Orzo garbanzo beans salad is hearty enough to be a meal on its own. This delicious orzo pasta salad is made with fresh vegetables tossed with orzo, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and garbanzo beans, and a homemade salad dressing. This orzo salad will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days.
This fresh summer-y orzo pasta salad is easy to prep ahead for lunch or to serve as a side for your grilled meats/vegetables.
We love this vegan orzo salad, gets ready in about 20 minutes time which makes mealtimes easy. This is so good that we eat it up as a main meal 🙂.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Cucumber - use English cucumbers/Persian cucumbers for best results. Remove seeds if using regular cucumbers.
Bell Peppers - any assortment of colors 🙂
Tomatoes - use cherry or grape tomatoes for best results. If using regular tomatoes, use ripe but firm ones. Remove seeds and pulp.
Olive Oil - use the best quality available to you.
Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & pepper
Just like that pasta salad, here again, we are making the salad dressing at home, just enough for the salad so that there is no food wastage. And making the dressing at home gives you a lot of control to adjust the taste just right for you!
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a type of small oval-shaped pasta that is shaped like a large grain of rice. This is typically made with white flour, but you might find enriched varieties which are made with whole wheat flour.
Full recipe + measurements + video can be found in the recipe card below.
Large pot/sauce pan to cook pasta
Colander to drain the pasta
Chopping Board and Knife
Salad Bowl to mix everything
Step By Step Instructions
This is a simple recipe with the following steps:
- cook the orzo pasta,
- prepare the vegetables
- make the dressing
- toss it all together.
Cooking Orzo Pasta
Follow the directions on the package to cook the pasta. Rinse in cold water, drain, and let it cool down.
Preparing The Vegetables
I have used cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion for this recipe. These are vegetables that can be eaten raw and are fresh. I have detailed how to use these vegetables to get the best results.
Along with the tomatoes & cucumbers, we are also adding a few Arugula leaves here. Arugula leaves have a peppery, bitter crunch which enhances the flavor of the salad. Baby arugula leaves are the best suited for the recipe.
This is one of my favorite ways to use garbanzo beans. Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are so easy to include in your diet and are a good source of protein. I use the white as well as the black/brown variety in my day-to-day cooking.
You can use dry beans or canned beans in this recipe. If using dry beans, soak the dry beans in water overnight and cook them al dente before using them in the dish.
The salad dressing we are going to make for this pasta salad is similar to the one we used for the rotini pasta salad. Make the dressing and taste as you go. Add the ingredient that you are missing the flavor of.
To do a taste test for the dressing, dip an arugula leaf in the salad dressing and taste. See if you are happy with the taste and adjust accordingly.
Cook the orzo pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water. Drain.
Use fresh vegetables in their prime to make the salad. Wilted vegetables will not give you the best results.
To test the dressing, dip an arugula leaf in the salad dressing and taste. See if you are happy with the taste and adjust accordingly.
This salad can be made ahead of time and flavors develop over time.
Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three to four days.
This is a vegan recipe, but since orzo is pasta made with white/wheat flour, it is not gluten-free. A few recipe variations you can try:
Add some mozzarella, goat cheese, or feta cheese to suit your taste.
Use fresh basil from your garden to amp up the flavor.
Add some fresh grape tomatoes. cherry tomatoes (halve then lengthwise)
Add some red chilli flakes if you want to add some heat to your pasta salad.
Do you have some sun-dried tomatoes that you want to use up? Chop them into tiny pieces and them to the salad for added flavor.
You can use spinach instead of arugula leaves, but I do recommend arugula for the peppery taste and this peppery taste adds an additional layer of flavor to the salad which I am sure you will enjoy.
Orzo Garbanzo Beans Salad
- Measuring Spoons/Cups
- Sauce Pan
- chopping board and knife
- 150 grams (1 cup) Orzo Pasta
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1¼ cups Boiling Water
- Salt to taste
- 1 can (15.5 oz | 439 grams) Garbanzo Beans (rinsed & drained)
- 125 grams (approx. 1 cup) Chopped Cucumber
- 125 grams (approx. 1 cup) Chopped Bell Pepper (use a combination of green, red, yellow & orange OR just one color)
- 125 grams (1 Large) Roma Tomato (remove the seeds and pulp before chopping)
- 50 grams (approx. ½ cup) Chopped Red Onion
- 2 handfuls Baby Arugula
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder (you can also use minced garlic instead)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Note: Follow the package directions for cooking the orzo or use the instructions below:Heat oil in a sauce pan on medium heat and add orzo pasta. Fry until light brown (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add 1¼ cup of boiling water and salt. Mix well. Cover & cook for 6 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water. Let it drain until ready to use. [Note: Start with about ¾ teaspoon salt and add more if required]
- While the pasta is cooling down, we can get the vegetables prepped.
- Rinse & drain garbanzo beans.
- Finely chop cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and bell peppers.
Prepare Salad Dressing
- Mix all the ingredients listed under the salad dressing section. Do a taste test and adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. [Note: Start with ½-¾ teaspoon salt. Add more if required]
- To a large mixing bowl, add cooked orzo pasta and chopped vegetables. Top with salad dressing. Toss to mix everything well. Add Arugula leaves and give a quick mix. Refrigerate covered until ready to use.
- Stir gently before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
- 1 CUP = 250 ML. (US cups are typically 240 ml. You can use US cups with no significant change to the dish). 1 TEASPOON = 5ML; 1 TABLESPOON=15 ML.
- Grams to cups measurements – we strive to provide these conversions as accurately as possible. There might be some slight variations depending on the brand, weighing scale, etc.
- Serving size – This serves 4-5 people. Adjust the serving size to fit your dietary needs.
- Cook the orzo pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water.
- Use fresh vegetables in their prime to make the salad. Wilted vegetables will not give you the best results.
- To test the dressing, dip an arugula leaf in the salad and taste. See if you are happy with the taste and adjust accordingly.
- The drained Weight of Garbanzo bean is approximately 235 grams (about 1½ cups)
- This can be made ahead of time and flavors develop over time.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three to four days.