This Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad The recipe combines two of my favorite summer dishes: Caprese salad and pasta salad. It’s light and herbaceous with the most delicious balsamic vinaigrette. Prepare a simple lunch ahead of the week, or bring it to your next summer backyard BBQ.
I love pasta salads in the summer for two reasons: they can be made ahead of time and are an easy dish to serve at the BBQ or BBQ. I’d rather stick with a vinaigrette-based pasta salad recipe than a mayonnaise-based recipe, as I find it holds up better when seated.
This Orzo Pasta Salad is also great for lunch or dinner. Just like my Greek Pasta Salad recipe, it’s an easy recipe that you can make on Sunday and keep in the fridge for a week, so you can have lunch or dinner without a lot of fuss!
This recipe consists of only a few ingredients. Fresh cherry tomatoes and toasted jam tomatoes are added to the orzo pasta, along with pearl mozzarella, basil and the most incredible balsamic dressing. It’s beautiful and flavorful and comes together in no time.
ingredients and substitutes
- orzo – Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape in this recipe. Fusilli, Cavatappi, Farfalle, Casarecce, Orecchiette, or Ditalini would all work well.
- cherry tomatoes – Grape tomatoes or golden sun tomatoes can be used as a substitute.
- Fresh mozzarella pearls – Ciliegine or diced bocconcini mozzarella balls work well too.
- Herbs – I like to use a combination of fresh basil, parsley and chives
- olive oil – for the vinaigrette.
- balsamic vinegar – I prefer balsamic vinegar, but champagne, white wine, or red wine vinegar would also work.
- Garlic cloves – Freshly chopped garlic adds another depth of flavor to this orzo pasta salad.
- salt and pepper – of course; that is understandable even without words.
How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad
Start by cooking the orzo al dente. Meanwhile, prepare the balsamic dressing in the bottom of a large bowl. And add the cooked orzo pasta to the bowl and mix to evenly flavor the pasta.
Then roast the halved tomatoes. As soon as they become mushy, remove and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the herbs.
Add the roasted and fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and basil leaves to the bowl with the pasta and stir until well combined.
You can serve this Orzo Pasta Salad at room temperature, warm, cold, you name it!
It is excellent as a main course and also wonderful as a side dish! Serve the orzo pasta salad with some chicken, steak, or fish as a main course.
How long does homemade pasta salad keep?
Pasta salad will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.
Should I prepare my pasta salad the night before?
You can certainly prepare your pasta salad the night before. This allows the flavors to unfold and blend even better while it’s in the fridge.
Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad
This Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad recipe combines two of my favorite summer foods: caprese salads and pasta salads. It’s light and herbaceous with the most delicious balsamic vinaigrette. Prepare a simple lunch ahead of the week, or bring it to your next summer backyard BBQ.
For the balsamic vinaigrette
Cook the orzo al dente according to package directions. Drain the orzo and let cool slightly.
Prepare the dressing. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well.
Add the orzo pasta to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, place 1 pint of the halved tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Take out and let cook. Then sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
Add the tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and basil leaves to the pasta bowl and stir until well combined. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.
- Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape in this recipe. Fusilli, Cavatappi, Farfalle, Casarecce, Orecchiette, or Ditalini would all work well.
Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 55G | Protein: 20G | Fat: 31G | Saturated Fatty Acids: 7G | Polyunsaturated fat: 2G | Monounsaturated fatty acids: 13G | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 686mg | Fiber: 4G | Sugar: 9G | Vitamin A: 1549IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 256mg | Iron: 3mg