Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Totally amazing side dish recipe:  Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Platter of Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

I love to bring this recipe to pot luck parties because it is always a big hit!  It’s not your typical pasta salad, so it’s a salad/side dish that people are more likely to reach for and enjoy.  This recipe comes from the older Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook, which is a cookbook that has a ton of fantastic recipes in it that are perfect for entertaining.

Vegetables are incredible when roasted. In this recipe, slow roasted eggplant, peppers and onions turned into tender, caramelized morsels.

The veggies are added to cooked orzo and tossed with a lemony dressing. Add scallions, toasted pine nuts, fresh basil and CHUNKS of feta (not crumbled) and you’ve got yourself a side salad. It is typically served at room temperature, but it is just as good chilled the following day.

serving of Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

What is orzo? 

Orzo is a thin, short–cut pasta.  It’s similar in shape to a jumbo piece of rice.  A lot of people wonder if orzo is gluten-free.  It’s not!  It’s pasta… so it’s not gluten-free. It can usually be found in a box or a small-wrap package in the pasta aisle of your local market.

Servings of Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

How to toast pine nuts:

This recipe calls for toasted pine nuts. Whenever I need to toast pine nuts, I simply heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Then I add the pine nuts to the pan, and use a wooden spoon to move them around until they are nice and golden brown.  You can’t walk away and leave them to toast on their own because they will burn quickly.  Keep a close eye on them, and just pull them off the heat when they’re done.  I like to move them from the pan to a paper towel to cool (this way they don’t continue to toast in the pan).

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

About feta cheese:

These days, you probably most often buy feta cheese in packages where it’s already crumbled. Don’t do that for this recipe.  Instead, buy a slab of feta and cut it into chunks to add to the salad.  It’s so much better this way- both the texture and the flavor, and it will be more visually appealing too!

Here are a few more recipes using roasted vegetables that you might like to try:

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Fantastic and flavorful side dish recipe!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 584 kcal



  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta


  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 whole green onions (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 12 ounces feta cheese (1/2-inch dice, not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.


  1. On a baking sheet, toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

  3. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature.


  1. Add the scallions, pine nuts, feta and basil. Check the seasonings and serve at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  • *Add the dressing when the orzo is still warm so it absorbs into the pasta.
  • *This dish is even better made in advance; just check the seasonings and add the pine nuts, feta and basil leaves at the last minute.
Nutrition Facts
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 584 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 1609mg70%
Potassium 452mg13%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 970IU19%
Vitamin C 70mg85%
Calcium 304mg30%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

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