Orzo Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Preparation 15 min Cook Time Total Time 15 mins
Serves 6     adjust servings

This orzo salad combines fresh garden veggies, tender orzo pasta, and a tangy fire roasted tomato and basil vinaigrette dressing with a kick of chili flakes. Looks as colorful as fireworks and has a nice explosion of flavor, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta (will yield about 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large seedless cucumber (sometimes called English cucumber), diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped or cut chiffonade style

For the Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 ounces olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Place all salad ingredients except cheese and basil into a large serving bowl. Set aside.

Make the Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

  1. Place all vinaigrette ingredients except for oil into a blender. Process on high speed for 15 seconds. With blender running on high, slowly pour olive oil into the blender to combine with other ingredients. Blend on high speed for 15-20 seconds, or until well blended and creamy.
  2. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  3. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and toss to combine. Garnish with shredded cheese and fresh basil.
  4. Store refrigerated in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days.
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