There are so many reasons I love this Roasted Veggie and Orzo Salad. The first, it has pasta in it. Enough said, right? Second, it has roasted veggies and I just love those. You can use any veggies you can get your hands on, or follow my lead. I used yellow squash, zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms. The best thing about this salad is a let the pasta and veggies shine. The only additions are olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and fresh herbs. That is it!
What Is Orzo Pasta?
It is a rice-shaped pasta, that for some reason I just love!! Orzo actually means "barley" in Italian. It looks a lot like the unhulled barley grain. Because of it's size, it cooks quickly. I love this for a busy night or when making quick dishes.
What Veggies Can You Roast?
What is to love about roasted veggies? The flavor, the texture, that caramelization, all of it!! The process is called the Maillard reaction- the reaction that happens when the veggies caramelize due to high heat. Honestly, any you want, but let me give a few suggestions. Root veggies are almost always good. Squash are a great option as well. Broccoli, cauliflower, eggplants are all tasty as well.
How To Roast Your Vegetables
Start by cutting up your vegetables to the size you want. Place them on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop in your hot oven and roast until tender.
I always try and be mindful to work through the steps of a dish at the same time, then everything comes together quickly. So, while the vegetable is roasting, add the orzo to the boiling water. I always cook to al dente, as I hate eating mushy pasta! You can rinse as shown below, or mix directly with the vegetables if they are ready! Then add the cooked pasta and roasted vegetables into a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and mix well.
Assembling The Roasted Veggie And Orzo Salad
Mix well and drizzle with a little more olive oil and some fresh squeezed lemon juice. The only seasonings I added were fresh thyme, I had some in the garden, and salt and pepper. I really feel like simplicity is better for this dish.
Any seasonal veggies will work. Because this Roasted Veggie and Orzo Salad is so versatile.
If you like salads, let me share a few more that I love!! How about this Green Goddess Pasta Salad? It is light, healthy, and so delicious! I also love this Fruit and Microgreen Salad. It comes together quickly and it really tasty! Another pasta recipe that is really yummy and similar to this one is my Couscous Salad with Roasted Veggies.
Looking for other salad ideas? I have plenty, check them out here!
Roasted Veggies and Orzo Salad
- 3 cups cooked orzo Drained and rinsed with cool water
- 6 cups assorted veggies for roasting, medium to large dice I used yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and asparagus
- olive oil for drizzling veggies and the salad at the end. I used about 2 tablespoons for roasting, then another ⅓ cup for salad at the end. You might use a little more or less depending on how much you want to use.
- fresh lemon juice I used the juice of one lemon, about ¼ cup. This will depend on your preference though.
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons thyme, fresh you can use dry here too. If you using fresh, make sure and dice fine.
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes, medium dice I don't roast these, I like to add them in fresh at the end.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees for roasting the veggies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. This step is optional, but it makes clean up so much easier. Now, not all veggies will cook at the same time. I start my veggies that will take the longest first, then add the others to the tray 5-7 minutes after the first batch. With the veggies I used, I started my squash first. I cut them in large pieces, as you can see in the photos. Place them on the baking sheet and drizzle with salt and pepper. Next, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes. While it is baking, prep your other veggies to bake. For me this was asparagus, mushrooms and onions. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Add the remaining veggies to the pan and return to the oven. Roast another 5-7 minutes. Pull from the oven. You can allow them to cool or add directly to the orzo. I added the veggies right into the orzo. The fresh tomatoes also went in here. Now, the seasoning is simple add in your olive oil, I used about ⅓ cup, then the juice of one lemon, mine was about ¼ cup, your fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.That is it! This is a dish best served right away. It will hold for up to 24 hours, but you might need to add in more olive oil and lemon juice. The pasta will absorb so much. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!