Caprese Orzo Salad is packed full of pasta, tomatoes, cheese, basil and great dressing.
I can hardly believe Summer is almost over! Where does the time go? Although Summer vacations maybe wrapping up and kids heading back to school, the bounty of Summer vegetables are still going strong and it’s time we take advantage of them before they are gone.
This Caprese Orzo Salad is one of my favorite dishes of the Summer. I’ve made it three times in the last month. It’s just that good. Not only is the flavor of Caprese the best thing ever, but add some pasta to it and it’s just heaven. Tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil is a match made in heaven. Whomever originally discovered that combo is a saint. I could eat it every day and never get sick of it. To dress it up a bit I added Orzo pasta and a couple of times I’ve added some chicken. Chicken is a great way to add some protein to this dish.
You can use any kind of chicken. I’ve added grilled chicken I picked up from the deli section, you could also use chicken from a rotisserie. Boiled chicken cut into bit size pieces would work as well. The last time I made this I had some leftover chicken fingers from lunch, I chopped them up and threw them in. Perfect!
A few tips – Don’t skip the red onion, it adds great texture to the dish. Second, I don’t chop the basil I just tear them into tiny pieces. Use as much basil and you’d like. Third, I like to use the little mozzarella pearls you can get in the deli section of your grocery store. Saves me from having to do any additional chopping.
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese. Buy either the balls in the deli section or chop up a brick of mozzarella cheese
- 1 bunch of basil. I tear the pieces you can also finely dice the basil.
- 3 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
- 6 oz chicken, cut into chunks (optional)
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the orzo per directions on the box.
- While the pasta is cooking chop up the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, red onion and chicken(optional). Add to a bowl.
- When the pasta is ready, drain it and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
- Add to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour over the pasta mixture. Mix well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate till later.
Adapted from Julie’s Eats & Treats