Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day Recipe Orzo Pasta Salad

Today, I am sharing with you one of my favorite picnic-style salads.  It is such a wonderful mix of all the things I love in life and is fresh and delicious!  Enjoy!
This pasta salad is inspired by the orzo salad at Signe's Bakery in Hilton Head Island.  On our way out of town, Forbes and I stopped by Signe's to pick up a few different things for a picnic mid-roadtrip.  This was by far the main attraction of our picnic, and will be at your Memorial Day gathering!

Orzo Pasta Salad

2 cups cooked orzo pasta (follow package instructions)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained (juice reserved)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
1/2 cup almond slices 
juice from Mandarin oranges (no more than 2 tbsp)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 garlic clove

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cool water.

While cooking, whisk together juice from mandarin oranges, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and garlic.

Toss rinsed orzo with oranges, cranberries, cilantro, green onions, and almond slices.  Stir in dressing.  Chill for up to 2 days (flavors will come together more as it sits) and serve.

This is a great make-ahead item and will keep for several days!  If it dries out in the fridge, toss in a little extra vinegar and oil to bring it back to life.


  1. That looks awesome! I love orzo, but I only get it from the Earth Fare salad bar. I've never made it home, though I don't know why. I must try it- YUM!