Lemon Orzo Salad

How are you about summertime salads? For some reason (let’s pretend it’s all about the heat and the availability of FRESH veggies) the idea of a salad is just so yummy. This Lemon Orzo Salad is made with fresh produce like tomatoes, zucchini and basil, and the lemons make it light and refreshing. It’s healthy and a perfect make-ahead lunch recipe or side dish.

And — it uses ORZO! Let me repeat. ORZO! It’s such a funny little pasta and I rarely think to pick it up off the grocery shelf and put it in my basket but somehow during the summer it’s just the right thing for a light — let me repeat, a LIGHT — salad. No big hunk of pasta, just a hint.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know I’m trying to adjust my life to a diabetes diagnosis and I’ve been doing pretty good controlling my numbers using just diet. I know that pasta is supposed to be off my diet, and it does spike my numbers when I eat it, but when combined with heatlhy fresh veg like in this recipe and a lovely vinegar and oil dressing the oil helps flatten out the carb spike and life is better with a little pasta — or with “little pastas.” 🙂

This is good hot or cold. It’s great leftover — the next day. (although many of you know I do anything I can to avoid leftovers because fresh is always so much tastier!)


  • 1 ½ cups orzo
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced
  • ¾ cup zucchini sliced
  • ¼ cup basil chopped
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • Cook pasta as you normally would in a pot of salted water, until it’s al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water (you probably won’t need it, but reserve it just in case), then drain the orzo and set aside. 
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, ½ cup water (not the salted water), salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Then, slice the tomatoes, zucchini and basil and set aside. 
  • Transfer the cooked orzo to the bowl with the lemon juice and let it set for 10 minutes. In that time, the pasta will soak up the lemon juice, olive oil and water, which is good because we don’t want it to be dry. If for some reason it is, pour in the reserved pasta water. 
  • Then, add in the tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and feta cheese and stir to combine. Enjoy as-is, or add extra feta and/or black pepper on top! 

You can find the original recipe here: thealmondeater.com/lemon-orzo-salad/


3 thoughts on “Lemon Orzo Salad

  1. Liz W says:

    Sounds delicious! Salads seem to be my go to summer meal so always appreciate new ideas.
    I tried to leave a comment on your blog a few days ago and couldn’t get signed in. Think I have fixed the problem so just wanted to say how much I appreciate your words. We find ourselves in the same situation with mild depression just around the corner many days. We mask, stay home, miss our family and repeat the next day. Medical appointments provide a change to the routine. Certainly the Supreme Court is not helping our mental health. Is there an end?
    Glad you have your WI Dells escape!


    • Good to hear from you Liz.

      Like you, summer is a great time for salads — although if I’m honest I have to say that with my struggle to UNDERSTAND what happens with blood sugar the salads are becoming a greater part of my diet all the time.

      My other big delight is gazpacho. This time of year, specially I August when local tomatoes come into season it’s an absolute favorite. Could make it daily (but don’t)

      As for the ‘world’ or U.S. situation depression barely covers the feeling. I am sure that millions upon millions of other humans have gone through similar in the realization that their country which had been world-dominant was on the decline and have grieved over the reality of life in a second-class country. We think we are alone in our feelings but we are not and I have to keep reminding myself of where we are in the large scale of things.

      Once the Court gave personhood to corporations the fate of this country was pretty much sealed. Often the rich have exerted power quietly, beneath the vision of the population but in doing so they allowed the corruption and self-interest of the rich to come out into easily witnessed sight. Sadly the rich never give up REAL power voluntarily.

      The population here still has too many distractions to care seriously about the country. As long as sports and festivals and social media allow them to dissipate their frustration it will never peak into the anger necessary to effect real change. But no one wants to look at the situation and talk openly about it.

      Frankly, my faith is the only thing that gives me consolation. I understand the long term so I can live through the short term even if that is my entire lifetime.

      It’s annoying to have to keep leaving the Dells for doctor visits!!!! 😂😂😂


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