This Warm Mediterranean Orzo Salad is filled with flavorful ingredients like marinated artichokes, vegan parmesan, roasted red peppers and lots of fresh herbs. Fresh dill and parsley combine with the apple cider Dijon vinaigrette for a tangy dressing.
This Warm Mediterranean Orzo Salad has lots of bold flavors and is sure to impress at your next get-together or meal with loved ones. Plus, this orzo salad makes a truly awesome meal prep option as well. The ingredients are gourmet enough to serve as a special dish, while being simple to prepare in 30 minutes or likely less.
What’s Great about this Warm Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This dish features some of my favorite flavor powerhouse ingredients: fresh herbs, roasted bell peppers, vegan parmesan, capers and marinated artichokes. They’re also ingredients that I feature often in my cookbook 15-Minute Vegan Meals because they pack big flavor with minimal time and effort. These ingredients are some of my go-to’s to finish off a dish with pantry and fridge staples.
The tangy dressing is incredibly flavorful too. It uses a combination of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for acidity, along with good quality olive oil, Dijon mustard, a simple combination of salt and pepper, and optional agave nectar for a touch of sweetness to balance things out.
You can whip this up quickly with minimal chopping and cook time. While the orzo is cooking, you can cook the seasoned chickpeas and chop the herbs, artichokes and bell peppers.
How This Dish Comes Together
First, prepare the orzo. Be sure to salt the cooking water with around 2 tbsp salt and avoid overcooking the orzo. Tip: after draining, mix most of the dressing in with the orzo and other ingredients. This will avoid the orzo sticking together.
While the orzo is cooking, chop the marinated artichokes, bell peppers and fresh herbs. Cook the seasoned chickpeas by adding them to a skillet along with the avocado oil and seasonings, and heat them through.
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
When the orzo is done cooking and it’s drained, add it to a large mixing bowl. Add in the chickpeas, artichokes, bell peppers, capers and dressing, along with the vegan parmesan.
Prior to serving, you can add a bit more lemon juice and black pepper.
Tips for Making This Dish
To save on time, you can buy the jarred artichokes and bell peppers that are pre-sliced.
For the artichokes, I like to use the marinated variety that includes seasonings. Alternatively you can use the canned plain variety of artichoke hearts.
If you don’t like vegan cheese, feel free to skip it. Or, if you just don’t like vegan parmesan, you can give vegan feta a try. It would also work great in this dish.
Capers provide a great tang and pop of flavor in this dish. Alternatively, you can use chopped kalamata or green olives.
Other Delicious Orzo Recipes
Warm Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- 1/2 lb. orzo
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/4 tsp each kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika plus 2 tsp olive oil for cooking chickpeas
- 2/3 cup marinated artichokes drained and chopped
- 1 cup roasted bell peppers drained and chopped
- 2-3 tbsp capers to taste
- 1/2 cup shaved vegan parmesan
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp agave nectar optional
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
- Cook orzo according to package directions, adding 2 tbsp kosher salt to the cooking water, then drain. Meanwhile, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Cook the chickpeas on medium heat with the 2 tsp oil and seasonings until heated through.
- Add drained orzo to large mixing bowl and add all ingredients and dressing. Stir to combine.