Looking for a refreshing, flavorful, and visually appealing dish that’s perfect for a summer gathering or a light dinner? Look no further than Caprese Orzo Salad. This classic Caprese salad combines the flavors of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil with the satisfying texture of orzo pasta.
Caprese Orzo Salad
Planning a cookout, get-together, or just ready to enjoy a refreshing salad meal? This Caprese Orzo Salad is for you. This caprese orzo salad is not only delicious but also quick to prepare, making it a perfect dish to whip up if you have a pint of cherry tomatoes. It’s a versatile dish great for lunches, potlucks, and many more.
Caprese salad is already a great meal, but adding Orzo pasta makes it a super filling meal. This Salad is highly customizable, which makes it a favorite. If you’re someone who desires to include more salad dishes to your meals, then check out my Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe & Fresh Garden Tomato Salad Recipe. They are wholesome and hearty!
What is Caprese Orzo Salad?
Caprese Orzo Salad is a simple yet refreshing salad made with orzo pasta, grape tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. It is quick and easy to prepare, making it ideal for picnics or gatherings.
The orzo pasta, resembling large grains of rice, provides a unique texture and substantial base to the dish. The salad is then dressed with a simple yet flavorful balsamic vinaigrette that perfectly complements the fresh ingredients.
Why you would love this recipe
- Versatile: Caprese Orzo Salad is versatile enough to be a satisfying main course, a refreshing side dish, or a potluck contribution.
- Easy to Prepare: With simple ingredients and straightforward steps, this recipe is ideal for both beginner and experienced cooks.
- Perfect for get-togethers and potlucks: Its vibrant colors and inviting presentation make it a beautiful addition to any table.
- It’s delicious: The combination of ripe tomatoes, tender mozzarella, and aromatic basil offers a burst of freshness in every bite.
Ingredients you need for Caprese Orzo Salad
- Orzo Pasta: A small, rice-shaped pasta that holds up well in salads. This is the main ingredient for this recipe.
- Tomatoes: Brings refreshing sweetness and adds a pop of color.
- Fresh mozzarella: delightful creamy texture and mild flavors.
- Fresh Basil leaves: Provide a delightful aroma and a peppery kick.
- Olive oil: Harmonize all the ingredients.
- Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard adds in a little bit of tang and spice to this recipe.
- Garlic: Adds a bit of depth of the dish, giving it wholesome, complex flavors
- Salt & Pepper: Enhances the salad’s overall flavor. Add this to taste
- Balsamic vinegar can be used to add a tangy taste to the recipe.
How to make caprese orzo pasta
- Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions with a pinch of salt.
- Drain and rinse with cold water before transferring to a mixing bowl.
- Add halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and chopped basil leaves.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the orzo salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Before serving, adjust the seasoning and toss again.
Ways to serve caprese orzo salad
- As a side dish: serve Caprese Orzo Salad as a side dish alongside grilled chicken, steak, or fish.
- Cookout spread: Caprese Orzo Salad can be paired with other cookout favorites like burgers, hot dogs, and roasted vegetables.
- Seafood: Caprese Orzo Salad can be paired with seafood dishes, such as grilled shrimp or salmon.
- Meat dishes: You can serve with meat dishes such as steak or pork chops.
More about Caprese Orzo Salad…
What is orzo salad made of?
Caprese Orzo Salad is a pasta salad variation of the classic Italian Caprese Salad. It includes orzo pasta cooked until soft and firm, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves. The salad is then seasoned with salt, pepper, and a balsamic dressing and can also include additional ingredients like olive oil, garlic, red onion, or pine nuts.
What does orzo taste like?
Caprese Orzo Salad is a refreshing and flavorful dish that combines savory and tangy flavors. The orzo pasta provides a soft, chewy texture, while the fresh mozzarella cheese offers a creamy and slightly salty taste. The cherry tomatoes add a burst of sweetness and acidity to the dish, which is perfectly balanced by the fresh basil leaves.
What type of tomatoes are best in this Caprese Orzo Salad Recipe?
The type of tomatoes you want to use for this dish largely boils down to your preferences, however grape and cherry tomatoes are great options.
I don’t have vinegar. What else can I use?
Lemon juice is a great substitute for vinegar in this dish. It brings almost the same level of tanginess to this dish.
What other type of pasta can work in this recipe?
You can make use of fusilli, cavatappi, farfalle, casarecce, orecchiette, and ditalini if you don’t have orzo. They all have a similar size and texture to orzo, making them good substitutes in the dish.
How long does Caprese Orzo Salad last for?
This dish can last for up to 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How to store Caprese Orzo Salad?
Caprese Orzo Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If making ahead of time, it’s best to store the salad and dressing separately and combine them just before serving to prevent the ingredients from becoming soggy.
Can I freeze this Salad?
I do not recommend that you freeze this dish. Freezing can change the texture of the ingredients, especially the cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
Other related recipes to try out
- Restaurant Style Caesar Salad
- Refreshing Arugula Salad Recipe
- Easy Delicious Tuna Salad Recipe
- Fresh Garden Tomato Salad Recipe
- Quick And Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
Caprese Orzo salad
- 1 1/2 cups Uncooked Orzo Pasta
- 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes Halved
- 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Pearls or 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cubed
- 1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves Chopped
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Clove Garlic Minced
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Cook the orzo pasta according to the package instructions in a pot of boiling water, making sure to add a pinch of salt to the water for seasoning. Cook until al dente.
- Once the orzo is cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool down the pasta quickly.
- Shake off any excess water and transfer the orzo to a large mixing bowl, setting it aside for assembly.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls (or cubed mozzarella), and chopped basil leaves to the bowl of cooked orzo pasta.
- Toss the ingredients together gently, making sure to combine them evenly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper until well combined and emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the orzo salad, evenly distributing it throughout the mixture.
- Gently toss and mix the Caprese Orzo Salad, making sure the dressing coats all the ingredients.
- Refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.
- Before serving, give the Caprese Orzo Salad a quick toss and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
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