Orzo with Tomatoes and Basil

This light refreshing salad tastes even better if you let it sit, making it the perfect "make ahead" side dish.

Orzo with Tomatoes and Basil (Side Dish)

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Serves: 6 Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved (you can also use heirloom tomatoes, just cut them up into large bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (chop just before adding to salad, to prevent basil from turning black)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • About 3/4-cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4-cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil



Pour the broth into a heavy saucepan, cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. When the broth starts to boil, stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a fine mesh strainer, and then transfer to a large wide bowl. Toss the orzo with a few tablespoons of the red wine vinaigrette.


When the orzo has cooled off to room temperature, toss with the beans, tomatoes, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat.


Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste, and serve at room temperature.


Red Wine Vinaigrette:
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.



Inspired by Giada de Laurentiis Orzo Salad recipe

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