This Roasted Garlic Orzo Salad comes together in just 30 minutes and is topped off with a delicious lemon garlic dressing for a healthy vegetable loaded salad you won’t be able to get enough of!
Why you’ll enjoy this orzo salad
- This salad is full flavor and comes from deliciously buttery roasted garlic, marinated artichoke hearts, and fresh squeeze of lemon.
- You can enjoy this salad as a side, appetizer, or main thanks to the addition of tofu as a protein.
- This orzo salad comes together in just 30 minutes.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Orzo: Fast cooking pasta that acts as the base of your salad
- Roasted Tofu: Chewy and seasoned well with onion and garlic
- Roasted Asparagus: Can be swapped with another favorite vegetable of your choice
- Marinated Artichokes: Full flavor booster that pairs super well with the orzo
- Cherry Tomatoes: Sliced into halves
- Parsley: Fresh is best
- Nutritional Yeast: Adds lovely umami flavor to help replace some of the flavor notes in cheese
- Seasonings: Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Base of your dressing, but can be replaced with another neutral oil
- Lemon Juice: Gives the dressing a nice tang
- Maple Syrup: Helps to balance out the tang from the vinegar and lemon, but can be replaced
- Spicy Brown Mustard: Another source of tangy and spicy goodness
- Roasted Garlic: Gives a nice buttery and mellow garlic flavor
- Red Chili Pepper: Optional, but gives a nice spicy kick
How to make this orzo salad
Start by baking your tofu, asparagus and garlic cloves in the oven. Season the tofu and asparagus well and make sure to add a little oil to the garlic to roast evenly. Allow to bake for 15 minutes and then remove from the oven.
Now prep orzo according to the package, making sure to stir regularly to prevent the pasta from clumping as it cooks. Once cooked, drain and place in your mixing bowl.
Prep your dressing by peeling your garlic and mashing it with a fork in a bowl. Mix this together with your remaining dressing ingredients and stir well before pouring all over your salad. Gently toss ingredients together. This can be served warm or chilled in the fridge for an hour.
Tips for making this recipe
- Don’t rinse your orzo after it cooks. Just drain the water and either set aside or add to the mixing bowl you plan to use. Rinsing it will remove some of the starches that will help adhere all the sauce to it better.
- To help prevent your pasta from drying out after it cooks, make sure that you time the cooking appropriately. Let your tofu and asparagus cook first. Once out of the oven then add your pasta to the boiling water. When the pasta is done cooking drain and place in the bowl you plan to toss your salad in along with the asparagus and tofu. Then go and prep your dressing.
- The flavors of the salad start to bloom more the longer it sits. Once this salad is cooled, store in the fridge. If not serving warm, store for 1 hour before serving to let the flavors mingle.
How to prevent your orzo from sticking together
Orzo pasta has more surface area to it compared to regular pasta. As a result, as it cooks it can have a tendency to stick together and clump. To help avoid this, make sure you stir regularly as it cooks.
Storing your orzo salad
You can store leftovers of this salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This salad is not meant to be frozen.
Add ins and swaps
- Orzo: Feel free to swap with gluten free orzo, Banza Rice Pasta, quinoa or couscous.
- Tofu: Can be swapped with chickpeas, white beans, or even black beans.
- Vegetables: Feel free to swap in vegetables you prefer. Add in extra veggies you might have on hand like diced bell peppers, peas, mushrooms, etc.
More salads to make
This Roasted Garlic Orzo Salad comes together in just 30 minutes and is topped off with a delicious roasted garlic dressing for a healthy vegetable loaded salad you won’t be able to get enough of!
- 2 tsp onion powder, divided
- 1 tsp garlic powder, divided
- 1/2 tsp white or black pepper
- 1/4–1/2 tsp salt based on preference
- 1–2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp neutral oil of choice (I used avocado oil)
- 1 block (450g) of extra firm tofu, pressed and drained then cut into cubes
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed off and cut into small pieces
- 4 cloves of garlic in their wrapper, lightly crushed
- 1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
- 1/4 cup marinated artichokes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice of one small lemon
- 1 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup)
- 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 4 cloves roasted garlic from above
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
- Set oven to 400F and bring a pot of salted water to a boil on the stove top.
- On a large lined baking tray or two separate trays add tofu and asparagus.
- Sprinkle overtop the onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, salt, nutritional yeast and oil.
- With your hands toss everything together and carefully spread it out to make sure the asparagus and tofu pieces are not laying on top of each other.
- Add your lightly crushed garlic cloves (with a drizzle extra oil) to the pan and pop into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes then remove from the oven.
- Add orzo to the pot of boiling water and cook according to box instructions, making sure to stir regularly.
- Once cooked, drain the orzo and place in a large bowl then top with the tofu, asparagus, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and parsley.
- When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the skins and mash with a fork in a bowl and add the remaining dressing ingredients and mix very well to combine.
- Once mixed, pour over your orzo and vegetables and toss together to coat well. Serve warm or cool it in the fridge for an hour before serving.
To make sure your orzo doesn’t clump together as it cooks, make sure to stir your orzo as it’s boiling in the pot. This will prevent the orzo from clumping at the bottom.
Don’t rinse your orzo after it cooks. Just drain it. Rinsing it will remove some of the starches needed to help coat your salad properly and adhere all the yummy bits of the sauce.
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: spring recipes, salad recipes, dinner recipes
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