Picnic Orzo Salad! #SundaySupper

Hello Sunday Supper peeps! I’m Alice and I blog …. well, right here! I’m very excited to join the ranks of Sunday Supper after a bit of gentle encouragement from other Sunday Supper-ers and to share with you, my Picnic Orzo Salad recipe!

This is a very simple and easy orzo salad recipe- my two daughters, Mei (3, left) and Emily (2, right) love this one because they get to pick a couple fresh veggies at the farmer’s market to go in the salad and picked a few from our garden and they thoroughly enjoyed eating their contributions to said salad. But then again, they are just both NUTS for their veggies – so this wasn’t a hard sell.

Our family enjoyed this one for about four days before it was completely devoured – it made for a quick breakfast, on the go – especially if you put it in a mason jar! But also a lovely stand alone salad for lunch time and a great side dish for a hot dog dinner, which for summertime is a must!

If you aren’t a fan of basil or cilantro, try using mint, thyme, rosemary or anything else you like – the best part is that all the citrus juices and herbs meld together and create a crisp, refreshing salad perfect for a hot summer’s eve!

INGREDIENTS for PICNIC ORZO SALAD: yields 15-20 servings

  • 1/2 lb of orzo pasta, uncooked
  • 1 lb of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1/3 of a large red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 C fresh basil, chopped coarsely
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded & diced

for the Dressing: 

  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Zest & juice of one lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 TBS granulated white sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

First, cook the pasta according to box directions for an al dente pasta, drain and cool in a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and basil to the cooled pasta. Mix the dressing ingredients in a Tupperware container or mason jar, large enough to hold all the ingredients. Close the Tupperware or jar securely then shake vigorously for several minutes until the sugar has mostly dissolved into the olive oil and all the ingredients have emulsified together. Dice the avocado and scatter it over the rest of the salad in the bowl, pour the prepared dressing over the diced avocado, ensuring that some of the dressing reaches each piece of avocado. Then stir the orzo salad together with a wooden spoon until all the bits of orzo and veggies are evenly coated in the dressing. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.

The Sunday Supper Family is in love with getting our families outdoors and enjoying eating together, even in the heat! This week, the #SundaySupper crew is gathering together all their favorite chilled dishes for Summer with the help of our hostess this week, Alaiyo of Pescetarian Journal!

Check out everyone’s chilly choices!

Brisk Beverages

Chilled Starters

Snappy Salads and Sides

Refreshing Main Dishes

Cool Confections


Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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