Grilled Zucchini Orzo Salad With Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

This pasta salad combines the smoky flavor of grilled vegetables with the refreshing taste of summer tomatoes and cilantro.

by Lori Rice
PHOTO: Lori Rice

You can serve this orzo salad as a side dish at your next picnic or add shredded chicken or black beans to make it a full meal.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large onion, cut in 1/4-inch slices, rings intact
  • 1 to 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1½ cups mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cups cooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 T. plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


Heat gas or charcoal grill to high (425 to 475 degrees F). Brush both sides of zucchini and onion slices with olive oil. Place zucchini slices and onion slices on grill. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown, flip and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the other side. Place on cutting board to cool.

In large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes and pasta. In small food processor, blend together cilantro, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.

Once grilled vegetables are cool, chop or dice into bite-sized pieces. Add vegetables to pasta and cherry tomatoes.

Pour yogurt and cilantro dressing over pasta salad and stir well to coat all ingredients. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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