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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil - a delicious pasta salad that's perfect for any gathering!

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil #SundaySupper

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This Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil is definitely a crowd pleaser. Chock full of veggies, herbs and pasta, you may not want to share! It’s a versatile pasta salad recipe that’s perfect for picnics, pot lucks or a meatless lunch.

Over the years, this loaded orzo salad has been to numerous picnics and gatherings. The basic recipe is from Ina Garten and I tweak it from time to time depending on my whims. I’ve added zucchini and kalamata olives along with feta for a Mediterranean vibe. Then this time, fresh mozzarella cubes replaced the feta cheese.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil - a delicious pasta salad that's perfect for any gathering!

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil

This roasted vegetable salad with orzo is extremely forgiving! Feel free to check out what vegetables look freshest in the market and go from there! I should have skipped the eggplant as only about a third of mine was salvageable, but I already knew the unidentifiable “green stuff” would keep the hubby from eating more than a spoonful so I went with my favorites.

The original recipe had the addition of  pine nuts for some crunch, but I eliminated those when packaging some up for some friends, one of whom has a nut allergy. Though pine nuts are seeds, I didn’t want to cause any worries.  Feel free to toast a handful or two to add some texture to the mix.

Plus, in order to have the picky spouse eat this loaded pasta salad, seeds and/or nut were omitted due to his persnickety tendencies! I also add some honey to the simple vinaigrette to balance the acid in the lemon juice.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil - a delicious pasta salad that's perfect for any gathering!

Orzo Salad

Orzo is a rice shaped pasta that’s quick to cook and perfect for pasta salads. Mixing orzo with roasted vegetables and cheese make this a terrific, satisfying lunch covering your protein, starch and vegetable categories. It’s also wonderful side dish to take to pitch in meals, just alter depending on your mood that day!

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil - a delicious pasta salad that's perfect for any gathering!

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil

A delectable, satisfying pasta salad with fresh Mozzarella, roasted vegetables, and basil in a lemony vinaigrette!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6
  • Cuisine: Pasta, Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into a 1-inch dice
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into a 1-inch dice
  • 1 red onion, cut into a 1-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo pasta, cooked in salted water, according to package instructions
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 green onions, sliced very thinly
  • 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Fresh basil, cut into julienne strips (stack leaves, roll into cigar-like shape and slice thinly)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring and tossing at the halfway point, until tender and lightly browned. Make your orzo while the veggies roast so it’s still warm when you toss it with the dressing.

Place your cooked orzo into a mixing bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta including any juices.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix in honey, then whisk in olive oil. Pour over the pasta and vegetables and toss. Let cool to room temperature, then add the green onions,  cheese, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

Notes

Adapted from Sara Leah Chase via Ina Garten.

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19 comments on “Roasted Vegetable Salad with Orzo, Mozzarella and Basil #SundaySupper”

  1. What a pretty and summery salad! I would love some for my lunch, Liz.

  2. Orzo makes great picnic food! I like the idea of adding roasted vegetables.

  3. Loving your new look and website design Liz! Roasting your veggies make this salad pop! We are not receiving your new recipe posts via e-mail. Will try to sign up again. Take care

  4. I see a lot of roasted veggies in my near future! Your salad sounds great:@)

  5. I love that you roasted the veggies first. Extra good!

  6. Love it, Liz. I can see why you’ve been making it over the years. I also love how easily the flavors and ingredients can be changed out depending on your mood or what ingredients you have on hand. Orzo, however, is non-negotiable! LOL!

  7. This looks fantastic, and so does your shiny new website, Liz. I love it!

  8. All my favorite flavors all in one bowl. Looks so delicious! It would be perfect for a cookout.

  9. The roasted vegetables add so much to this simple salad. This will be a huge hit at summer potlucks!

  10. Roasted or grilled vegetables just burst with flavor

  11. Love the Mediterranean flavors of this orzo salad. Perfect for lunch!

  12. This salad looks so bright and pretty, and would be a fab way of getting 5 a day.

  13. Such a pretty and colorful salad, this is my kind of lunch!

  14. Lovely sharing, Liz! I’ve never tried this type of pasta before. They look cute! xoxo

  15. This is the brightest cheeriest salad ever! Can’t wait to try it!

  16. Feel like I’m a outdated person when I’ve just heard of Orzo for the first time of my life 🙈
    It looks amazing with all your orzon recipes!! Gotta try soonnn.

  17. I’m a huge fan of pasta salads, but I don’t like those where mayo is used. I always go with just a good drizzle of olive oil and sometimes balsamic. Loaded with vegetables, basil, and mozzarella, you’ve created a perfect salad!

  18. I can’t wait until the farmer’s market opens so I can load up on fresh veggies. This salad is colorful, healthy and I imagine very filling.

  19. Absolutely love the look of this, Liz. My girls are right in to healthy eating and this is definitely a winner. What gorgeous pictures, too!

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