I haven’t shared any recipes (or meal plans for that matter…) in a long time, but I made a variation of this veggie and orzo pasta salad the other day and love how it turned how, so I wanted to share it! It’s the perfect light side for summer days, whether you pair it with a lean protein like grilled chicken for lunch (or my fave, a Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burger) or bring it to a cookout to share with friends and family. Also, it’s such a quick dish to throw together and has all the yummy veggies + healthy fats, too!
I️’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with pasta salad. It’s one of the most versatile dishes and can feed a crowd. I️ love this variation with orzo – most recipes call for other types of pasta, but there’s something about orzo that makes it seem a little bit fancier!
- 16 ounces orzo pasta, cooked and drained
- 1 green or red pepper, diced
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup cheese (I used Daiya dairy-free shredded mozzarella but would suggest feta if you're not dairy-free!)
- 2 tsp oregano leaves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop your pepper, cucumber and tomatoes.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil and balsamic along with spices and whisk to combine.
- Drain pasta once cooked and rinse with cool water.
- In a large bowl, add pasta and chopped veggies.
- Give dressing a quick whisk, then pour over pasta and veggies and stir to combine.
The great thing about this veggie and orzo pasta salad is you really can’t mess it up! Feel free to add other ingredients (think olives, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.) and adjust the spices and dressing to your taste. If you want to pack a protein punch, you can even add pepperoni or cheese (if you eat dairy) – that would definitely amp up the flavor even more! Enjoy!