Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad
Packed with roasted vegetables and delicate orzo, this recipe from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate is perfect as a side dish, vegetarian main or delicious potluck offering.
While I love walking into the produce section at the grocery store and seeing seasonal vegetables, I don’t always know what to do with them. I try to get as creative as possible, but my go-to method is roasting. I love how roasting vegetables brings out their flavor, gets them a little crispy and doesn’t require a lot of preparation.
This flavorful pasta salad is made with tons of fresh vegetables including zucchini, yellow zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper and red onion, all roasted to perfection and tossed in a simple vinaigrette with orzo pasta. I love using orzo for pasta salads because it doesn’t feel quite as heavy as larger pasta shapes, and in this pasta salad it really lets the veggies shine!
I love making this pasta salad as a side dish for grilled fish or chicken, as a vegetarian main dish (you can add a can of garbanzo beans for a little more protein and fiber) or as a potluck contribution. It’s always a big hit!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
1 yellow zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces orzo pasta
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
To make the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
- Heat oven to 425 F.
- Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut each spear in half lengthwise again. Cut each spear into ¼-inch pieces.
- Slice the eggplant into bite-sized pieces. Cut the stem off the bell pepper and remove the seeds. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Remove the outer layer of the onion, then cut in half. Trim the onion and dice it into bite-sized pieces.
- Place all of the prepped veggies in a bowl and add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt. Toss to combine. Spread out on two baking sheets.
- Roast the veggies in the oven for 22 to 28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until done to your liking.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the orzo according to package directions.
- To make the dressing: in a jar or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
- To assemble: Toss the roasted veggies with the cooked orzo and the dressing. Top with the goat cheese and fresh basil and toss lightly. Enjoy!