I love a good pasta salad! Pasta salad is one of my go-to choices to bring to a potluck or have at a horse show. I have several pasta salads in my normal rotation, but most of them don't have a summer vibe. I wanted to use produce that I could get down at the local farm stand. We have great local corn here! I chose corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion. It's easy to add or substitute other veggies in this salad. Zucchini would be another good choice. I chose orzo as the pasta base for this salad because it's small and light.
Ingredient Notes - Corn
The recipe requires cutting the kernels off of the cob. This post from Serious Eats provides a how-to for removing the kernels. I don't recommend using frozen or canned corn for this recipe. The texture of fresh corn vs. frozen or canned really is very different. If you can't get corn on the cob, I would probably just leave it out instead of substituting a frozen or canned variety.
The summer orzo pasta salad is best when it's had a bit of time to chill, but I've also tossed it straight into a cooler to bring to a potluck. You can make it up to a day ahead. The orzo will absorb some of the dressing, but not to the point where it gets dry.
Summer orzo pasta salad is good with a variety of main dishes. Here are a few suggestions:
- Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs (recipe from Somebody Feed Seb)
- Spicy Honey Chicken (recipe from House of Nash Eats)
- Grilled Stuffed Pork Chops (recipe from Savory Experiments)
- Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Salmon (recipe from Feel Good Foodie)
Summer Orzo Pasta Salad
- ½ lb orzo this is usually half of one box
- 1 cucumber halved lengthwise and sliced thin
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 ears corn kernels removed from cob
- Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool it and stop it from cooking further.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.
- Stir the orzo and give it a couple of shakes to remove some excess water likely still trapped between pieces. Transfer orzo to a large mixing bowl. Add dressing and stir until all of the orzo is well-coated.
- Add vegetables and stir lightly to distribute evenly throughout.
- Refrigerate until serving.