Orzo Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

College football season is starting, which means…tailgating! Our group of friends takes pride in our tailgates, and we put forth great effort into bringing delicious food. This pasta salad is just one of the dishes I’ve made for the first game of football season. The recipe is modified from Ina Garten’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetables. Since we’re tailgating, it made sense to me to grill the veggies using a grill pan (we used something like this Weber grill pan). Plus, I used some of the vegetables from my CSA share, including the squash, green beans, red pepper, onion, and garlic—you really can use almost any vegetable you like in this dish.

The flavors in this pasta salad are so simple yet so fresh and tasty. It’s a great vegetarian dish for parties or pot lucks, too. (I’ll be posting a number of other tailgating recipes soon, so stay tuned!)


1 squash, 1/2-inch diced

1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch diced

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

2 scallions, minced (white and green parts)

1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted

1/2 pound feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)

15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne


1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the grill to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together the squash, green beans, red pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened and cooked through but still crunchy (not soggy).

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour over the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

Nutritional Information:

Servings: 8

Serving size: about 3/4 cup

4 thoughts on “Orzo Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

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