook it because it’ll get mushy. Drain it in a colander with small holes or a strainer.
Should you rinse orzo?
You don’t have to rinse orzo but, in this recipe, rinsing it will cool down the pasta so you can add the remaining ingredients.
As I mentioned, this Lemon Orzo Pasta salad is a great vegan dish to serve while your dairy-loving friend won’t notice. So, give this light tasting dish a try. It’s a lemon lovers delight.
Substitutions and additions:
- Add Feta cheese.
- Tuna fish would be good in this dish, said Dr. Seuss.
- A little chopped red onion would be tasty too.
- Add sliced black or green olives.
- Use any kind of tomato you like but, not canned tomatoes.
- Add toasted pine nuts.
- Add some capers.
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Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
- 2 cups Orzo pasta
- 1 cup grape tomatoes quartered
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta until tender (about 10 min.) Set a timer and do not overcook or it will become mushy. Rinse with cold water and drain.
- Zest lemon to get 1 tsp of lemon zest.
- Juice the lemon to get two teaspoons of lemon juice.
- Meanwhile, prep parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers and lemon. Add them along with oil and seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Stir in drained pasta and combine. Serve immediately or chill, covered.