Quick 6-Ingredient Italian Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Is Deliziosa by Jan Mostrom

Quick 6-Ingredient Italian Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Is Deliziosa

Oh, how I love a great caprese salad! I've got three versions coming up and they are all delicious. This one adds pesto and orzo into the mix to brighten up our classic Italian recipe into this tasty combination.

This caprese orzo salad recipe I especially like because you can use pre-made pesto to make it really quickly – or make your own homemade pesto. Of the three caprese salads I made recently, this was my husband's favorite!

To make this easy caprese salad you will need the following ingredients: orzo, pesto, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and a lemon. I finished the salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, but that's an option. A highly recommended option, but still your choice!

Serve this fresh Italian orzo salad for lunch or as a vegetarian main dish for dinner or as a side dish.

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Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 8 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls or pearls
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • juice from 1 small lemon

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Recipe Notes 

  • If you can't find mozzarella balls, you can chop up fresh mozzarella instead.
  • You can serve this salad at room temperature or cold from the fridge.
  • A great balsamic is really worth investing in. I get mine from a lovely small retailer. A good aged balsamic doesn't need any added sweetener because they are naturally sweet and smooth. A balsamic glaze is thicker than the vinegar and sometimes has added sweetener.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Place a large pot of salted water on the stovetop on high. Bring to a boil and cook orzo according to the directions to al dente (usually about 1 minute less than the recommended time). When finished cooking, remove from the stove, drain and rinse with cold water. Place orzo into a medium salad bowl.
  2. Add pesto to the orzo and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add tomatoes, mozzarella, lemon juice, salt, pepper and basil. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. When serving, drizzle with balsamic, if desired.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 317

Total Fat: 19g

Saturated Fat: 7.1g

Cholesterol: 59mg

Sodium: 160mg

Total Carbohydrate: 24.4g

Dietary Fiber: 1.1g

Total Sugars: 2.9g

Protein: 13.5g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 214mg

Iron: 2mg

Potassium: 213mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Caprese is so good as a salad so I bet this caprese dish is so good too.
Elisa Schmitz
What a refreshing dinner idea, Jan Mostrom . I'm wondering how this would work over quinoa or chickpea pasta...

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