Orzo pasta. At first glance, you may think it’s rice, but orzo isn’t a grain – it’s a quick-cooking pasta that makes a very yummy summer salad and many great side dish recipes. This Orzo Pasta Salad with Grilled Steak has a tangy vinaigrette, lots of veggies, feta cheese, and last but not least, a nice helping of sliced, grilled steak.
Orzo Pasta Salad with Grilled Beef Recipe –
Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂
Things to Love About This Recipe
- This salad makes a wonderful light supper or lunch when the weather is hot.
- You can incorporate any summer vegetables you prefer in this salad.
- I love the added crunch that the soy nuts give!
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make This Salad?
For the Dressing –
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon zest
- Fresh lemon juice
- Chicken broth paste (such as Better Than Bouillon)
- Red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
For the Salad –
- Orzo pasta
- Bell peppers
- Grape tomatoes
- Sun dried tomatoes, optional
- Sliced, grilled steak
- Soy nuts or pepitas
- Feta cheese
How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad in 3 Easy Steps
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar or dressing cruet; shake very well to combine.
- Place the salad ingredients, except for the steak, into a large mixing bowl; drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad, then gently toss to combine.
- Place the salad onto a large serving platter or bowl; top the salad with the slices of grilled steak. EAT!
Helpful Recipe Tips
- Feel free to use any type of leftover cooked meat in this salad. I’ve made this salad with leftover grilled salmon, chicken and even sliced pork chops.
- Reserving half of the dressing until just before you serve the salad ensures that the pasta salad can’t absorb all the dressing as it sits, which it definitely will! Been there, done that.
- I also like this salad when it has the addition of sautéed zucchini and bell peppers, softening them up just a bit before adding to the remaining salad ingredients.
- The fresh basil is essential to this salad! Don’t skip it, please!
- When chopping the basil and the scallions, I find that using my kitchen shears instead of a knife is much quicker.
- I like to cook my orzo pasta ahead of time (I dress it with a bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together) and also the steak. I put the cooked orzo into a gallon freezer bag, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, then gently massage the orzo so it’s get coated. This step keeps the orzo from sticking together until you’re ready to use it.
- That way, when I’m ready make the salad, I can whip it together much more quickly.
- This salad holds well; you can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
3 Tips for Grilling a Great Steak –
- Don’t over cook it! The flat iron (named for it’s shape) is best cooked to medium rare (140-145 degrees F. at the center), due to the nature of the shoulder cut. Sirloin steak is also best cooked to medium rare, as well.
- Before slicing your steak, be sure to let it rest (tented with foil) for 5-10 minutes after removing it from the grill or your cast iron skillet – this gives it time to gather it’s juices back to the center of the steak.
- Always make sure you slice the steak ACROSS the grain into thin slices for the most tender experience.
Other Summer Salad Recipes to Enjoy –
- Creamy Chipotle Pasta Salad with Shredded Chicken and Smoked Gouda
- Summer Corn Salad
- Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Basil
- Crunchy Corn Salad
- Sweet Corn and Baby Pea Salad with Jicama
- Delta Cornbread Salad
- Grandma Lucille’s German Potato Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Walnuts
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Grandma Lucille’s Ham Salad
- Broccoli Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
- BLT Pasta Salad (Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Pasta Salad)
- Mexican Panzanella Salad with Steak and Shrimp
Printable Orzo Pasta Salad with Grilled Beef Recipe –
Orzo Pasta Salad with Grilled Steak
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 Tbs. concentrated chicken base paste, such as Better Than Bouillon (small jar found in the broth section of your grocer - store in the fridge)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. orzo pasta, cooked according to pkg directions, drained and cooled slightly
- 1 medium zucchini, skin on, diced
- 2 bell peppers, (red, orange, or yellow), seeds and membranes removed, diced
- 1 C. yellow teardrop or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained well
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. pkg feta crumbles
- 1/2 C. soy nuts, may substitute pine nuts or pepitas
- 1 lb. grilled beef flat iron or sirloin steak, fully cooked to medium rare, sliced thinly across the grain, warm
Make the Dressing
- Place the dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid or a dressing cruet; shake well until the ingredients are well combined; reserve.
Assemble the Salad
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add a good drizzle of olive oil; when the oil is hot, add the bell peppers and zucchini. Sauté the veggies until softened, approx. 8-10 minutes; remove from heat and reserve.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked orzo with the tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, salt, and pepper; gently toss in the reserved cooked vegetables. Drizzle the orzo mixture with half of the prepared dressing, gently tossing to coat all the ingredients.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, add the remaining half of the dressing, then toss the salad once more. (Add as much or as little of the dressing as preferred.) Top the salad with the slices of grilled steak; garnish with soy nuts and feta, as desired. Salad is best served at room temperature, instead of chilled.
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