Bruschetta Orzo Pasta Salad – with Video

Fresh and flavorful, this bruschetta orzo pasta salad is going to be a summertime favorite! Bonus: No mayo or yogurt so it’s great for warm-weather picnics. Just say no to food poisoning!

Fresh and flavorful, this bruschetta orzo pasta salad is going to be a summertime favorite! Bonus: No mayo or yogurt so it's great for warm-weather picnics. Get the easy summer pasta salad recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Orzo in my mind is the perfect pasta for two things, pasta salad and soup. I love it for pasta salad because you always get this wonderful bite of pasta with all the other ingredients, unlike a bigger pasta shape where you might just get a bite of pasta and nothing else. I love it in soup for sort of the same reasons, you get a little bit in each bite. And there are no long noodles to slurp! No one wants to be seen doing that. I love orzo in this quick and easy meatball soup and this creamy tomato soup with whole wheat orzo.

I’ll throw all my favorite orzo pasta salad recipes at you at the end of this post, including one of my go-to potluck/BBQ orzo salads, but let’s talk about this one first!

Fresh and flavorful, this bruschetta orzo pasta salad is going to be a summertime favorite! Bonus: No mayo or yogurt so it's great for warm-weather picnics. Get the easy summer pasta salad recipe on RachelCooks.com!

I brought this to a party at my parent’s house. I knew it would be a large crowd, and this makes plenty! It also has wide appeal, with no strange or unusual ingredients. Most everyone knows and loves bruschetta and this bruschetta orzo pasta salad is no different – it’s a hit! We even had some leftover and I’m happy to say that it tastes great leftover too.

I may or may not have eaten it alongside my scrambled eggs the next morning. Ben had fun with that one, but I always have loved a savory breakfast and I’m not embarrassed.

Fresh and flavorful, this bruschetta orzo pasta salad is going to be a summertime favorite! Bonus: No mayo or yogurt so it's great for warm-weather picnics. Get the easy summer pasta salad recipe on RachelCooks.com!

This orzo salad is so easy to make (which is another thing I like about it). I cook the pasta and stop the cooking and cool it down with cold water. While the pasta is cooking, you’ll mix together a few of the other ingredients (tomatoes, a few finely minced onions, garlic, white balsamic vinegar, GOOD olive oil, salt and pepper and let them mingle and all the great flavors to soak into the tomatoes.

That gets mixed into the cooled pasta and it’s finished with tons of fresh basil and shredded Parmesan cheese. It’s simple summer perfection and it doesn’t have mayonnaise or yogurt, so you can feel comfortable setting this out for a couple hours while people enjoy their food.

A few notes…

  • I use white balsamic vinegar. You can definitely also use traditional balsamic vinegar, but it will change the color of this salad (I don’t like it when it turns brown).
  • I soak my onions in ice water before adding them to the salad. It’s optional, but it takes the strength of them down a notch and prevents them from being overwhelming.
  • I use a variety of colors of tomatoes because I think it looks pretty! It’s not required, all red is totally fine.
  • I recommend using really high-quality, flavorful, extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe. Since it’s such a fresh, light salad, the flavor of the olive really shines through so using a great one will really make the flavors pop and elevate this orzo pasta salad from pretty good to outstanding.

PS: How good with this be with a tall glass of sangria? Here’s a great looking sangria recipe!

Bruschetta Orzo Pasta Salad

Fresh and flavorful, this bruschetta orzo pasta salad is going to be a summertime favorite! Bonus: No mayo or yogurt so it’s great for warm-weather picnics. Just say no to food poisoning!

4.5
4.5 / 5 (5 Reviews)
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 3 cups small-diced fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and salt. Stir to combine and cover and set aside for 15 minutes for flavors to meld.
  3. Mix together pasta and tomato mixture until all ingredients are combined. Add basil and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  4. Serve immediately or store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • I use white balsamic vinegar. You can definitely also use traditional balsamic vinegar, but it will change the color of this salad (I don’t like it when it turns brown).
  • I soak my onions in ice water before adding them to the salad. It’s optional, but it takes the strength of them down a notch and prevents them from being overwhelming.
  • I use a variety of colors of tomatoes because I think it looks pretty! It’s not required, all red is totally fine.
  • I recommend using really high-quality, flavorful, extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe. Since it’s such a fresh, light salad, the flavor of the olive really shines through so using a great one will really make the flavors pop and elevate this orzo pasta salad from pretty good to outstanding.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 side servings, Serving Size: 1/16th of recipe

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 238 Calories
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 18mg
  • Sodium: 462mg
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 13g
Actual nutrition may vary depending on how recipe is prepared.
All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: I’ll definitely be making this pasta salad time and time again.
Husband’s take: He said it had too much onion. I guess two little tablespoons in a giant bowl of pasta is too much. I’m not rolling my eyes.
Changes I would make: More onion. Ha, kidding. No changes necessary! If you want to bulk it up a little, it would be great with some fresh mozzarella tossed into the mix.
Difficulty: Easy!

 

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15 comments

  1. I’m a huge orzo fan and loving how you celebrated the fresh seasonal tomatoes in this pasta salad!

  2. So much ye. This is the perfect summer side dish! Fresh, light and full of flavor!

  3. A big hit, everyone love it! Except for my daughter we give a skewer with chicken instead! Easy and delicious!

    Rating: 5
  4. This is a great side for summer cookouts!

    Rating: 5
  5. So yummy!  Can’t wait to try the other orzo recipes!  Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  6. On camping trip found your recipe to use up some left over Orzo. It is wonderful. DIL , son, and 4 grand children couldn’t get enough of this salad. Thank you for the recipe.

    Rating: 5
  7. I am making this right now. I decided to add marinated artiichokes to the mix.

    Rating: 3.5
  8. Can this be made 24 hours in advance? Thanks!

    • I haven’t tested it that way, but I have eaten leftovers. The flavor is still great, but it does get a little more dry because the pasta soaks up some of the liquid. Let me know if you give it a try!

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