Whole Wheat Orzo and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta
Whole Wheat Orzo and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta has all the flavors of summer; use cauliflower rice for a low-carb version of this meatless salad.
I’ve always been a fan of orzo, so I was thrilled when I discovered whole wheat orzo. And I’ve already made the Whole Wheat Orzo and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta featured in this post three times and gobbled it up each time.
If you’re not familiar with orzo, it’s a tiny pasta shaped similar to rice but slightly bigger. It’s often used in soups and pilafs, but it’s also a perfect pasta salad ingredient because it lets the pasta take a supporting role and puts the spotlight on the other ingredients. Orzo is made with wheat, but for a gluten-free alternative I think brown rice would also be great in any salad that uses whole wheat orzo. And if you want a low-carb version of this tasty grilled vegetable salad, just make some of my Best Easy Cauliflower Rice and use that instead of the orzo.
Where Can You Find Whole Wheat Orzo?
In Salt Lake I can find Whole Wheat Orzo at Whole Foods. You can also get Whole Wheat Orzo (affiliate link) at Amazon.com if you don’t find it in your store, or just use one of the alternatives mentioned above. (If readers know of a store that carries whole wheat orzo, let us know in the comments.)
How to Make Whole Wheat Orzo and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Cook the orzo until it’s barely al dente (follow package directions for cooking time) and then drain and let cool. (Or cook brown rice or Cauliflower Rice if you want a gluten-free or lower-carb version.)
- Cut the zucchini and red bell peppers into fourths and brush with olive oil and Italian seasoning. (I used Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle, which has sweet basil, Turkish oregano, thyme, and garlic; any similar dried herbs will be great.)
- Grill the vegetables on high until they are cooked, but still slightly crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Turn several times to get lots of grill marks. Let vegetables cool for a few minutes.
- While veggies cool, slice the green onions and chop the herbs. (I used a combination or oregano and basil and used a good amount of herbs.)
- Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, and dried oregano to make the dressing.
- When the vegetables are cool, you should be able to pull the skins right off the red bell peppers, or leave them on if you don’t want to bother with that. Cut peppers and zucchini into bite-sized pieces.
- Put the zucchini and peppers into a bowl large enough to hold all the salad, add about 1/3 of the dressing, and stir so the vegetables are all coated with dressing.
- Let the vegetables marinate in the dressing while you slice the olives in half and crumble the Feta.
- Stir in the orzo (or brown rice or cauliflower rice), green onions, and herbs and add just enough dressing to moisten the salad.
- Then gently stir in the olives and crumbled feta.
- Season salad to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve room temperature or slightly chilled.
More Ideas with Whole Wheat Orzo:
Whole Wheat Orzo Casserole with Salmon, Asparagus, and Feta
Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with (or without) Orzo
Whole Wheat Orzo Salad with Kale, Chickpeas, Lemon, and Feta
Lemony Turkey (or Chicken) Soup with Spinach and Orzo
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 1 cup whole wheat orzo, cooked according to package directions (see notes)
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 large red bell pepper
- olive oil, for brushing vegetables
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning or other dried herb seasoning
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 2 T chopped fresh basil (see notes)
- 2 T chopped fresh oregano (see notes)
- 1 can black olives, drained and cut in half (6 oz. drained)
- 1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- Preheat grill to high.
- Cook orzo according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Drain and let cool while you prep other ingredients.
- Cut the zucchini and red bell pepper lengthwise into fourths and remove seeds and stem from pepper. Brush the vegetables on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with dried herb mix.
- Turn the grill down to medium-high, then grill vegetables until they are cooked, but still slightly crisp, about 10-15 minutes. I turned them several times so I had grill marks on all the sides. Remove vegetables and let them cool.
- Thinly slice green onions and chop fresh herbs.
- Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, and dried oregano to make the dressing.
- When vegetables are cool enough to handle easily, pull the skins off red peppers. (They should come off fairly easily, but no worries if you prefer to leave them on.)
- Cut the zucchini and pepper into bite-sized pieces and put into a plastic bowl large enough to hold all the salad ingredients.
- Add about 1/3 of dressing and stir so all the vegetable pieces are coated with dressing.
- Let the vegetables marinate while you drain olives, cut them into half, and crumble the feta.
- Add the cooked orzo (or brown rice or cauliflower rice), green onions, and herbs to the vegetables and add enough dressing to moisten all ingredients. (You may not need all the dressing.)
- Gently stir in the olives and crumbled feta.
- Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
- This salad will stay good in the fridge for several days, but only if you’re able to stop eating it!
You can use less orzo, or replace the orzo with cauliflower rice if you want fewer carbs. You can use 4 T of any chopped fresh herbs of your choice such as parsley, mint, thyme, or chives.
Adapted from a recipe by Pamela Anderson for Fine Cooking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 262mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Whole Wheat Orzo and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Feta, Olives, and Herbs is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients, but to make it more suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet I used whole wheat orzo and decreased the amount of pasta in proportion to the other ingredients. To make the salad even lower in carbs, you could use even less orzo, or replace it with cauliflower rice for a low-carb salad.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Salad Index to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.