Vegan Orzo Pasta Salad with Rainbow Veggies in a Lemon-Dill Dressing: Tasty, filling, colourful, and you can throw it together in under 30 minutes! Makes GREAT lunches and it’s also a big hit at potlucks and summer BBQs.
Vegan Orzo Pasta Salad with Rainbow Veggies in a Lemon-Dill Dressing
If you’re not familiar with orzo, it’s a tiny, grain-shaped pasta you can find in the pasta aisle at your grocery store. And even though orzo can’t seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be rice or pasta, I still like it a lot. It has a great mouth-feel and it’s really versatile!
One of my favourite ways to use orzo is in pasta salads, and this particular vegan orzo pasta salad recipe I’ve got for you today has become one of my go-to vegan lunch prep meals! It’s tasty, filling, colourful, and you can throw it together in under 30 minutes, so it qualifies as one of my Weeknight Quickies. It’s also a big hit at potlucks and summer BBQs!
My husband says he “could eat this all day, every day” (and he has great taste, so you really should take his word for it…). He loves it so much, I have to remind him that he needs to save some for his lunch later in the week 😉 It’s definitely addictive. Once you’ve had one bite, you can’t help but shovel it into your mouth until you’re stuffed.
This is a great vegan orzo salad recipe to make in the summer when the peppers are all in season and cheap (or, you know… growing in your backyard for FREE).
I actually made the first experimental version for my family last Easter, and it complemented the big spring feast beautifully and added a pop of colour to our plates. And at just $1.56 per serving, you really can’t go wrong. #pennywisewin
The Recipe: Vegan Orzo Pasta Salad with Rainbow Veggies in a Lemon-Dill Dressing
What you’ll need:
450g package of orzo pasta – $1.50
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced – $1.13
1 large red bell pepper, diced – $1.16
1 large green bell pepper, diced – .87 cents
1 cup minced dill (1 cup is the minced volume – this will look like way too much, but trust me!) – $1.89
1 small or 1/2 medium red onion, diced – .30 cents
2 medium carrots, julienned then cut into tiny sticks (or minced) – .20 cents
2/3 cup olive oil – $1.65
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled) – .60 (I used bottled)
3 tsp sugar (or honey/sweetener of choice, to cut the tartness of the lemon) – .05
3/4 tbsp salt, or to taste – .05 cents
1/4 tsp (generous sprinkle) fresh ground pepper – trace
What you do:
1) Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook the orzo according to the package directions. Cook it to just al dente – you don’t want it to get mushy.
2) While the orzo is cooking, chop your veggies and dill and add them to a large mixing bowl.
3) When the orzo is finished, strain it and rinse it thoroughly with cold water to stop the cooking action. Add it to the bowl with the veggies.
4) In a 2-cup measuring up or small mixing bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk thoroughly. Pour it over the salad and flip/stir until the salad is evenly coated. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, although I think this one is actually better the next day once the flavours have had time to mingle, so make it in advance if you have the time! You’ll be SO excited for your lunch at work.
Makes 6 lunch-sized servings or about 10 side portions (for BBQs, potlucks, etc.)
Total cost: $9.40
Cost per serving: $1.56(6) or .94 cents (10)