Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe (with grilled vegetables)
This orzo pasta salad recipe with grilled vegetables 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.
Servings (change as needed): 6
- 1 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
- 2 peppers, any color, seeded and cut into 3-4 pieces each Note 1
- 1 small eggplant, sliced into1/2 inch rounds
- 1 red onion, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 tablespoon Catalina/French dressing (or just olive oil if preferred)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each, to sprinkle
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregeno or thyme (optional) (or 1 tsp dried)
- cooking spray
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon bottled BBQ sauce (or more to taste) optional
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 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 lemon juice or 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).
- Two ways to Grill Vegetables:
- Follow instructions in recipe, grilling larger pieces then chopping them after cooking.
- Alternatively, cut veggies into smaller pieces, toss with oil, dressing, etc, then grilled in a grill basket sprayed with oil.
- Make Ahead: 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.
Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 400mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1484IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg