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:

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Orzo Arugula Salad on a salad plate.

Orzo Arugula Salad Recipe

Elevate your salad experience with our Orzo Arugula Salad, a delightful mix of peppery greens, tangy cranberries, and zesty sun-dried red peppers, dressed in a homemade lemon basil vinaigrette.
4.82 from 64 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Salads & Sides
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 side salads
Calories: 619kcal
Author: Andrea
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 and bring to a boil. Cook the orzo according to the package’s instructions.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water, then drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine arugula, bell peppers, cranberries, nuts, salt, and pepper.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and pulse until emulsified. Add the cool orzo to the greens.
  • Toss with the dressing and plate on a large platter or 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.
This recipe makes 2 large salads or 4 side salads. Nutritional information is for 1 side salad.
For the perfect Orzo Arugula Salad, let the cooked orzo cool to room temperature before mixing with the arugula and other ingredients. This prevents the greens from wilting and maintains the salad’s fresh texture. Additionally, dress the salad just before serving to keep the arugula crisp and the nuts crunchy.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1side salad | Calories: 619kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1227IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 2mg

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Frances Bautista

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Comments:

    1. Hi Lora, I have updated the nutrition, but yes, for 2 large salads, one serving is 1,186 calories. For 4 side salads, each serving is 593 calories.

  1. 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 💥