Orzo Arugula Salad

This zesty, peppery orzo arugula salad is topped with sweet and tangy cranberries, sun-dried red peppers and a homemade lemon basil vinaigrette.

Orzo arugula salad has so many textures and flavors going on and would be delicious served with a Pork roastOven roasted turkey, or Crispy lemon pepper chicken. It’s a fresh, vibrant salad perfect for those last few days of summer and early fall. 

Orzo Arugula Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette in a white bowl

A Tasty Seasonal Salad

This salad is perfect for late summer and early fall. It’s got fresh greens and a homemade lemon basil vinaigrette, but also cranberries and toasted almonds. It’s a unique yet flavorful combination that I love. And don’t even get me started on the burrata being all cool over in the corner. 

Inspired by one of our favorite pizza places in SLC, this dish is easy to make yet so impressive looking. It’d be perfect for dinner club, a busy weeknight meal, or as a holiday side.

The original, authentic recipe includes pine nuts, not almonds. Pine nuts can be pretty expensive, so we opt for almonds. It also called for a scoop of ricotta which is probably a lot easier to find in most grocery stores, however, if you can find burrata I highly recommend grabbing some!

Lemon basil orzo arugula salad in a white bowl with a fork

Making Simple Orzo Arugula Salad

PASTA. Set a large saucepan with water over high heat, bring to a boil. Cook orzo according to the package’s instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.

SALAD. In a large mixing bowl combine arugula, bell peppers, cranberries, nuts, salt, and pepper.

DRESSING. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients for the dressing, pulse until emulsified.

ASSEMBLE + SERVE. Add cool orzo to greens. Toss with dressing and plate on a large platter or on individual salad plates. Add the burrata and drizzle with olive oil, add a crack of black pepper and a pinch of flaky sea salt.

Orzo basil salad topped with ricotta cheese

Tips + Storing Info

Burrata is a ball of fresh Italian mozzarella cheese filled with rich, thick cream. It is perfect in salads or with grilled fruit and vegetables. It also tastes amazing with toasted bread and fresh pesto or bruschetta.

Orzo is a rice shaped pasta. To toast it, melt 2 tsp of butter in a pan and toast the orzo for 4 minutes or until it is lightly browned.

You can prepare the orzo ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to combine all of the ingredients.

STORE this salad, undressed, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The greens will become soggy overtime, so try to eat this salad as soon as possible!

Orzo Arugula Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette on the side

A few more restaurant inspired salads to try:

Orzo Arugula Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Orzo Arugula Salad Recipe

This zesty, peppery orzo arugula salad is topped with sweet and tangy cranberries, sun-dried red peppers and a homemade lemon basil vinaigrette.
4.8 from 35 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Salads & Sides
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 2 large salads or 4 side salads
Calories: 1180kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the orzo:
  • 1 c. uncooked orzo
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
For the salad:
  • 5 oz. baby arugula or baby arugula blend - washed and dried
  • 3 tbsp. chopped sun-dried red bell peppers in oil - chopped
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds or pine nuts - toasted
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 balls burrata or ⅓ c. ricotta cheese
For the dressing:
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice + 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • half a small shallot
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • pinch ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Set a large saucepan with water over high heat, bring to a boil. Cook orzo according to the package's instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, then drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine arugula, bell peppers, cranberries, nuts, salt, and pepper.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients for the dressing, pulse until emulsified.
  • Add cool orzo to greens. Toss with dressing and plate on a large platter or on individual salad plates. Serve with burrata.

Notes

These are the bell peppers I used: https://www.delallo.com/shop/delallo-sweet-tangy-sun-dried-peppers

Nutrition

Calories: 1180kcal | Carbohydrates: 132g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 1144mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 2306IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 429mg | Iron: 5mg

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Comments:

  1. I made this salad and it was delicious!  I had to sub feta cheese for ricotta because I forgot to buy it. Also had to sub regular roasted red peppers – I used more for this reason. I used slivered almonds. Very good and has held up in my refrigerator several days – the arugula is still great!  Thanks!

  2. This is delicious. I served it with salmon for an early fall dinner party and it was a huge hit. Light and fresh and super simple to prepare. 

  3. 5 stars
    Outstanding!!! Very versatile. I skipped the cranberries and I didn’t have any burrata cheese but I did add sun dried tomatoes and some of the sun dried tomato oil vs. olive oil. A definite repeat in the kitchen.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh goodness, this is such a tasty salad! The sweetness of the craisins is a perfect balance to the arugula, and I love the crunch from the toasted almonds. I could eat this for lunch every week!

  5. 5 stars
    The orzo makes this salad hearty & the dressing is amazing!! Lots of fresh & tasty ingredients!

  6. 5 stars
    Yummy! This was such a delicious and very tasty salad! My hubby and I enjoyed this salad the other day! We will definitely make this salad again.

  7. 5 stars
    This is super tasty! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, really easy to make and very helpful! Will surely make this one again! Perfect for the fam!

  8. 5 stars
    The vinaigrette makes this salad even tastier than it already is! Refreshing flavors & the orzo makes it hearty!

  9. 5 stars
    The combination of orzo, almonds and arugula is perfection. Loving the lemon basil vinaigrette too!

  10. 5 stars
    I just want to remark on the dressing which is OUTSTANDING! I’m making another batch tonight and doubling it… Also making this salad again but serving it with baked salmon. I don’t trust a lot of recipes, so I thank you for making a reliable recipe which I know I’ll be making for years to come.

  11. Hi, question; I’m making this salad for thanksgiving and would like to know, do I chop up the buratta? Looking at the picture it seems to be in a ball still and I don’t see how you can serve it that way unless each person cuts a hunk off the ball. Thank you!

    1. Hi, you can serve this in individually or from a serving bowl. If using a serving bowl, you can just cut up the buratta into individual pieces on the top of the salad and let everyone grab one.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you!! I chopped up the buratta and served it in the bowl with the salad, a lot like the way you presented it in your picture. What a fantastic combination of ingredients in this salad! I can’t get over how delicious the dressing is, I doubled it and would recommend that. This is a keeper 💥