Fresh and juicy baby tomatoes, sweet white onion and fresh summer zucchini oven roasted and mixed into al dente orzo with creamy, smooth goat cheese to finish it off. This Summer Orzo Salad with caramelized veggies is sure to be on repeat in your summer recipe rotation.
Table of Contents
About this Salad
Pasta salad is a classic favorite. Hearty noodles with plenty of mix-ins and a tasty dressing to coat it all. Pasta Salad makes for a great side at a barbecue, a tasty lunch with some protein on top, or even as a snack all on its own.
But don’t feel restricted to penne, fusilli, or macaroni noodles in a pasta salad. Switch it up with orzo, which is a very short grain that looks similar to rice, but is actually pasta. Orzo has a lovely, soft texture and is super easy to cook as compared to risotto, which it is often mistaken for.
The orzo alone, however, isn’t the star of this Summer Orzo Salad. We’ve got oven roasted, caramelized tomatoes, quite literally bursting with juices and flavor, which are baked alongside sweet white onion and fresh garden zucchinis and mixed together with creamy, smooth goat cheese for a perfect balance of flavors.
- Orzo - Orzo is a rice shaped pasta with a fun texture. Its small size works great for pasta salad because it mixes well with all of the other ingredients.
- Summer Veggies - I included spinach, baby tomatoes (actually a fruit!), zucchini, white onion and corn which all get soft and carmalezied after roasting in a healthy dose of olive oil.
- Goat Cheese - Goat cheese has a creamy, buttery flavor that pairs great with roasted tomatoes in this pasta salad. The cheese becomes melty when mixed with the warm ingredients, almost like a cheese sauce.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1: Prepare Orzo. First heat a pot of water on medium heat and bring to a boil. Add orzo to boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes less than recommended box instructions. We want it al dente. Once the orzo is finished cooking, strain and rinse with cold water.
Step 2: Prep Veggies. Preheat the oven to 350°. Wash and dice sweet onion, summer zucchini, and halve tomatoes. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a pyrex baking dish. Add onions, zucchini, tomatoes, and corn to the dish. Mix vegetables so they’re evenly coated in oil. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and toss again.
Step 3: Roast Veggies. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until veggies have caramelized and some of the tomatoes have burst.
Step 4: Add orzo and cheese. Then add the cooked orzo to the baking dish on top of the veggies as well as the goat cheese crumbles.
Step 5: Add spinach. Lastly add another tablespoon of olive oil and fresh spinach to the dish. Toss everything together (the goat cheese will melt in with the hot vegetables and pasta) and serve fresh warm or cold.
Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Note: The orzo will absorb a lot of the flavors and goat cheese when left to sit. Simply toss with your favorite dressing prior to serving to ensure the flavor is all there.
Don’t overcook your orzo. You want it al dente. Overcooked orzo will be mushy and stick together, which is not ideal for this Summer Orzo Salad.
Use good olive oil! The drizzle of oil at the end enhances this dish and a nice olive oil really makes a difference.
Traditional pasta salad is served cold like a lettuce salad would be, and this orzo is fabulous chilled. That said, I’ve also had it warm and with the charred tomato and goat cheese that becomes so creamy when heated, I can assure you it works deliciously as a hot dish as well.
This dish goes great with grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, or if you're vegetarian, mix in some chickpeas or white beans.
More Recipes You'll Love
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & if you really like the recipe consider leaving a comment further down. Thanks for visiting!
Summer Orzo Salad
- Sauce pot
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- Cutting Board
- Mixing spoon
- 2 cups dry orzo
- 15 oz baby tomatoes
- 1 medium zucchini squash
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 2 cups spinach
- First, heat a medium sized pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Add orzo to boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes less than recommended box instructions. We want it al dente.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Wash and dice sweet onion, summer zucchini, and halve tomatoes.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a pyrex baking dish. Add onions, zucchini, tomatoes, and corn to the dish. Mix vegetables so they’re evenly coated in oil. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and toss again. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Once the orzo is finished cooking, strain and rinse with cold water. Rinsing will help the pasta from sticking together.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and add the cooked orzo to the baking dish.
- Then add goat cheese crumbles, another tablespoon of olive oil and fresh spinach to the dish. Toss everything together (the goat cheese will melt due to the hot vegetables) and serve warm or cold.
Looking for this in MyFitnessPal?
If you're using MyFitnessPal, search 'A Paige Of Positivity' and find SUMMER ORZO SALAD calories and nutrition facts. Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved or just say hi!