Italian Orzo Salad Recipe

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This light pasta salad is an ideal summer side dish for any potluck or picnic. It’s also great for a weeknight dinner. —Cindy Springsteen, Denver, Colorado
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:12 servings
Quick Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package (16 ounces) orzo pasta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1-3/4 cups (7 ounces ) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Nutritional Facts

2/3 cup equals 288 calories, 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 630 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g protein.


  1. In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil; add pasta. Return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, basil, onions and spinach. Drain pasta; add to tomato mixture. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Chill until serving.
  3. Just before serving, stir in cheese and pine nuts. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Italian Orzo Salad in Simple & Delicious June/July 2010, p29

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Reviewed Jun. 5, 2014

"I used pepper jack instead of the feta and sliced almonds instead of the pine nuts. Delicious! Make sure you stir the orzo often while boiling or it will stick to the pan and it needs all the liquid."

Reviewed May. 6, 2013

"This was really, really good! May leave out the cucumbers next time because they just don't seem to hold up too well in pasta salads. This makes a ton so it's great to bring for a potluck or party. Can't wait to have some of the leftovers for lunch today!"

Reviewed May. 19, 2011 Edited May. 15, 2015

"Easy to make, tastes delicious. This has become the dish that people request I bring to pot lucks. I really like that the dressing is one that can safely be out on a buffet table. Addendum to previous review: I have made this as a quinoa salad when I have gluten intolerant guests. Now I have gluten free people asking me for the recipe."

Reviewed Apr. 20, 2011

"I made this recipe for my son's birthday party last year and had so many requests for it, I included it in the thank you notes!

It is really tasty!"

Reviewed Jul. 23, 2010

"Terrific! I love the combination of fresh spinach and basil. The dressing is really tasty too. I can only find feta cheese in 4-oz packages, so I made up the difference with cubed mozzarella cheese...yummy!"

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