Photo: Helene Dujardin Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickie  
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Makes 6 servings

The key to this crowd-pleasing salad is to toss the warm pasta with the dressing so the orzo soaks up flavor. Make it up to two days ahead, and serve any leftovers with ham.

How to Make It

Step 1

Grate zest from lemons to equal 2 tsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons to equal 1/2 cup.

Step 2

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Whisk together shallots, next 4 ingredients, and lemon juice. Toss together pasta and shallot mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 1 to 48 hours.

Step 3

Toss together pasta, peas, snow peas, next 2 ingredients, and lemon zest just before serving. Add salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, April, 2014

Ratings & Reviews

Rosanne's Review

April 20, 2014
Way too much onion flavor, maybe 1 tablespoon of shallot. I will try next time with spring onion tops minced, but no shallots!

Lynnie491's Review

April 18, 2014
I made this to take to a Maundy Thursday service and potluck held in a friend's home. It was a hit - so good. It is more time consuming that is initially apparent (blanching, mincing, toasting, etc.) But well worth it. Make sure you have that dressing ready to put on just as the orzo is ready.

Great, huge hit at Easter dinner

March 30, 2016
We found this salad very refreshing, and it was a hit with all the adults at Easter dinner.  I didn't think the lemon was overwhelming but I did marinate the cooked orzo for the full 48 hours.I can see if you just mix and serve it could be very strong. I used frozen peas, fresh snap pea pods and since I already had fresh green beans, I tossed in some chopped, lightly blanched green beans too. We also did not find the shallots overwhelming.  I do recommend using a full cup of FRESH herbs.  I was a bit nervous about a cup and cut back to 1/2 cup, but a full cup would have been wonderful.  I used fresh mint, (thanks to those who mentioned how good mint was in their reviews because I started to leave out and you changed my mind!), fresh chives, fresh tarragon and fresh parsley.  I will definitely make this again, I love make ahead recipes for entertaining!

Fresh and filling

June 02, 2015
The lemon is so refreshing.Loved it.

Excellent FRESH side dish!

May 30, 2015
This recipe is wonderful!!  Don't skip the step of tossing warm orzo with dressing to let sit overnight.  It seems a bit too soupy and tart when first mixed, but the next day it is just right!  We skipped the pea pods and just did frozen peas instead.  But, we also blanched some chopped asparagus and added that in…sooooo yummy!  Also, don't skimp on the herbs - adds such a wonderful fresh taste - especially the mint.  Received tons of compliments on this one at Easter and making it again for a BBQ tomorrow.

Great light spring dish - ready is under 30

April 20, 2015
I put a little less lemon, shallot and mustard per the reviews recommendations and this salad turned out delicious. The next day I served it for left overs and sprinkled garlic herb flavored feta cheese crumbles, which was a big hit! See the revisions here 

Don't double the dressing if you double the Orzo

April 05, 2015
I doubled the recipe and let the orzo sit in the dressing overnight.  Whoa!  The next day when I tasted it, the dressing was way too strong- it was actually hard to swallow.  I couldn't serve it to my guests. The ingredients seem like they would come together nicely, but it you double the pasta, maybe just let is sit in a single amount of dressing first, and then add more to taste before serving. 

Beckygreen's Review

May 05, 2014
This dish is absolutely delicious! Will be one of my go to recipes.

goodbirdie's Review

April 29, 2014

myrajohnson's Review

April 22, 2014