Orzo Pasta Salad

orzo pasta salad

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4.6 from 5 reviews

This orzo pasta salad is light and summery and a great side dish for BBQs and potlucks because it’s delicious served cold or at room temperature. It’s is full of fresh broccoli, red bell pepper, red onion, and chickpeas and is dressed with a lemony Dijon vinaigrette. 



For the Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the Salad

  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 (16-ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon


  1. Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk until combined. 
  2. Blanch the Broccoli: Place ice cubes and water in a medium-sized bowl. Next, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and boil them for 2 minutes. Use a large slotted spoon, scoop them out of the water, and submerge them in the bowl with the ice and water to stop the cooking process. Drain them and set them aside. 
  3. Boil the Orzo: In the same pot that you used to boil the broccoli, boil the orzo. There’s no need to change the water, just be sure to bring it back to a rolling boil before adding the pasta. Cook the orzo according to package directions.
  4. Assemble the Salad:  Drain the orzo and transfer it to a large bowl. Chop the cooled broccoli florets into small pieces. Place the broccoli, bell pepper, red onion, chopped parsley, chickpeas, and lemon juice in the bowl with the pasta. Pour the dressing over the top and toss until well combined. Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature.


This salad tastes even better if you make it a few hours in advance. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Leftovers will keep for several days, too.