This Orzo Pasta Salad mixes both orzo pasta and cauliflower rice for a lower calorie salad. This salad does not soak up all the dressing in the fridge.
Since inventing the combo of orzo pasta and cauliflower rice, I have been thinking of all the different ways to use it. I am not claiming this Orzo Pasta Salad is low-carb because it is not. But it does have fewer calories than other recipes for the same type of salad. And the best part? The cauliflower helps the pasta to not get sticky and absorb all the dressing as it sits in the fridge chilling to take along to whatever gathering you might be going. That was a big discovery for me after making this. Now I’m thinking I should add cauliflower rice to all my pasta salads in the future.
The other great thing about this salad is that it uses help from the air fryer. I like zucchini and feta in this salad. But you could change up the vegetables to your own tastes. Fresh cucumber and tomato would work in this Orzo Pasta Salad. Or maybe use help from the antipasto bar at your grocery store and add marinated artichoke hearts, olives, roasted red peppers and salami. Feel free to get creative with this recipe and just use the base as a starting point.
Ingredients needed for Orzo Pasta Salad
- Orzo Pasta
- Cauliflower Rice
- Olive Oil
- Feta Cheese
- Garlic Salt
- Black Pepper
How to make Orzo Pasta Salad
Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and add it to a large bowl. Stir in a little butter to coat the orzo. Meanwhile, microwave the cauliflower rice according to package directions. Add the rice to the bowl with the orzo and stir until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
Wash and cut the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Toss it with a little olive oil and garlic salt. Air fry the zucchini until tender. If you don’t own an air fryer, you could roast the zucchini in the oven.
While the zucchini is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic salt and black pepper. Once the zucchini is finished cooking, add it to the bowl with the orzo and cauliflower rice. Pour half the olive oil mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Return the bowl to the fridge, covered, and allow to chill for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, toss the orzo pasta salad with the rest of the olive oil and lemon dressing, feta cheese and chopped parsley.
- I use a Philips XXL Air Fryer to test all of my recipes.
- Here’s the pairing knife that I swear by – it costs less than $10!
- This is the brand of cauliflower rice I use.
Foodtastic Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Any highlighted, clickable Amazon link you see is an affiliate link that I may earn advertising fees on.
Orzo Pasta Salad
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 10 oz frozen riced cauliflower
- 3 cups zucchini cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for the zucchini
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain and add the pasta to a large bowl. Stir in one tablespoons of butter to coat the cooked orzo.
- Meanwhile, microwave the cauliflower rice according to package directions. Add the rice to the bowl with the buttered orzo and stir until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
- Wash and cut zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Toss it with about a tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of garlic salt. Air fry the zucchini at 375 degrees F for 8 - 10 minutes, or until just tender. If you don’t own an air fryer, you could roast the zucchini in the oven.
- While the zucchini is cooking, whisk together the 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of garlic salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Once the zucchini is finished cooking in the air fryer, add it to the bowl with the orzo and cauliflower rice. Pour half of the olive oil mixture over the orzo pasta salad and stir well to coat. Return the bowl to the fridge, covered, and allow to chill for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, toss the orzo pasta salad with the remaining half of the olive oil and lemon dressing, feta cheese and chopped parsley.