Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups orzo mixture, 2 avocado wedges, 3/4 teaspoon cilantro, and 3/4 teaspoon parsley)

This tasty and colorful Orzo Salad gets a spicy kick from its Buttermilk Dressing which includes chili powder and ground red pepper.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse; drain well. Place orzo, corn, and next 3 ingredients (through beans) in a large bowl; toss.

Step 2

Combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over orzo mixture; toss. Top with avocado; garnish with remaining cilantro and parsley.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, July, 2015

Ratings & Reviews

Great summer salad

July 08, 2015
We enjoyed this healthy salad and will be making it again. Just be warned, it is firey. I cut the cayenne in half and the dressing was still hot. Love this salad, though.

Delicious - and a shortcut idea

June 20, 2017
I made this today for a summer dinner party. I also added edamame for extra protein. Yum! For the quick and easy version, use Bolthouse Creamy Cilantro Avocado salad dressing (yogurt based, in the produce section) and add the lime juice/spices/seasoning as desired. Terrific!

2peggys's Review

June 13, 2013
This is the best tasting salad of this type I have ever made or eaten. I have served it twice and have had great reviews, many compliments and "can I have this recipes". Making it again for Father's Day bar-b-q. Love it, love it, love it.

nhgirl25's Review

June 04, 2011
Easy to make, taste more spice than flavor.

veryslowcook's Review

July 30, 2012
Nice creamy dressing that goes well with pasta. For some reason, the veggies didn't seem to mix so well with the pasta and dressing, and I found myself wishing it was just pasta and sauce (I know, I know... that defeats the whole "healthy" point). Husband didn't agree and he enjoyed it more than I did.

nickelndime's Review

September 10, 2011
I am always looking for healthy, easy salads to make for lunches. This one has definitely been added to the list. I used olive oil mayo that I had on hand, minced the garlic, and left out the parsley. The only thing I felt that it needed was a little more salt.

flyingB's Review

August 28, 2011
Absolutely wonderful! The buttermilk dressing is not heavy at all, and the lime really brightens all the flavors. I zested the lime as well for some extra citrus flavor. Great recipe, and a perfect main dish for vegetarians.

cmwilliams310's Review

July 24, 2011
This is my new go-to for summer picnics. Didn't change a thing!

CarolBurger's Review

July 11, 2012
I made this 2 weeks ago and my husband is still raving about it!!! The only thing I changed up was I didn't have limes and used lemons. Will definitely make again..and again...and again!

dcdori's Review

April 29, 2011
Great leftover for lunch. I thought the flavor and texture was excellent. I used guajillo chili powder. I did think the part of the recipe calling for "crushed" garlic was unclear. I used one finely chopped clove and found the flavor was more than strong enough. Maybe the recipe writer intended to have the garlic flavor just infuse from whole crushed cloves, to be removed before serving. Not sure.