This Orzo Salad is tossed with a lemon basil dressing, with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and arugula. A healthy, vegan, pasta salad that can be made ahead for midweek lunches or potlucks. Keep it vegan or add feta!
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta (uncooked)
- 2 Turkish cucumbers, sliced (about 2 cups) or use English cucumbers
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- handful of 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
- 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 repeatedly until uniformly chopped. Add lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Pulse a couple more times until combined, but not smooth.
- Place cooled orzo into a bowl and toss with the flavorful basil lemon sauce. Add any additions 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 the lemon, adding more to taste. If the salad tastes overly bitter ( it might be the olive oil) try adding a tiny bit of sugar- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon.
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.
Orzo Salad will keep 4 days in the fridge
- Serving Size: 1 1/4 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
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