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Pesto Orzo Salad in a black serving bowl.
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4.31 from 13 votes

Pesto Orzo Salad

Creamy, herby, and loaded with tasty ingredients, this easy Pesto Orzo Salad is the perfect pasta salad for BBQs, cookouts, potlucks, or anytime you want a tasty side dish to go with a meal.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: basil, orzo, pasta salad, pesto, pesto orzo salad, pine nuts
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 397kcal


  • 10 ounces dry orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pearl mozzarella drained
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tabelspoons pine nuts toasted
  • fresh basil for ganish


  • Cook the orzo pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water until quite al dente. Drain it and rinse it in cold water to chill it. Add it to a large bowl.
  • Mix the cooked orzo with the pesto, Parmesan cheese, and mayonnaise until smooth.
  • Fold in the grape and sundried tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, green onions, and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve garnished with toasted pine nuts and chopped basil.


Chef Jenn's Tips

  • The #1 reason for pasta salad fails is overcooking the pasta. Orzo cooks quickly - it should have some firmness when you bite into it. Rinse all the starch off it after it is cooked, and drain well.
  • Don't overmix the salad - you don't want to end up breaking the orzo and creating mush.
  • Quality ingredients count! Use the freshest and best you can find for this easy pasta salad recipe.
  • Can't find mozzarella pearls from the deli area of your grocery store? You can use any kind of fresh mozzarella and dice it.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 744IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 1mg