Basil Zucchini Orzo Salad

"A response to a request on the boards, here's a flavorful use of zucchini and aromatic basil!"
photo by Janni402 photo by Janni402
photo by Janni402
photo by flower7 photo by flower7
Ready In:




  • Sprinkle zucchini with salt in a colander and toss (this allows the zucchini to"sweat" out excess water); let stand for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, then remove and gently squeeze liquid from zucchini.
  • In a food processor whir together the basil leaves, oil, garlic, and oregano until well incorporated.
  • Place mixture in a large bowl and stir together with the zucchini and set aside.
  • In a large pot over high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil; add orzo and reduce the heat to medium, cooking until orzo is just tender, about 10-12 minutes; drain the pasta well.
  • Stir the pasta into the zucchini mixture, then add the lemon juice, grated cheese, and fresh parsley.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Chill for at least an hour before serving as a salad, or serve warm at room temperature as a dinner side dish.
  • Makes about 8 servings.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. nansox
    This salad is fabulous. Easy; no mayo so perfect for an outdoor event and a great way to use up some zucchini. Really pretty if you use yellow and green.
  2. Janni402
    I had 2 medium zucchini I wanted to use & am currently obsessed with making orzo side dishes, so I chose this recipe. I'm glad I did... It was Delish! You hardly knew the zucchini was in there. I used the grating blade on my food processor & after soaking with the salt then hand squeezed the water out. I followed the recipe as written using the feta cheese option... EXCEPT I used extra garlic and more lemon juice than stated. Nice way to use the summer bounty of squash from my garden. Thanks for posting!
  3. Laura911RN
    I found this recipe searching to use zucchini in a salad for lunch. The basil in my garden was also going crazy. I did change out the orzo and chicken stock for 2 cups of previously cooked quinoa. I am gluten free and already had this in fridge. I used parmasean cheese. It was very tasty. I might consider the red pepper flakes in the future. My boyfriend is not real fond of zuchini and he also thought it was good.
  4. Mandy
    This made for a lovely tasty side dish to our chicken main, I would probably cut the lemn just a little next time though. Thanks for posting!
  5. Aunt Cookie
    We really loved this salad! It tasted like it has a lot of oil, cheese, etc., in it, but it really doesn't. I accidentally used twice as much orzo as I was supposed to, but it still was really good. Thanks for a great new way to use up some zukes.


<p>It's simply this: I love to cook! :) <br /><br />I've been hanging out on the internet since the early days and have collected loads of recipes. I've tried to keep the best of them (and often the more unusual) and look forward to sharing them with you, here. <br /><br />I am proud to say that I have several family members who are also on RecipeZaar! <br /><br />My husband, here as <a href=>Steingrim</a>, is an excellent cook. He rarely uses recipes, though, so often after he's made dinner I sit down at the computer and talk him through how he made the dishes so that I can get it down on paper. Some of these recipes are in his account, some of them in mine - he rarely uses his account, though, so we'll probably usually post them to mine in the future. <br /><br />My sister <a href=>Cathy is here as cxstitcher</a> and <a href=>my mom is Juliesmom</a> - say hi to them, eh? <br /><br />Our <a href=>friend Darrell is here as Uncle Dobo</a>, too! I've been typing in his recipes for him and entering them on R'Zaar. We're hoping that his sisters will soon show up with their own accounts, as well. :) <br /><br />I collect cookbooks (to slow myself down I've limited myself to purchasing them at thrift stores, although I occasionally buy an especially good one at full price), and - yes, I admit it - I love FoodTV. My favorite chefs on the Food Network are Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, Mario Batali, and Giada De Laurentiis. I'm not fond over fakey, over-enthusiastic performance chefs... Emeril drives me up the wall. I appreciate honesty. Of non-celebrity chefs, I've gotta say that that the greatest influences on my cooking have been my mother, Julia Child, and my cooking instructor Chef Gabriel Claycamp at Seattle's Culinary Communion. <br /><br />In the last couple of years I've been typing up all the recipes my grandparents and my mother collected over the years, and am posting them here. Some of them are quite nostalgic and are higher in fat and processed ingredients than recipes I normally collect, but it's really neat to see the different kinds of foods they were interested in... to see them either typewritten oh-so-carefully by my grandfather, in my grandmother's spidery handwriting, or - in some cases - written by my mother years ago in fountain pen ink. It's like time travel. <br /><br />Cooking peeve: food/cooking snobbery. <br /><br />Regarding my black and white icon (which may or may not be the one I'm currently using): it the sea-dragon tattoo that is on the inside of my right ankle. It's also my personal logo.</p>
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes