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Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

2 Reviews

Hi everyone, it’s Alyssa again from My Sequined Life with a pasta side dish just perfect for get-togethers (Mother’s Day, anyone?). To me, pasta salads signify warmer weather on the horizon. For one they’re usually not served warm so they have a refreshing quality to them, and they play nicely with other barbecue accoutrements. Some are creamy and some are tangy, but either way pasta salad is a favorite of mine. If you like more classic orzo, you have to try this recipe!

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad - an easy pasta salad with fresh basil, tomatoes, cannellini beans, and almonds.

This lemon orzo pasta salad isn’t creamy (in fact, it’s dairy-free), but it’s certainly flavorful and just right for spring/summer weather with lots of fresh basil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Chopped almonds, cannellini beans, and tomatoes are stirred into the mix for a little bit of crunch, protein, and veggie goodness. All you need to do is cook and drain the pasta, stir up the liquids, and and stir to combine everything. This recipe yields a fair amount of servings, making it a great dish to serve at a party, or you could even serve it as a main dish with chicken, shrimp, or your favorite protein over top. I’ve done that with grilled chicken and it instantly made me think ‘summer’!

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad - an easy pasta salad with fresh basil, tomatoes, cannellini beans, and almonds.

The great thing about pasta salads is that by and large they’re customizable. I used orzo here, but any sort of small shaped pastas would work, too. I’m thinking rotini, farfalle, even penne. The juice of three lemons are used here, but add as much (or as little) lemon juice as you like. I didn’t want the lemon to be too overpowering, but of course that’s all relative. Add enough to fit with your tastes! You can also sub in chickpeas for the cannellini beans (or omit entirely), add some chopped onion, etc.

What is Orzo Pasta?

Orzo, or sometimes called risoni, is a short-cut pasta resembling a long grain rice.

Can Orzo be Cooked in a Rice Cooker?

You can cook Orzo and other pastas in a rice cooker.

Just put dry pasta in cooker and add water to cover. (maybe add to 1/8-1/4 inch above pasta).

Add a little salt and about a tsp. oil and start cooker.

Remove from cooker just as it switches to “warm” to avoid browning on the bottom.

Is Orzo Healthier than Rice?

Orzo and rice have about the same carbohydrate content, but orzo has twice the protein.

Orzo can be used in place of rice in many recipes.

Looking for more delicious ORZO RECIPES?

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

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Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad - an easy pasta salad with fresh basil, tomatoes, cannellini beans, and almonds.

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 20 hours
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10
This lemon orzo pasta salad isn't creamy (in fact, it's dairy-free), but it's certainly flavorful and just right for spring/summer weather with lots of fresh basil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.


  • 16 oz. orzo pasta
  • 3 lemons juiced, more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra-virgin
  • 2 tsp vinegar apple cider
  • 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup almonds sliced, chopped
  • 15 oz beans cannellini, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves packed, fresh, chopped (or as much as you like!)


  • Add water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil on the stove top.
  • Once boiling, lightly salt the water and add orzo and stir.
  • Let pasta cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the pasta doesn't stick.
  • When pasta is to your preferred doneness, drain the water and add pasta to a bowl to cool.
  • You'll want to stir the pasta as it cools to ensure it doesn't stick together.
  • If it begins to stick, drizzle pasta with a little bit of olive oil and it should be fine.
  • In a separate bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine.
  • Pour over cooled orzo and stir to combine.
  • Add almonds, cannellini beans, and basil and stir to combine evenly.
  • Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • As the pasta will absorb some of the liquid as it is refrigerated, you may want to drizzle a little extra olive oil and lemon juice over top and stir in before serving.


Pasta salad will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 341 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Sodium 104mg5%
Potassium 421mg12%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 74IU1%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 83mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad - an easy pasta salad with fresh basil, tomatoes, cannellini beans, and almonds.

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Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • This was a big hit at the BBQ! So light and fresh, it was enjoyed by adults and children.

    • Reply
    • Love love love to hear this! Thank you so much Jill!

      • Reply
  • How many cherry tomatoes are recommended for the Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad? Thanks!

    • Reply
    • You could totally do however many you want! I’d say we probably throw in 2 dozen cherry tomatoes.

      • Reply

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄