Orzo Salad with Zucchini and Chickpeas, summer pasta salad

Orzo Salad with Zucchini and Chickpeas

This orzo salad recipe features fresh summer flavours. It's a simple, light dish full of summer vegetables, chickpeas and parmesan tossed in a lemony dressing.
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 362 kcal
Autor Elle


For the salad:

  • 250 g orzo pasta (risoni)
  • 1 x 400 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 250 g grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 small zucchini, very thinly sliced (or 1 medium zucchini, sliced into super thin half moons)
  • 35 g freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • generous handful fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • 30 g pine nuts (ca 3-4 tablespoons)

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Drain well and run under cold water.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts: In a dry skillet over medium heat, warm the pine nuts until they’re turning lightly golden on the sides and fragrant (be careful not to let them burn). Transfer them to a bowl to cool.
  3. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, salt and several twists of black pepper until combined.
  4. Add the couscous to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Top the couscous with the toasted pine nuts, chickpeas, tomatoes,, zucchini. Toss add parmesan, pine nuts, and basil. Stir to combine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add an extra tablespoon or two of lemon juice if it needs more brightness. For the best flavour, refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This salad will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days. Enjoy!