Lemon orzo pasta salad is packed with vibrant and refreshing flavors, giving the best tangy citrus and savory goodness that satisfies everyone. Make this family-friendly side dish in just 20 minutes, perfect on a hot summer day.
Lemon orzo salad is perfect for summer because it is simple and delicious. This orzo pasta salad recipe is so light and refreshing. It is always ready to serve in no time because of its simplicity. Easy orzo uses fresh lemon juice, red onion, corn, and fresh parsley — creating the best results ever.
Read more about why orzo is great to use and how to cook it.
Why We Love This Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe
Orzo salad and love go hand-in-hand. Make lemon orzo your family’s next favorite and toss the salad in a jiffy.
- 20-Minute Meal: Get ready to whip up this orzo pasta in just 20 minutes.
- Easy Ingredients: Easy and delicious ingredients found in your pantry or even your garden.
- Family Friendly: Everyone loves this recipe because it is so tasty and easy to eat.
- Adaptable: This salad can include meat or other veggies easily.
- Makes Great Leftovers: This orzo pasta salad is a perfect leftover for the next day.
Salad Ingredient Notes for this Pasta Salad Recipe
- Orzo: Orzo shines in chilled salads with vibrant vegetables and tangy dressings, adding an unexpected twist to traditional pasta salads. You can really use a cute small pasta shape.
- Lemon: Lemon adds a juicy, acidic flavor for pure deliciousness. Lemon zest adds even more freshness. Lemon zest and juice add tons of freshness to this summer salad with orzo.
- Fresh Parsley: Fresh parsley has a clean, peppery taste with an earthy flavor, so it adds even more depth to this orzo lemon pasta salad.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
Variations and Substitutions for Cold Orzo Salad
Anything goes for this lemon orzo pasta salad. You can even add chickpeas if you want to — so yum!
- Olives: Manzanilla or Kalamata olives are great substitutes to use because they are so popular to use in pasta dishes.
- Feta Cheese: Goat cheese or tangy feta cheese is a great addition to this pasta salad because of its richness and bold flavor.
- Fresh Herbs: You can use lots of fresh herbs like fresh dill and fresh basil because this recipe is easy and versatile.
- Different Vegetables: English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and other vegetables are amazing in this pasta salad because of the different crunch and flavors.
How to Make Easy Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
But this salad doesn’t stop at just lemon and orzo – it’s packed with other delicious ingredients too! From crunchy veggies like corn and bell peppers to fresh herbs like parsley, each component adds its own unique texture and taste.
These are the basic steps for making lemon orzo salad. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions.
Step 1: Cook Orzo
First, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Then, drain the orzo pasta water.
Step 2: Heat Grill
Second, heat the grill to medium.
Step 3: Grill Veggies
Then, coat the corn, pepper halves, and onion with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and place them on the grill.
Step 4: Flip and Brown
Cook, flipping occasionally, until they are lightly browned on all sides.
Step 5: Remove and Cool
Then once done, take the vegetables off the grill and allow them to cool slightly so you can chop them next.
Step 6: Cut and Chop Veggies
Next, proceed by cutting the kernels off the cob and veggies into pieces that are equivalent in size to the kernels.
Step 7: Combine Ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the orzo, chopped vegetables, parsley, lemon juice, and remaining olive oil so it is all evenly coated.
Step 8: Season and Serve
Finally, add all-purpose seasoning. Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe FAQs for Cold Orzo Salad
Expert Tips for Making This Lemon Orzo Salad Recipe
Cook the orzo to perfection to create a delicious salad that is quick and easy to make. This lemony orzo recipe is perfect for summer. Just follow these recipe tips to make this orzo and lemon dressing amazing.
- Add Protein: Turn this side pasta salad into the main course and add protein like grilled chicken, steak, or salmon.
- Short Cut Tip: Instead of squeezing fresh lemon, use bottled lemon juice to quickly squeeze flavor into this pasta salad.
- Variation Tip: Add spinach or asparagus to add or substitute to this easy lemon orzo. Use other vegetables such as olives or mushrooms. Try using a flavored olive oil.
What to Serve with Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
- 1 cup Orzo, cooked and drained
- 1 ear Corn, husked
- 1 Bell pepper, any color, halved and seeded
- ½ Red onion, peeled and cut into thick rings
- 3 tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Wegmans basting oil
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons Fresh parsley, minced
- ½ teaspoon All-purpose seasoning
- First, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
- Second, add the orzo and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes (according to box instructions). Rinse and drain.
- Then, heat the grill to medium.
- Next, coat the corn, pepper halves, and onion with 2 teaspoons of oil and place them on the grill.
- Cook, flipping occasionally, until they are lightly browned on all sides, which should take approximately 10 minutes.
- Then, once done, take the vegetables off the grill and allow them to cool slightly.
- Next, proceed by cutting the kernels off the cob and dicing the peppers and onions into pieces that are equivalent in size to the kernels.
- In a large bowl, combine the orzo, chopped vegetables, parsley, lemon juice and remaining olive oil so it is all evenly coated.
- Finally, add all-purpose seasoning according to your taste preferences. Chill until ready to serve.
- Add Protein: Turn this side pasta salad into the main course and add protein like grilled chicken, steak or salmon.
- Short Cut Tip: Instead of squeezing a fresh lemon, use bottled lemon juice to quickly squeeze flavor into this pasta salad.
- Variation Tip: Add spinach or asparagus to add or substitute to this easy lemon orzo.