Tomato Orzo Pasta with Zesty Basil Vinaigrette

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A light Tomato Orzo Pasta with Zesty Basil Vinaigrette. Nutty orzo, juicy ripe tomatoes, all tossed in a flavorful basil dressing makes this the perfect side dish!  

A light Tomato Orzo Pasta with Zesty Basil Vinaigrette. Nutty orzo, juicy ripe tomatoes, all tossed in a flavorful basil dressing makes this the perfect side dish!

Here we are in the beginning of Fall and I am sharing one of my favorite summer dishes! To be fair, it has been over 100° here in sunny California and it has been feeling far more like the beginning of August than the beginning of October. But the heat hasn’t stopped the stores from stocking their shelves with Halloween decor and pumpkin treats. Besides, Pumpkin Spice Lattes have made their magical appearance back at Starbucks which can only mean one thing, Fall is finally here!

A light Tomato Orzo Pasta with Zesty Basil Vinaigrette. Nutty orzo, juicy ripe tomatoes, all tossed in a flavorful basil dressing makes this the perfect side dish!

It really is my favorite time of year, if only for the hope that the summer’s sunny rays will retreat behind rain filled clouds to finally give us relief from this drought! They keep saying that this will be the year of the “El Nino”…whatever that means. I am not much of a weather buff but I’ve heard that it means lots of rain this Winter. Which gives me hope that there is the slightest chance that the city will stop sending me notices that water restrictions are now down to a mere drop in a bucket. Kidding but they are pretty serious about the water conservation these days. If you have a green lawn you can bet the neighbors will talk. 😉

A light Tomato Orzo Pasta with Zesty Basil Vinaigrette. Nutty orzo, juicy ripe tomatoes, all tossed in a flavorful basil dressing makes this the perfect side dish!

Lucky for me, I bring my neighbors lots of food so they keep it all hush hush. Bribery you say? NEVER! Ha! Unfortunately for them, I never sent any of this orzo pasta their way because it never lasts at our house! We absolutely love it. My favorite part is the Zesty Basil Vinaigrette. It is SO good. Because it has been so hot, my basil plant has forgotten all about Fall and keeps right on growing in all its summer bliss. So I have loads and loads of it. I usually double the recipe and save the extra dressing to put on salads or to pour over veggies as a snack. Of course there is the rare occasion that I eat it right off the spoon but we can keep that our little secret!

A light Tomato Orzo Pasta with Zesty Basil Vinaigrette. Nutty orzo, juicy ripe tomatoes, all tossed in a flavorful basil dressing makes this the perfect side dish!

I hope you enjoy this simple little Tomato Orzo Pasta as much as we do!


5.0 from 3 reviews
Tomato Orzo Pasta with Zesty Basil Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 Servings
Ingredients
  • Tomato Orzo Pasta:
  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 lb Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ Cup Spinach Leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Basil, chopped
  • ½ Cup Green Onions, chopped (I used white and green parts)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ½ Cup Feta Cheese, cubed (Optional)
  • Zesty Basil Vinaigrette
  • ½ Cup Basil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ⅓ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • ½ Cup Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Tomato Orzo Pasta:
  2. In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add in the orzo. Cook according the the package instructions making sure not to overcook the pasta. You want the pasta to be al dente (slightly firm still). Drain the pasta and pour into a large serving bowl. Add in remaining ingredients. Stirring well. Toss with half of the basil vinaigrette reserving the other half for serving. This pasta can be served immediately but the flavors develop much more after refrigerating for 2-3 hours.
  3. Zesty Basil Vinaigrette:
  4. In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the olive oil, salt and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil while the the food blender is processing.

 

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Comments

  1. Ginny McMeans says

    Yes, the water has been tough this year in California. Hope this winter is better for everybody. Your salad looks and sounds wonderful. I think I could drink that Vinaigrette!

  2. says

    You are so lucky that your basil plant is still thriving! You should see mine. 🙁 Pathetic. I love the looks of this side dish and I’m going to make sure to prepare some summer recipes when the snow flys just to show old man winter he can’t get me down!

  3. says

    I am so hoping for lots of rain this winter! We need it. I don’t think my chickens are going to like hanging out in the rain all day though. Going to have to get them little chicken rain coats. Haha! I love this pasta salad. Especially that basil vinaigrette. Yum!

  4. says

    I am SO glad that fall is finally here! This pasta looks liket he perfect dish to celebrate with! I love that basil vinaigrette, Mariah! It sounds SO good, especially with the orzo. What a perfect fall meal! Pinned!

  5. says

    Here in Northern California it’s hot during the day but has cooled down significantly at night and in the mornings at least. We still have tomatoes in our garden so I definitely need to make this!

  6. says

    Oh goshhhh…I have SUCH an obsession with orzo pasta, so this gorgeous salad is right up my alley! Pretty much dying over how awesome that basil dressing looks! GIMME!

  7. says

    I wish I could send some rain your way!! I have cleaned up at least a billion muddy paw prints in the last week! I am ovvvvveer it!

    This salad looks just amazing! What a perfect side dish!

  8. Izzy says

    Haha, I can always eat a salad like this no matter what season it is! I love how bright and fresh it looks and that dressing sounds amazing!

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