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Italian Orzo Salad

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


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Just before serving, stir in cheese and pine nuts.
Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 288 calories, 12g fat (3g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 630mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 10g protein.

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  • caglaser
    May 19, 2019

    No comment left

  • Lori
    Sep 29, 2017

    I made it according to the recipe and it was delicious. Then I made a variation i wanted to share. Call this one the Siciliano variation. To the dressing add 2 crushed garlic cloves, emulsify well. I substituted zucchini for cucumber. Excluded the red onions. Substituted 12oz shredded mozzarella for cubed cheese. Added 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese, 8 cups finely chopped fresh spinach, and 2 cups finely chopped fresh cilantro. 1 10 oz can garbanzo beans (rinsed), 1 10 oz can black beans ( rinsed). Orzo is perfect for pasta salads!! ( It won’t get mushy )I took both to a potluck buffet for 100 guests. Everyone loved both dishes. There was nothing left over! Everyone wants me to bring it again. Thank you for a perfect pasta salad !!!

  • Bonnyp
    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.

  • valanddansmith
    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!

  • shdc58
    May 19, 2011

    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.

  • RenaGam
    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!

  • debrichter
    Sep 16, 2010

    No comment left

  • lenfinger
    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!

  • anngemmel
    Jul 15, 2010

    This is super delicious and a hit even with my 3 teens who are a bit more selective! Super as a light summer supper with some fresh fruit and a loaf of crusty bread.

  • cindylelea
    Jun 26, 2010

    This recipe was not only simple to make, it tastes light and refreshing!