This spin on pasta salad bulks up the orzo with filling, tasty, and calorie-light grilled vegetables and fresh herbs. The olive oil-based dressing incorporates flavorful ingredients like Dijon mustard, garlic, and oregano. The result is a lighter pasta salad with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and healthy fat.
Nutrition information (per serving)
Calories: 372; protein: 7g; fat: 27g; carbs: 26g; sugar: 4g
Recipe and photo by Lisa Lotts of Garlic & Zest
Makes 6 servings
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- Sprinkle of kosher salt and grind of pepper
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (I used red and yellow grape tomatoes)
- 3-4 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 4 oz feta cheese, diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
How to make it
For the orzo: Fill a pot halfway with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring the pot to a boil and add the orzo pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally for 9-10 minutes for al dente, or according to package directions. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and drain. Set aside.
For grilling vegetables: Heat the grill to high heat, about 450°. Place the red pepper directly on the grates.
Slice the zucchini into rounds, crosswise, about 1/2-3/4" thick. Chunk the red onion into 1" pieces.
Skewer the zucchini slices (skewer on the thin side, so that more of the flesh can get the char of the grill). Separate the layers of onion and loosely skewer. Brush 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the onion and zucchini, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, combine orzo, red pepper, zucchini, onion, olives, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, and feta cheese. Toss to combine.
In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, Dijon, garlic, oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir together until dressing has emulsified. Add dressing to the orzo salad and toss to coat.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.