This easy Greek Orzo pasta dish is filled with bright Mediterranean flavors that we all love and summer staple mix-ins, like zucchini, tomatoes, and summer squash.
Anyone else feel like a kid in a candy store when around fresh summer produce? This girl!! If you grow a vegetable garden, chances are that zucchini (see zucchini recipes here and here) and summer squash are growing out of your ears. At least, that's how I feels like around here. Or felt like it, before that bunny attacked our vegetable patch. But that is a story for another day. Oh and corn! If you live in the mid-west, chances are that there is sweet and juicy corn cobs all around you. Make good use of them and make this pasta. So, today, I have easy Greek Orzo pasta for you that has all the summer veggies that you can get in it.Jump to Recipe
Back in our days in the Pacific Northwest (oh how I miss those days!), there was a restaurant called Greek Island. There was a Greek orzo pasta on their menu but it was a clod salad. Now, do not get me wrong, it was delicious. But my aim here is to make a meal out of everything I cook. So I was looking to add more depth and nutrition to the Greek orzo pasta salad recipe while keeping the deliciousness that my taste buds so fondly remember. But the Greek Island's Greek Orzo pasta salad really, really was delicious and provided a wonderful basis for the version I share today.
This Greek Orzo Pasta
Over the past 4-5 years I’ve played with this recipe, and have finally reached my goal - a goal to share the perfect Greek Orzo Pasta with summer vegetables (or fall vegetables....hah) with you all. I believe the key to this pasta lies more in the sauce (which is almost like a vinaigrette) than the veggies; indeed, using your own personal blend of favorite seasonal veggies is part of the fun of this dish. For now, since it's 184 degrees outside, we will go with summer veggies. Shall we?
I have come to a conclusion that it is best to cook the vegetables for this pasta separate from the sauce. I gave the veggies a quick Greek marinade and then grilled them outside. You do not have to cook them all the way, just enough so that they have grill marks but are still crisp. You can also roast them or saute them in the pan before starting on the pasta. Your call!
Recipe Run Down
Everything you need for this Greek Orzo Pasta with summer veggies is most likely already at your fingertips. This pasta is not heavy or creamy like so many pasta dishes that you find in restaurants. the sauce starts with butter and garlic but you can skip the butter and add olive oil to make the pasta vegan or dairy free. I like to use lot of fresh herbs, thyme being my favorite. Grab whatever is growing in the garden or is easily available. Thyme, rosemary, basil...limitless possibilities.
I blister the cherry tomatoes with the herbs until they burst and create a light sauce. There has to be red wine vinegar, Greek seasonings etc. Don't get scared about the quite a few ingredients, the recipe is really easy to throw together. The end result is worth it. This recipe is not fancy but a humble reminder that sometimes the ingredients we need to nourish our body and soul need not be from the gourmet aisles of a fancy grocery store. they can be right before our very eyes in our own garden or in farm stand around the corner. We just need the clarity to see them, and taste buds to appreciate them.
Here's your handy dandy printable:
Greek Orzo Pasta with Grilled Summer Vegetables
flavors that we all love and summer staple mix-ins, like zucchini,
tomatoes, and summer squash.
For Grilled Vegetables
- 1 Zucchini cut into ¼ inch thick coins
- 1 Yellow/Summer squash cut into ¼ inch thick coins
- 8-10 sweet peppers see notes
- 1 Red onion cut into thick slices
- 4 tablespoon Greek marinade see notes
- 1 tablespoon Butter or olive oil
- 2 cloves Minced garlic about 1 tbsp
- 4 sprigs Fresh thyme divided
- 1 cob Corn Kernels removed with a sharp knife
- ½ cup Grape or cherry tomatoes about 8-10 tomatoes
- ½ Red onion thinly sliced
- 16 oz Orzo pasta see notes
- 2 tablespoon Red wine vinegar adjust according to your liking
- 2 tablespoon Chopped fresh basil
- ½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon Greek or Italian seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Crumbled Feta optional
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle, optional
- Marinate the veggies for 10-15 minutes and then grill them on a medium hot outdoor grill or in a grill pan, about 2-3 minutes per side. You should be able to see some grill marks without overcooking the veggies. (See notes)
- Add water to a pot, salt it and bring it to boil. Cook orzo according to directions on the package.
- While the water is boiling to cook the orzo, set a heavy bottomed (or non-stick) wide skillet on medium heat. Add butter or olive oil along with two sprigs of fresh thyme.
- Once the butter is melted, add garlic and wait for a few seconds. Now add the corn kernels and stir them around. Wait for 2-3 minutes until some of the kernels have brown spots on them. Charred corn = Yummy!
- Now add in the cherry tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium high. Toss around the tomatoes in the butter, garlic and thyme (+ corn) concoction and do a happy dance. That aroma is divine. Wait for the tomatoes to blister and pop, about 5-6 minutes.
- Your orzo might be close to getting done by now.
- Once most of the tomatoes have popped, add in the sliced onions and cook for another minute or two. Now add the grilled vegetables and mix everything together. Turn the heat to high and add the red wine vinegar. Mix.
- While the veggies are mingling with the vinegar (turn the heat bac to medium), take a cup of pasta cooking water out of the pot and set aside. Drain the coked orzo. Add the drained orzo to the skillet with veggies. Add all the chopped herbs, seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Mix everything together and add about a ¼ cup of reserved pasta water to create a "sauce". Once everything in nice and hot and mixed together, give it a taste check to make sure it is seasoned well.
- Finish the pasta with some crumbled feta and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot, warm or even cold. Enjoy!
There you have it! Put all those nutritious, gorgeous summer veggies to good use and make this healthy, easy to cook and pretty to look at pasta dish. You won't regret it. Pinky promise!!
Three other recipes with similar ingredients
Creamy Lemon Pepper Orzo
Savory Zucchini Pancakes
Did you make a recipe from TKD? Tag @thekitchendocs on Instagram. I WANT TO SEE!
I have had this salad before but I didn't know it had Greek origins. I remember how delicious it was, especially with the added feta cheese.
Yes, Joanna...i love the greek flavors of olive oil, red wine vinegar and of course, feta.
Love orzo so so much. I love the way you have added veggies and made this unique recipe.
Sophie, that makes two of us. Thanks for appreciating the recipe. Veggies add nutritious value to this pasta dish as well.
This recipe is so, nutritious that it makes this recipe a must-add option to a cooking list. I really like the use of corn.
Thanks, Raja. Yes we have a lot of fresh corn in summers so I add it to lot of things.
This dish looks so nice your pictures really show the vibrant colours good post
Mirela | The Travel Bunny
I love Greek food! And all the recipes I've tried with orzo pasta have been amazing!
I love Greek food. I have tried it but never made at home. I love how yummy it is always. Thank you so much for these detailed instructions. I guess, finally I will make it myself.
Thanks, Arun. Yep, with the right, simple ingredients, it is very easy to make Greek inspired dishes. Best - Vaishali.
Thank you for these delicious veggie recipes, I'm always in search for new ideas!
Delicious.. Drool worthy.. Cant wait to try this, Thanks for sharing the recipe !!
This food looks so good I will print this thanks for sharing
This looks different and healthy dish. I would like to taste it. Well presented images 🙂 Nice work
Great recipe. Nice touch to add the veggies, makes it more flavored and nutritious.
Another great dish worth trying this weekend. I will surely save this article. 🙂
Perfect healthy recipe for these hot summer days!
this is literally my kinda lunch nowadays - its so hot here, and all i can think of is fresh veggies and light dishes.
Completely agree, Poorna. Grilling and pretty much no cook or minimum cooking dishes are best for summer days.
Grace Esedeke | Today Was Fab
Never had this before. But it looks beautiful and something I might love to experiment with if it were possible to find all the ingredients here in my country.
Jenn ~ onehoppymomma
Love all the colorful veggies that you add to this recipe.
Thanks Jenn. The veggies make this pasta fun and nutritious.
Great recipe! would love to try it out since my son loves Pasta. Thanks for share
This turned out really great. Made this last night. Kids loved this
Hey that's great! Thanks, Amayz!!
I was looking for some new recipes to try since I'm bored with same daily rice and roti thing. I will try this. Thank you!
They look delicious..love the colors on the dishes...
This looks so good! Thanks for sharing