Orzo Salad with Fresh Citrus and Red Onion

This bright and zesty orzo salad is the perfect compliment to any beach BBQ or picnic. Orzo pasta stands up better to dressings without becoming soggy as other shapes can, so feel free to make this ahead of time.

Orzo Salad with Fresh Citrus and Red Onion



Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

12 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Orzo Salad with Fresh Citrus and Red Onion


    For the Orange Oil:

  • 1 ⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange (zested)
  • For the Pasta Salad:

  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1 orange
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 ⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 ⁄4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 ⁄2 cup shaved fennel
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. To make the orange oil, combine the olive oil and the orange zest in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the salad, in a large saucepan bring the chicken broth to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and dump it onto a large baking sheet. Spread it out into a single layer and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, using a small knife, cut all the peel and pith off the orange and grapefruit. Holding the fruit over a large bowl, cut between the membranes to release the segments into the bowl and catch the juices. Add the onion, mint, basil, fennel, salt, pepper, and cooled orzo.
  4. Add the reserved orange oil to the pasta. Toss all the ingredients together and serve.
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