Bright, flavorful orzo pasta salad, packed with summer's freshest and best ingredients: chopped arugula and radicchio, basil, garlic, olives, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
Why are so many pasta salads underwhelming? Because there's nothing delicious about cold noodles and mayonnaise, even if you throw in some chopped veggies.
A truly great pasta salad is a rare commodity. When I discovered this one (nearly 20 years ago), it became my instant favorite and has been my go-to summer pasta salad ever since.
A big bowl of this colorful orzo pasta salad on the buffet table is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
How to make the best orzo pasta salad
Once you've chopped everything, this recipe comes together fast.
- Cook and drain a pound of orzo pasta. Toss it immediately, while it's still hot, with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, chopped sun dried tomatoes and chopped Kalamata olives. The hot orzo will soak in all the wonderful flavors as it cools.
- Once the orzo is cool, toss it with the rest of the pasta salad ingredients: chopped radicchio, arugula, basil, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
- For maximum flavor, serve this dish at room temperature.
Everyone can use a great pasta salad recipe for summer or really for any time of year. This one is the best!
I love serving this pasta salad with almost anything grilled. Aleppo Pepper Chicken and Grilled Swordfish Steaks Salad Verde go beautifully with this salad, as does this simple lemony grilled Chicken Paillard and this Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.