This simple orzo white bean salad comes together in less than 20 minutes for a fresh, delicious, and easy meal! Topped with tons of fresh veggies, arugula, goat cheese, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette, it's perfect for meal prep or a side dish for your summer barbecue!
Why You'll Love This Easy Orzo Pasta Salad
This summer orzo salad will be your new go-to easy lunch! It's also delicious as a side for grilled chicken or salmon!
- It comes together in just 20 minutes.
- Is delicious either warm or cold!
- Perfect for meal prep lunches or an easy side dish!
Bonus: This orzo white bean salad also has 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per serving for a healthy meal that will keep you full!
You just need a few simple ingredients to make this summery orzo white bean salad.
Cannellini Beans - My favorite white beans to use in this salad are cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans) because they have a super creamy flavor. You can also substitute garbanzo beans!
Orzo - Orzo is a small, oval shaped pasta that looks similar to rice. Use a high-quality die cut pasta like Delallo or De Cecco for the yummiest results! If you don't like orzo, you can substitute your favorite short pasta.
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes - If I can find them, I like to use heirloom cherry tomatoes because they have the best flavor in my opinion. But any cherry or grape tomato will do! You could also do sundried tomatoes instead.
Cucumber - Sliced cucumbers add a delicious crunch to this orzo salad! I like to use mini cucumbers for small slices.
Red Onion - I like the bite of a fresh red onion, but for a more mellow flavor sliced shallot works well too.
Goat Cheese - I personally just love creamy goat cheese but you could also use feta cheese!
Arugula and Fresh Herbs - Using arugula and fresh herbs like oregano and mint adds fresh, summery flavor to the pasta salad, but you could swap in fresh spinach, basil, etc.
The complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Easy Lemon Vinaigrette
You’ll just need a few basic ingredients for the vinaigrette including extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, honey, Dijon, garlic, and thyme.
Just throw all the ingredients in a mason jar and give it a good shake! Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
Your favorite Greek dressing would also be a delicious choice!
How to Make Cold Orzo Salad
My number one tip for perfect orzo pasta salad is to cook the pasta al dente and then rinse it!! For pasta salad the last thing you want is sticky, overcooked pasta. I always cook my pasta 1-2 minutes less than what the package directions call for. Then after draining the pasta, rinse for just a minute or so with cold water.
Cook the orzo according to package directions. Reduce the cooking time by 1-2 minutes for perfect al dente pasta. Drain and then rinse for 1 minute with cold water (this helps the orzo not stick together). Set aside to cool slightly.
Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and set aside to let the excess water drip off.
Cut up all the veggies into bite-sized pieces and finely chop the fresh herbs.
Add the cooled orzo, drained cannellini beans, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, arugula, chopped herbs, and goat cheese to a large bowl.
Then drizzle on your desired amount of dressing and toss gently until combined.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days! The pasta salad might get dried out after a few days so you can rehydrate it with a little olive oil.
Normally I don't recommend rinsing pasta! However, pasta salad is the only exception! Rinsing the orzo immediately after cooking removes the excess starch so that it doesn't clump together.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
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Orzo White Bean Salad
- 16 ounces orzo
- 30 ounces cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup arugula
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a mason jar and seal tightly. Shake vigorously to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
- This orzo salad can be served while the orzo is still warm but I prefer it as a cold pasta salad.
- Cook the orzo according to package directions. Reduce the cooking time by 1-2 minutes for perfect al dente pasta. Drain and then rinse for 1 minute with cold water (this helps the orzo not stick together). Set aside to cool slightly.
- Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and set aside to let the excess water drip off.
- Cut up all the veggies into bite-sized pieces and finely chop the fresh herbs.
- Add the cooled orzo, drained cannellini beans, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, arugula, chopped herbs, and goat cheese to a large bowl.
- Then drizzle on your desired amount of dressing and toss gently until combined.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.