Pasta/ Recipe/ Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

July 27, 2020 (Last Updated: October 17, 2020)

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Orzo pasta salad is filled with black beans, corn, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions and fresh cilantro. This southwestern pasta salad is perfect for lunch or served as a side dish.

Orzo pasta salad on a white plate with a sandwich and grapes.

My family is a huge fan of pasta salads. I often make up one and store in the fridge for one to two days. The kids eat it for lunch or snacks. If it’s in the fridge, they will eat it up. This is also a perfect salad to pack in a lunch box. I switch between this orzo pasta salad, a couscous salad and a quinoa salad.

An arrangement of ingredients, including orzo, tomatoes, corn, black beans, bell peppers, cilantro and a red onion.

Key Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and measurements can be found below. Just scroll to the bottom!

  • Orzo – a small rice shaped pasta. If you don’t have orzo, you can substitute small macaroni pasta.
  • Black Beans – One can of beans, rinsed and drained, or you can make your own from dried beans.
  • Frozen Corn – Can use fresh too, just cook, cool and remove from the cob.
  • Cherry tomatoes – Any small cherry or grape tomato works
  • Bell peppers – Red, yellow or orange
  • Red onion – You could also use a white or yellow onion.
  • Fresh cilantro -. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you may use fresh parsley.
  • Fresh lime juice – Fresh squeezed is best!
A glass bowl filled with freshly cut veggies, black beans and orzo pasta.

Additional Add Ins

If desired you can easily add almost anything you think would work into this salad. Some ideas include:

  • Chopped cooked chicken
  • Leftover chunked salmon
  • Chopped avocado
  • Black olives
  • Finely chopped jalapenos
Orzo pasta salad in a large white bowl.

Tips for making

  • After cooking orzo, drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Drain and rinse canned black beans.
  • Cut all veggies to a small dice with a consistent size.
  • Quarter tomatoes

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will this salad last?

This salad will last for up to 4 days if kept covered and refrigerated. Just give a quick stir before using.

Can I make ahead of time?

Yes, this salad can be made ahead of time. Just cover and refrigerate until serving time. You can also serve right away at room temperature.

Why do I need to rinse the orzo in cold water?

Rinsing the orzo does three things – it stops the cooking process, it removes the excess starch and it cools the temperature of the pasta.

Orzo pasta on a table with a plate filled with food and a glass of milk.

Other great salad recipes

If you love summer salads as much as we do, you’ll want to check out these other recipes too!

A plate with a ham sandwich, fresh grapes and a pasta salad.

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

Orzo salad with black beans and tomatoes on a plate with a sandwich.

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

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Orzo pasta salad on a white plate with a sandwich and grapes.

Orzo Pasta Salad

Delicious summer salad made with orzo pasta, black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and fresh cilantro.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 194 kcal




  • 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
  • 1 can black beans (15.5 ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1 cup bell peppers (diced)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 juice from one lime



  • Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.


  • Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain into a sieve and rinse until cool.
  • Add cooked pasta, rinsed black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and cilantro into a large mixing bowl. Toss to mix.
  • Squeeze lime juice over pasta mixture.
  • Add prepared dressing and mix gently until well coated.
  • Serve or cover and refrigerate.


Additional Add Ins:
If desired you can easily add almost anything you think would work into this salad. Some ideas include:
  • Chopped cooked chicken
  • Leftover chunked salmon
  • Chopped avocado
  • Black olives
  • Finely chopped jalapenos
  • Use a small salad macaroni in place of the orzo pasta
  • Use fresh chopped parsley instead of cilantro
  • Use a white onion instead of a read onion
  • Use regular paprika instead of smoke paprika


Serving: 1cupCalories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 124mgPotassium: 313mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 766IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Orzo Pasta Salad, pasta salad
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    July 28, 2020 at 5:04 am

    5 stars
    We love orzo salad here, too! Come to think of it, it’s been quite a while since we’ve made one. It’s hot here, and I’m all about the summer salads right now. This one sounds like it’s packed with summer flavor! Pass me a spoon please. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    July 27, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I love pasta salads with orzo Kathy! And the ingredient list here is pushing all my buttons. Perfect for lunch, dinner and meal prep for the week. I can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Reply
      July 27, 2020 at 8:35 am

      Enjoy!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    July 27, 2020 at 8:18 am

    5 stars
    I love pasta salad, especially this time of year! This one looks packed with flavour and I could easily enjoy as is, without anything else, and be quite happy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      July 27, 2020 at 8:34 am

      I often eat just this salad for lunch and it’s totally satisfying!

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