Summer Orzo Salad

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Craft your own culinary masterpiece with the Summer Orzo Salad – a celebration of Mediterranean goodness. Customize with homemade dressing and a bounty of fresh ingredients.

Are you ready to unlock the secret to turning your home into a five-star restaurant? Here’s a hint: it’s all about the dressing! I know, I know, making your own dressing might sound like a kitchen adventure, but let me assure you, it’s the ultimate game-changer. Not only is it easy peasy, but it also takes your salads from basic to gourmet in minutes. And guess what? You have full control over the ingredients, which means you can kick refined sugars, oils, and preservatives to the curb. Intrigued? Keep reading!

a bright and vibrant bowl of salad with orzo, fresh vegetables and spinach

Creating your own dressing doesn’t have to be daunting when the formula is so easy!

  • Healthy Fats: Think roasted tahini, almond butter, avocado, or a drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil.
  • Acidic Touch: Amp up the tanginess with rice vinegar, balsamic, lemon juice, or a splash of orange juice.
  • Sweet Sensation: Balance the acidity with natural sweetness from maple syrup, jams, or fruits.
  • Flavor Boosters: Elevate with mustard, spices, coconut aminos, sriracha – let your taste buds guide you!
  • Herb Magic: Fresh herbs like dill, basil, and mint add complexity and excitement.


Everything you will need for the Summer Orzo Salad

  • orzo (gluten-free)
  • mini sweet peppers
  • olive oil (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • mixed greens
  • cherry tomatoes,
  • English cucumber
  • marinated artichokes
  • sweet corn
  • pine nuts
  • Italian parsley

Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

  • red wine vinegar
  • roasted tahini or olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • maple syrup
  • dijon mustard
  • dried basil
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper


Pro Tip: Multiply the vinaigrette recipe for future culinary escapades – it’s fridge-friendly for up to a month!

If you love this Salad; know that I have SO MANY MORE! Check out some other salads here and maybe an accompanying appetizer!

Jackie Akerberg

Author of the Clean Vegan Cookbook, Food Blogger and Recipe Developer from Des Moines, Iowa. 

Jackfruitful Kitchen has proudly been featured in Forks Over Knives, Vegan Bowls, Vegan Food and Living, and DSM Magazine.

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a bright and vibrant bowl of salad with orzo, fresh vegetables and spinach

Summer Orzo Salad

Want to know my number one secret for restaurant-worthy salads at home? MAKE. YOUR. OWN. DRESSING. Sound complicated or time consuming? I promise it's not. A good homemade dressing can be whipped up in 5 minutes or less with just a few core components and tastes WAY better than anything you’ll find at the store. Plus you’re in total control of the ingredients and can skip the refined sugars, oils, and preservatives. This Summer Orzo Salad has the perfect dressing fyi!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • Oven
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing Bowl


Salad Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo (gluten free) cooked and cooled
  • 1 lb mini sweet peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 small English cucumber chopped
  • 14oz marinated artichokes drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley chopped

Lemon Herb Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp roasted tahini or olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1/2½ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the sweet peppers. Drizzle with olive oil if desired and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes until edges are slightly charred. Remove from the oven and cool just until they’re comfortable to handle. Pull out the stems and coarsely chop.
  • While the peppers are roasting, add all ingredients for the dressing to a jar and whisk with a fork to combine. Alternatively, you can mix in a blender for extra creaminess and emulsification.
  • Add the greens, orzo, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, artichokes, sweet corn pine nuts, and parsley to a large salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.


**Double or triple this recipe to save time later on! This dressing can be kept in the fridge for up to a month!
Keyword 30 minute meals, dairy free, gluten free, plant based, summer salad
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