Looking back…I’m pretty sure that I grew up on this stuff. Well this, cheese, and chicken taquitos.
I have to sing my mom’s praise here though, because not only did she get my sister and I hooked on this as kids, but she would make my roommates and I a big batch whenever she came to visit me at college! I would literally have to fight off my friends in order to get more than one serving (yes I am talking to you Jesse).
So needless to say, this dish makes a regular appearance here at the Corna household. Especially during warm weather months when there is fresh basil galore!
Not going to lie…this is one of my all time favorite dishes to make AND eat (more-so eat). Here’s why I love this Orzo salad…
- it’s healthy
- all the veggies make it fun and colorful, with a ton of flavor
- it’s super simple to make
- it’s light, but you feel like you’re eating substance (which is especially nice for tailgating)
- won’t make you have to unbutton your jeans
I make my own vinaigrette that I mix in before serving, and I love using Banza Rice to make this a healthier gluten free orzo salad! One bag of Banza Rice, mixed with all the veggies, will be enough for 4-6 people…but I would definitely recommend erring on the side of overdoing it because the leftovers are just as good!
This is typically my go-to when we are headed to a friend’s house, or I need something quick to make for last minute house guests. It’s always a crowd pleaser and the best part is that you have the ability to craft it the way you like! Add in whatever veggies you think sound yummy, or add rotisserie chicken to make this a main meal instead of a side dish.
Tip for adding more color: use different colored bell peppers! One bell pepper is only required for each batch, so I like to use half an orange, and half a yellow pepper to add more color.
Can’t find Banza Rice at your local store? Click below to get a couple bags sent to your home! The plain Banza Rice goes quickly, but there is a tri-color rice that is just as delicious! Check which ones are in stock through the link below…
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper diced
- 1/2 orange bell pepper diced
- 1/3 cup red onion diced
- 1 cup asparagus chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 8 oz bag Banza Rice cooked
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 1/3 cup almond slices
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Cook Banza Rice according to package instructions, rinse, and set in a large mixing bowl.
- Blanch asparagus by cooking in boiling water for 1 min. Remove, rinse, and add to rice mixture.
- Chop remaining veggies and mix in with rice. Stir in feta cheese and almond slices.
- Mix together all ingredients for dressing and then stir into orzo salad right before serving.