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Lemon Basil Orzo Salad

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: vegan, pasta salad,
  • Method: Tossed
  • Cuisine: Northwest
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Lemon Basil Orzo Pasta Salad. Keep it vegan or add feta.  Summery, flavorful, zesty and light! Perfect for summer potlucks, or make-ahead lunches!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta ( uncooked)
  • 2 Turkish cucumbers, sliced ( about 2 cups) or use English cucumbers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful baby arugula ( optional, or sub baby spinach)

Lemon Basil Dressing

  • 1 cup basil ( packed down tight, about 2 ounces)
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • zest from one medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper

Optional additions: cheese ( goat, feta, shaved pecorino or parmesan), seeds, nuts, avocado, microgreens, chickpeas


Cook orzo in generously salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water, until cooled.

Place basil, garlic, and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse repeated until uniformly chopped. Add lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Pulse a couple more times, until combine, but not smooth.

Place cooled orzo into a bowl and toss with the flavorful basil lemon sauce. Add any additions you like- cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, snap peas, goat cheese, avocado, nuts, seeds, arugula, etc.

Orzo will soak up much of the salt after it sits, so make sure to taste for salt right before serving. I’ll usually add another ¼ teaspoon. Adjust lemon adding more to taste.



If you plan to add a lot of veggies or beans to the orzo (like, more than a cup or two) double or 1 ½ times the lemon basil dressing so your final dish still has plenty of flavor and vibrant color.


  • Serving Size: 1 ½ cups ( without feta)
  • Calories: 233
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 293.1 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.6 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: pasta salad recipe, summer pasta salad, orzo pasta salad, orzo recipe, lemon orzo pasta, lemon basil orzo pasta salad, orzo recipes, vegan pasta salad, vegan orzo pasta salad