Grilled Vegetable Orzo is a beautiful make-ahead, under 30 minute side dish and a step up from the usual sides. Vary the ingredients to make it your own.
I’ve been making this orzo salad with grilled vegetables for years. It’s one of my go-to recipes for BBQ’s and casual dinner parties because it has tons of veggies, making it great for vegetarians and the flavors are delish.
It’s best to use the recipe as a guide, varying the vegetables and seasonings as you like. Just keep tasting and adjusting. You won’t be disappointed. Try serving grilled vegetable orzo with Chili Lime Chicken Wings or Grilled Chicken Burgers with Mango-Avocado Salsa. Or on a buffet tables with other salads.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use whatever vegetables you like. My favorites are eggplant, peppers and onions. Zucchinis and mushrooms would work well too.
- Add some grilled chicken, tofu or meat to the dish to make it a full meal.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs, use dried herbs (about 1/3 of the amount in the recipe). And feel free to vary them, including adding some heat such as chili flakes or sriracha.
- Instead of grilling the vegetables, they can be roasted or sauteed.
- Add fresh ripe mango or peach cubes – so good!
Make Ahead Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad
- The whole dish can be made a day or two ahead and kept covered in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature or warm in for a couple of minutes in the microwave before serving. It tastes great warm or at room temperature. (Come to think of it, I can also picture myself eating leftovers straight out of the fridge the next day).
Grilled Vegetable Orzo
- 1 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
- 2 peppers, any colour, seeded and cut into 3-4 pieces each
- 1 small eggplant, sliced into1/2 inch rounds
- 1 red onion, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 tbsp Catalina/French dressing (or just olive oil if preferred)
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, each, to sprinkle
- 1 tbsp chopped oregeno or thyme (optional) (or 1 tsp dried)
- cooking spray
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp each, salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp bottled BBQ sauce (or more to taste) - optional
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely as well as other fresh herbs to taste e.g. basil, chives, thyme, dill
- Heat grill to medium-high.
- MAKE ORZO: Cook orzo pasta according to package directions and level of firmness you like. Drain and set aside.
- GRILL VEGETABLES: Lay out cut vegetables on a large foil-lined pan. Drizzle and coat the vegetables with Catalina dressing or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and oregano or thyme (if using). No need to do both sides of veggies. Spray the vegetables lightly with oil spray (to prevent sticking on grill). Grill vegetables a few minutes on each side until tender. Remove vegetables from the grill and cut into small 1/2 inch pieces.
- MAKE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING: Whisk the first 4 vinaigrette ingredients in a small measuring cup.
ASSEMBLE ORZO SALAD: Combine in a nice bowl the chopped vegetables, parsley and other fresh herbs (if using) and orzo with about 3/4 of the vinaigrette. Mix in BBQ sauce (if using), parsley and other herbs. Taste, then add more vinaigrette if needed, adjusting seasonings and/or BBQ sauce to your taste. If you can, make this dish a few hours or a day ahead to let the flavors blend. Serve at room temperature or warm. (warm in microwave for a couple of minutes before serving).
Other side dishes you might like:
Peanut Noodles With Vegetables get the recipe
Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cinnamon Dressing get the recipe