I first tried a version of this orzo salad with goat cheese seven years ago and it was seriously love at first bite. Immediately I asked my friend for her recipe and it’s been a favorite ever since. I’ve made a few tweaks over the years, which is why it now features goat cheese instead of feta. This is the perfect summer lunch or dinner and is a great recipe to make ahead!
The two things I love most about this orzo salad with goat cheese recipe is that it’s 1) delicious and 2) easy. The hardest thing you have to do is chop the vegetables. It’s a great thing to make for Monday dinner, which is when I usually have zero cooking inspiration.
Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese Ingredients
The ingredients for this orzo salad with goat cheese are pretty straightforward. Although I wouldn’t necessarily subtract anything you can definitely add things or substitute based on what you have at home. You’ll need:
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Fresh goat cheese
- Fresh basil (don’t use dried herbs in this salad)
- Tomatoes (any kind that you like work)
- Pine nuts
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
I think this dish would be so good with even more fresh herbs – mint, dill, parsley, chives…the list goes on! I like using goat cheese because it really “melts” into the salad, but you could use feta or mozzarella. Pine nuts give it a great crunch and I think almonds or pistachios would work too. You could even change up the vinaigrette if you wanted.
What to Add to the Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese
I eat this dish on its own for lunch or dinner. It would also be a great easy summer side dish that you can make ahead or bring with you to a picnic. You could add sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, spinach or arugula – really anything that sounds good to you. You could also use avocado, but I would add it in just before serving so it doesn’t turn brown.
If you want to add protein I think it would be good with chicken, shrimp, or any type of greek meatballs.
Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese
- 1 package Orzo (1 lb. bag or 500 g – in France look for DeCecco Puntalette n°73)
- 6 cups Chicken broth (can use vegetable) (1.5 liters)
- 7 oz. Fresh goat cheese (200 g)
- 1 cup Fresh basil, chopped (1 bundle)
- 2 cups Scallions, chopped (1 bundle)
- 2 cups Tomatoes, chopped (350 g)
- 1/2 cup Pine nuts, roasted (100 g)
- 1/4 cup Red wine vinegar (60 ml)
- 1/4 cup Lemon juice, fresh-squeezed (about 60 ml or the juice from two lemons)
- 2 tsp Honey (10 ml)
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (120 ml)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Salt to taste
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Pepper to taste
- Cook the orzo in the broth until al dente according to package instructions. Stir the orzo while it's cooking so it doesn't stick to the pan. Drain and set aside.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Chop the tomatoes, scallions, and fresh basil. Cut goat cheese into small squares for mixing.
- Roast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium to medium-low heat. You don't need to use oil, just stir them in the pan to prevent burning. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the orzo with the tomatoes, basil, scallions and goat cheese.
- Stir in the dressing.
- Before serving, mix in the pine nuts.
- Serve at room temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Could be eaten warm, room temperature, or cold
- Leftovers will keep for a few days in the refrigerator
I’d love to know what you think if you end up trying this orzo salad with goat cheese recipe!