Orzo pasta salad with basil butter, peppers, and tomatoes is a complete enjoyment for your taste buds.

This delightful summer salad mixes orzo pasta, fresh basil butter, and crisp summer vegetables. Your family and friends will surely love this orzo pasta recipe.

Orzo pasta salad with basil butter, peppers, tomatoes

The first time I made this dish, I fell in love with the first bite.

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This orzo pasta salad recipe is a fantastic side to practically every meal.

An excellent addition to any pool party, potluck, picnic, and barbeque.

It is also hearty enough to stand alone as refreshing lunch or light dinner.

In this Article

Why you will love this recipe

This orzo pasta is loaded with seasoning. Fresh basil butter, garlic, lemon zest, and juice add a hint of flavor. The butter melts, leaving behind perfectly fresh pasta.

You can make a bright, crispy salad with pasta, bell peppers, tomatoes, arugula, and green olives. It will be rich in texture and flavor.

The orzo pasta salad can be made beforehand, making it an excellent option for stress-free summertime meals.

Orzo pasta is not only easy to prepare but very versatile. It can be prepared and enjoyed at room temperature or hot.

In this recipe, the basil butter gives the pasta a great flavor. The garlic has just a tiny hint, and all the flavors blend well with the lemon zest.

What is orzo pasta made of?

Orzo pasta looks like rice but is made from whole grain, semolina, or white flour.

The shape resembles a grain of rice and cooks relatively quickly. Idyllic for cold pasta dishes and often found alongside vegetables and mainly served as a side dish.

How to prepare orzo

The easiest way to prepare it is like all pasta: cook it in salted water.

The timing of cooking depends on the manufacturer.

Orzo Pasta Salad With Basil Butter, Peppers, Tomatoes

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this orzo pasta recipe

This is a quick introduction. Please read the recipe for complete instructions.

Unsalted butter:  gives you complete control of the flavor in your recipe. This allows the natural taste of your food to shine through.

Fresh basil: Bright green Italian basil with no blemishes.

Garlic clove: grated allows all the oils to come out and infuse the butter at a new level. Do not skip this step. Meanwhile, when grated, the garlic is broken down, leaving behind all the essential oils.

Mixing a garlic clove whole in the food processor would completely change the taste. It would be much more intense as it would never be finely chopped.

Zest of a whole lemon: Brings freshness to this dish.

Orzo pasta: You will love how easy it is to cook with it.

Cherry tomatoes: Smaller and so much easier to enjoy.

Bell peppers: Yellow, orange, or red is my favorite. Select a bell pepper that has a firm outer skin.

Assorted pitted olives: The vital key is pitted. Select your favorite.

Fresh parsley: bring your Mediterranean orzo pasta to a new level.

Arugula salad will not wilt when in contact with the warm orzo.

Orzo pasta salad with basil pesto, peppers, tomatoes close up

Equipment needed

I only recommend what I use and love.

Food processor: to aid you with making basil butter, a vital component of this beautiful dish.

Cooking pan: for your orzo pasta

Zester: for your lemon zest

Large bowl: mix and serve your orzo pasta

Orzo Pasta Salad With Basil Butter, Peppers, Tomatoes

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions to create this excellent orzo pasta with basil butter, peppers, and tomato recipe

As with all recipes, have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking.

Start by making the basil butter.

  • Place the fresh basil, unsalted butter, grated garlic, and the zest of lemon in the bowl of your food processor. Your basil will be finely chopped.

While the butter absorbs all the flavors,

  • Prepare the pasta according to the manufacturer’s packaging to al dente.

Meanwhile, prepare all the rest of the vegetables

  • Clean and slice the bell peppers
  • Haf the cherry tomatoes
  • chop the fresh parsley
  • rinse the arugula salad

Assembling your dish

  • Place your pasta into a salad bowl and toss it with the basil butter. The butter will melt.
  • Add all the other ingredients mix well, and serve.
Orzo Pasta Salad With Basil Butter, Peppers, Tomatoes

Recipe variations

The possibilities are endless. With the abundance of summer vegetables in stores and markets, you can have a lot of fun creating your version quickly.

Create a Mediterranean orzo pasta salad by adding the following:

  • Fresh cucumbers sliced or cubed add a touch of freshness.
  • Sweet roasted corn freshly removed from the husk.
  • Thinly sliced red onions.
  • Fresh herbs such as dill, mint, and oregano.

Craving Greek orzo pasta salad?

  • Add some creamy feta cheese to bring some saltiness to this pasta salad.
  • Kalamata olives
  • A dash of olive oil and lemon juice
  • And a small handful of dried oregano if you do not have a fresh one on hand.

Add some hot red chili peppers to kick it.

Grilled chicken, cut up into small pieces, is an excellent addition to is to bring protein to this dish.

I purposely omitted salt and pepper as each ingredient brings flavor to this Mediterranean orzo salad. Please season as you wish after you taste it.

What to serve with your orzo pasta salad?

Grilled or roasted chicken is a great combination,

Salmon or any oven-baked fish is another option for your salad recipe with orzo pasta.


Store your cooled orzo in an air-tight glass container.

Please bring it back to room temperature and enjoy. There is no need to reheat it.

What to do with the leftover basil butter?

You will have some basil butter leftover that you can freeze or enjoy with chicken, fish, or steak, literally with everything.

Just have fun with it and play with the flavors.

Equipment needed to prepare this fantastic pasta salad with orzo

Cuisinart Food Processor, Pro Custom 11 Cup, Brushed Chrome, DLC-8SBCYP1
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02/19/2024 07:06 am GMT

Orzo Pasta Salad with Basil Butter, Peppers, Tomatoes

5 from 15 votes
Orzo Pasta Salad With Basil Butter, Peppers, Tomatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Orzo pasta salad with basil butter, peppers, and tomatoes is a complete enjoyment for your taste buds. This delightful summer salad mixes orzo pasta, fresh basil butter, and crisp summer vegetables.



  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons basil, leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • zest of a whole lemon


  • 2 cups orzo pasta, cooked in boiling salted water to al dente
  • .50 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup bell peppers, cut into strips
  • ½ cup assorted olives, preferably pitted under oil
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup arugula salad


  • Put all the basil butter ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until everything is blended. The basil should be well chopped and evenly mixed into the butter.
  • Toss the cooked orzo with ½ to ¾ of the basil butter, depending on how buttery you like it. Add the remaining ingredients and garnish with arugula.
  • Serve hot or room temperature. 


Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2230IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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