This Orzo Salad is a fantastic Summer Pasta Salad Recipe. Fresh summer corn, zucchini, feta, and basil give this pasta salad a new take on Mediterranean Orzo Salad.
Packed with fresh seasonal vegetables, a flavorful vinaigrette, plus feta cheese, this orzo salad recipe makes the perfect summer side dish for any cookout or picnic.
Why You'll Love this Feta Orzo Salad
- So much flavor is packed into this easy pasta salad recipe.
- Summers bounty is highlighted in this orzo salad recipe; it's packed with healthy summer veggies.
- Quick and easy to make because orzo cooks up in just 11 minutes. Add a zucchini, fresh corn, and a few herbs, and you have one summer recipe that's a keeper.
What You'll Need
- Orzo adds a fantastic tiny pasta shape that mingles perfectly with the feta and summer veggies in this pasta salad.
- Corn adds a crisp, sweet crunch. You'll want about 2 cups of corn. (2 to 3 cobs). If you don't have fresh, you can opt for frozen corn.
- Zucchini is diced to about the size of the corn kernels.
- Fresh basil and parsley add a ton of herbaceous summer flavor. Chiffonade the basil by stacking the leaves and then rolling them. Thinly slice the roll to create delicate ribbons of basil. Finely mince the parsley.
- Oil and vinegar add flavor to pasta salad. Adding the vinegar to warm pasta encourages it to absorb into the pasta for maximum flavor. Use a robustly flavored Mediterranean olive oil.
- Feta cheese — skip the crumbled feta and opt for the feta that comes in a block. The flavor is so much better.
- Red pepper flakes add a kick of spice. You can leave it out if spicy food isn't your jam.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Make sure to taste the salad and adjust the seasoning. Feta is a salty cheese so depending on the brand you're using, you may need to adjust the salt in this recipe.
How To Make Orzo Salad
- Cook the corn. Add 6 to 8 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add the corn cobs to the boiling water and boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and set it aside.
- Cook the orzo. Using the same boiling water, add 1 cup of orzo and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the orzo and place it into a large bowl.
- Season the pasta. Add the sherry vinegar and the salt and pepper to the pasta immediatly toss to combine.
- Add the veggies. Dice the zucchini, and cut the corn off of the cob. Add the summer vegetables to the orzo pasta salad and toss.
- Add the herbs. Mince the parsley and chiffonade the basil, add it to the pasta salad. Add the red pepper flakes.
- Add the feta cheese. Dice or crumble the feta and add it to the salad. Toss to combine.
Orzo Salad Tips
- Perfect pasta for pasta salad. Cook the orzo to in salted water to al dente, it should have just a little bite. Season the pasta immediately after draining it. Adding the vinegar and salt and pepper to warm pasta maximizes the flavor in this pasta salad.
- Dice veggies to similar sizes. Because the orzo pasta is small and the corn is pre-sized, I recommend keeping the dice on the zucchini to about the same size as the corn kernels. This gives the pasta salad a synchronise look and feel.
What to Serve With Pasta Salad
More Cookout Sides
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- 1 cup orzo cooked al dente, according to directions
- 2 cobs corn cooked and cut from the cobb (1 ½ to 2 cups)
- 2 to 3 small zucchini diced (1 ½ to 2 cups)
- ¼ cup basil chiffonade
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 ounces feta diced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Add 6 to 8 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add the corn cobs to the boiling water and boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and set it aside.
- Using the same boiling water, add 1 cup of orzo and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the orzo and place it into a large bowl.
- Add the sherry vinegar and the salt and pepper to the pasta immediatly, toss to combine.
- Dice the zucchini, and cut the corn off of the cob. Add the vegetables to the orzo and toss.
- Mince the parsley and chiffonade the basil, add it to the pasta salad. Add the red pepper flakes.
- Dice or crumble the feta and add it to the salad. Toss to combine.