Herb-Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad

This Herb-Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad recipe is easy to make and filled with the best fresh and zesty flavors!  Perfect for serving as a main dish or side, and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins.

Herb Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad Recipe

As long as I live, I’m pretty sure that I will never grow tired of chopping up fresh herbs in the kitchen. 

I’m convinced they are one of life’s best little luxuries.  And every time I place them on my cutting board and give them a quick slice, or a rough chop, or maybe a fine chiffonade, I can’t help but lean down to inhale those magical fresh scents again and again.  And then “oooh” and “ahhh” and insist that Barclay come take a whiff too.  And then, inevitably, sprinkle an extra handful into the recipe, just for good measure.

Fresh herbs are just the best.

And this time of year, they are downright overflowing in the markets here around Barcelona.  So this weekend, I decided to put a big crop of fresh basil and mint to use in a zippy lemony orzo salad.  It’s filled with lots of fresh cucumber, red onion, chickpeas and spinach, and tossed with a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, and sprinkled with a bit of feta or goat cheese (if you’d like).  But all of those freshly-chopped herbs are undoubtedly what take this recipe over the top.  Feel free to add in any of your faves (a bit of dill, thyme, parsley and/or rosemary would also be delicious here).

And of course, feel free to sprinkle in an extra handful for good measure.

Herb Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad Ingredients

Lemony Orzo Salad Ingredients:

Here’s what I used to make this pasta salad.  But please feel free to sub in your favorite ingredients in any of these categories!

  • orzo (or any pasta shape)
  • chickpeas (or white beans, for extra protein)
  • veggies (English cucumber and red onions)
  • greens (baby spinach or arugula)
  • herbs (basil, mint…or whatever sounds good!)
  • lemons (I like to use the zest and juice of two large lemons, but begin with one and see what you think)
  • olive oil, salt and pepper (don’t skimp on the S&P with this recipe!)
  • cheese (crumbled feta or goat, if desired)

Also, I realized afterwards that some toasted pine nuts or almonds would be delicious in this salad, if you feel like tossing a few in.

How To Make Pasta Salad

How To Make Pasta Salad:

Super duper easy!  Simply…

  1. Prepare your pasta.  Cook it al dente according to package instructions, being sure to generously salt your pasta water.  Then drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.
  2. Toss all of your ingredients.  Combine the pasta and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and toss until evenly combined.
  3. Taste and season.  Don’t skip this step!  ;)  Give the pasta salad a taste, then season with a few pinches of salt and pepper and extra lemon juice (if needed) until the balances of everything tastes right to you.
  4. Serve!  Then serve it up!  Or if you’re making this orzo salad in advance, cover and refrigerate it for up to 3 days until ready to use.

Lemon Basil Orzo Pasta Salad

Super simple.  Super fresh.  And super good.

Enjoy, friends!

How To Make A Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad

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Herb-Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad

This Herb-Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad is full of fresh and zesty ingredients that everyone will love!  Perfect for serving as a main dish or side, and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces uncooked orzo (or any pasta shape)
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • half a small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup roughly-chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1-2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • optional: 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted water until al dente, according to package instructions.  Drain pasta then rinse thoroughly in a strainer with cold water until the pasta is chilled.  Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl (using cheese if desired).  Toss until evenly combined.  Taste, and season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, to taste.  (I used about 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.)  Also feel free to add in extra lemon juice if you’d like an extra-lemony salad.  (<– My fave.)
  3. Serve immediately.  Or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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18 comments on “Herb-Lovers Lemony Orzo Salad”

  1. What a great looking salad! One question, I live in Bcn too and… where do you buy orzo? I can never seem to find it here!

  2. Love all the fresh herbs in this! Perfect salad for spring :)

  3. Yum!! Looks like a great lunch!

  4. You are such a dear–keep up your lovely, delicious, sweet posts! (BTY, your chicken enchiladas recipe is the BEST recipe HAND DOWN!!!)

  5. Love the flavor combination here. Perfect for a hot summer day! Adding to my Vegetarian Pin Board!

  6. Is it 12 oz of cooked or uncooked pasta? I’m making this today- it looks amazing!! Thanks 😊

  7. This looks absolutely divine !! so many heart eyes !
    xx J

  8. I made this salad last night. I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out because of the ingredients. It was AWESOME! My husband and I have more than one helping of it.

    Rating: 5
  9. Made this as a side for my Mother’s Day dinner get together and everyone LOVED it! Super fresh and bright!

  10. I make something very similar, I add oil packed sundried tomatoes and artichokes with a little of the herby oil from the tomato jar instead of the olive oil and it is one of my favorite lunches to take to work ever!

  11. Made this with basil spinach and goat cheese as it was what we had on hand. Awesome! Like the idea of pine nuts for next time.

    Rating: 5
  12. Thank you for this recipe! I made this salad for my lunches last week, and it was absolutely delicious – the flavours reminded me of spanakopita. I used farfalle as my local supermarket didn’t have orzo, and it worked really well. I’m making it again for my lunches this week too, definitely a new favourite recipe :)

    Rating: 5
  13. I made this tonight, and it was so fresh and amazing. There’s lots of room for improvising and adding veggies and herbs you love.

    Rating: 5
  14. I made this and I can say that the more lemon, the better! I left out the cheese as I didn’t have on hand, added toasted pine nuts, and tossed in 12 oz of small salad shrimp. I have to say, YUM. Gave me a different pasta salad to enjoy.

    Rating: 4