Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

Summer is here! Warm weather means lots of salads, especially pasta salads. I find pasta salads really easy to make, because lets be honest, in the summer I would rather be outside enjoying the weather.  In Chicago you only get a few months of Vitamin D to enjoy.

Orzo Pasta Salad

I usually make my pasta salads on Sundays when we grill out and then eat the leftovers during the week for lunch.

Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is one that I like making in the summer. I am a big fan of orzo pasta and putting chickpeas in my salads for that added protein.  The flavors of this salad mixed with the light dressing and mint make it a refreshing and flavorful dish.

Orzo Pasta Salad

I don’t know about you but I am thankful for summer and all of the salads that come with it!

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

A light, refreshing pasta salad that is perfect for a summer BBQ or picnic.
  • Salad
  • ½ cucumber, chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1½ cups orzo
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups red teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¾ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. For the salad:
  2. Put broth in a large pot and cover. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in orzo.
  3. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender (6-8 minutes) stirring frequently.
  4. Drain orzo and place in a large mixing bowl. Let the orzo cool completely.
  5. Mix the orzo with the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, basil and mint.
  6. Add ¼ of the dressing to the salad and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  7. When ready to eat add remaining dressing and mix well.
  8. To make the dressing:
  9. In a food processor or blender mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper until mixed well.
  10. While the machine is running gradually add in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from Giada de Laurentis


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  1. says

    Chicago summers definitely are too short, but you make up for it with a beautiful Fall! I miss it! Now that I’m in Mississippi, we don’t have a Fall season, really. Just summer and, well, cooler summer. ;)

    Pasta salad looks GREAT!

    • Julia says

      So glad to hear it! I agree–the fresh herbs are what sets is apart! Thanks for letting me know that you liked it. :)

  2. Katie says

    How funny – I just pinned this and it’s your site! Making this for the Glennon crew this weekend. Looks awesome, and the mint it totally a flash back to Grandpa’s gardens. Love your site!

  3. says

    Hi, Julie!
    I just made your Summer Orzo Pasta Salad and it is delicious! I love the fresh basil and mint with the cucumbers and tomato-definitely refreshing! This was my first time cooking with orzo…easy recipe to follow…The red wine vinegar and lemon were very pronounced in the dressing for my taste; I tempered it with more honey. I can’t wait to discover and try more from A Cedar Spoon! – Beverly
    Beverly recently posted..Journey MapMy Profile

    • Julia says

      Thanks Beverly! I am so glad you liked this salad! I love the fresh vegetables and the basil and mint too. Such a wonderful summer salad.

  4. Abby says

    Thank you for this super recipe! It’s 10 degrees outside & we’re in the midst of a snowstorm. This sunny, fresh & yummy recipe is just what I needed to warm things up! It’s absolutely delicious!

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