Overhead of orzo pasta salad in a white bowl on a light countertop.

This is one of my favorite recipes to make because it’s so versatile! This recipe for vegetarian summer orzo salad is great for a summer potluck dish, an easy vegetarian dinner, or a good packed lunch. This yummy, filling recipe is perfect for just about any occasion!

Close view of a scoop of orzo pasta salad on a wooden serving spoon.

What is vegetarian summer orzo salad made of?

Summertime is the best time for this vegetarian summer orzo salad, because all the veggies you need are fresh and in-season. You’ll need:

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  • Dry orzo pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach
  • Chickpeas
  • Mozzarella pearls
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Cucumber
  • Fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Honey
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

How do I make this vegetarian orzo salad?

Have you hit up your summer farmers’ market and are ready to take on this recipe? This simple summer orzo salad will quickly become your favorite. Especially when you see how quickly it all comes together! 

Collage of five steps to make orzo pasta salad. A text overlay reads, "How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad."
  1. Cook the orzo pasta, drain, then transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil. Set aside to cool.
  2. Stir together the herbs, vegetables, chickpeas, and cheese.
  3. Add the cooled orzo and toss to combine.
  4. Stir together the remaining ingredients to create your dressing.
  5. Add the dressing to the salad and toss well. Enjoy!

Protip: Oil your orzo!

Tossing the orzo in olive oil keeps the orzo from sticking together in big, unseasoned clumps. Don’t skip this step!

The most versatile summer dish

This recipe is very fresh and light! This is part of what makes it so perfect for so many occasions. You can bring it to summer BBQs, it makes a great side dish, or it can be an entire light lunch. I love it because it’s simple and easy to make, and my family loves it because it’s delicious!

If you love a fresh pasta salad but are tired of your old stand-bys, this recipe is a great option to mix it up and enjoy some fresh, crunchy veggies. Not to mention that this homemade dressing is to die for!

Tight view of a fork digging into a bowl of pasta salad loaded with summer vegetables.
A white serving bowl of pasta salad garnished with fresh basil on a light background.

Storing your vegetarian summer orzo salad

This vegetarian summer orzo salad can be stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Make this one night for dinner and then enjoy the leftovers for lunch over the next couple of days! 

Want more easy vegetarian dishes like this one?


Overhead of orzo pasta salad in a white bowl on a light countertop.

Vegetarian Summer Orzo Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the bounty of fresh summer vegetables and herbs, this Vegetarian Summer Orzo Salad recipe is the recipe for you!


  • 1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
  • 15 ounces canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook the dry orzo pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions, drain, then transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
  2. Stir together the spinach, chickpeas, mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and basil in a large bowl. Add the cooked orzo and toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the dressing to the orzo mixture and toss to combine. Serve!


  • Tossing the orzo in the oil is essential to keep the orzo from becoming one stuck-together mess. Don’t skip this step!
  • Store leftovers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 571mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 19g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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