Light & Refreshing Orzo Salad with Fresh Vegetables and Herbs











Dive into a bowl of light and refreshing Orzo Salad, perfect for summer days! Packed with crisp vegetables, aromatic herbs and zesty lemon dressing, this dairy-free salad is a delight in every bite and just 358 calories per serving.


Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Start your orzo salad by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and blanch them for just a minute – they should retain their crispness. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them into a strainer, give them a quick rinse under cold water, and let them drain. This quick blanching process keeps the peas vibrant and crunchy, adding a fresh texture to your salad.
Pro Tip: Keep a bowl of iced water ready to plunge your peas in after boiling for an instant cool down.

Step 2: Cook Orzo

In the same pot of boiling water you used for the peas, add the orzo. Let it cook until it’s tender but still has a bit of firmness to it, about 8 minutes. This ensures your orzo is cooked perfectly al dente - soft with just the right amount of bite. After cooking, drain the orzo and let it cool. Avoid rinsing the orzo so you retain the lovely starch that will help the dressing cling to the pasta better.
Pro Tip: Stir the orzo occasionally while cooking to prevent it from sticking.

Step 3: Make the Salad

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled orzo, blanched peas, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced green onions, chopped parsley, mint, and lemon zest. This step is all about mixing the vibrant flavors and textures that make this salad so special. The freshness of the herbs and the brightness of the lemon zest will infuse the orzo with delightful flavors.
Pro Tip: Cut the vegetables into similar sizes for a uniform and appealing look.

Step 4: Dress It Up

For the dressing, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, and minced garlic in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is well combined and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to ensure everything is beautifully coated. The lemony dressing will add a refreshing zing and bring all the flavors together harmoniously.
Pro Tip: Always taste and adjust the seasoning right before serving.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Your orzo salad is ready to be enjoyed! If desired, line a shallow serving bowl with lettuce leaves for an extra touch of elegance, and then mound the salad in the center. This salad is a wonderful dish on its own or as a side to grilled meats or seafood. It's perfect for picnics, potlucks, or a refreshing meal at home. Remember, if you make it ahead of time, don't let it sit for too long to maintain the best color and crispness of the vegetables.
Pro Tip: Let the salad come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.