This delicious Orzo Vegetable Salad with Vegan Honey Mustard Dressing is so satisfying and full of nourishing vegetables and big flavors. It is perfect as a light lunch or dinner, or even as a side dish or to top a big bowl of greens.
Orzo is such a favorite of mine, as it’s so versatile. It makes a perfect vehicle for pasta salads served warm or chilled. In this dish, orzo combines deliciously with carrots, brussels sprouts, and shallot as the cooked vegetables. Then, some really tasty additions make this salad a keeper!
The simple Creamy Vegan Honey Mustard is only a handful of ingredients and is surprisingly similar to some restaurant-style honey mustard dressings.
It’s made with vegan mayo, agave nectar, and of course, dijon mustard. It only needs a dash of garlic powder and salt, but barely. This creamy and delicious dressing is a perfect match for the orzo, vegetables and fresh herbs.
Lastly, the sliced almonds give this a great topping and even more texture – which is so good for salads! Nuts are a great touch to give salads something special. There are so many options to choose from. Here we used sliced almonds, but other tasty options would be roasted pistachios or toasted walnuts.
How this Orzo Vegetable Salad with Vegan Honey Mustard Comes Together
Cooking the orzo: you can start by boiling the water and cooking the orzo pasta. I like to salt the water with a couple teaspoons of salt. Drain the orzo once it’s al dente and add it to a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, seasonings, and lemon juice.
Preparing the vegetables: While the pasta water and orzo are doing their thing, this is the time to cut and start cooking the veggies. Once they are washed, peel the carrots and trim the ends off them. If your carrots are very thick, cut them in half, then slice them lengthwise. This will help make your slices a bit more manageable. For the brussel sprouts, trim any brown ends off, then half or quarter the sprouts depending on size. You can preheat a large pan for a couple minutes while you are preparing the veggies. Add them to the pan, along with some oil. While these cook, finely chop the shallot and add that in.
Making the dressing and finishing touches: While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Halve the tomatoes and finely chop the herbs.
Putting it together: To the mixing bowl, add the cooked vegetables, tomatoes and herbs. Serve topped with almonds and the dressing.
Other Delicious Orzo / Pasta Salads
Couscous and Cannellini Bean Salad
Pearl Couscous with Peas, Mint & Lemon Herb Ricotta
Couscous and Farro Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Orzo Vegetable Salad with Vegan Honey Mustard
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt divided
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder divided
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 lb. brussel sprouts quartered or halved if very small
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 large shallot finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp each pepper and paprika
- 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 4 to 5 fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Creamy Vegan Honey Mustard Dressing
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 4 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- Cook the orzo in salted water to according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain the orzo and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 of the kosher salt and garlic powder, and 1 tsp dried parsley. Stir gently.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pan on medium heat and add the avocado oil, carrots and brussel sprouts. Stir and cook for 5 min, then add the shallots and remaining 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper, garlic powder, and pepper and paprika. Stir and cook covered for 5 to 7 min, stirring occasionally, until the brussel sprouts are fork tender.
- Add the vegetables, tomatoes, parsley, almonds to the orzo and gently stir. Whisk together the dressing. Transfer the orzo to a serving dish and top with basil. Drizzle with dressing as desired. Taste for seasoning.