Orzo, Grape and Pistachio Salad

"This was one of my favorite side dishes served at our wedding. I plan to make it a lot. Pistachios and grapes are such a surprise in pasta salad but we love it!"
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Arsenalian photo by Arsenalian
photo by Gay Gilmore photo by Gay Gilmore
Ready In:
4hrs 20mins




  • Toast pistachios: Take 1 cup of pistachios and put in a saucepan with the walnut oil.
  • Warm the oil and nuts together, be careful not to boil.
  • Saute garlic in a little olive oil.
  • Prepare orzo from package instructions.
  • When orzo has been drained, mix in enough of the pistachio/walnut oil mixture to coat the pasta.
  • Add lemon juice to taste.
  • Mix in sauteed garlic.
  • Add grapes, and half the basil.
  • Chill for several hours, or overnight.
  • Before serving, add rest of basil, salt and pepper to taste, and the rest of the pistachios.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is my new favorite go-to salad! It's SO delicious. I love that there aren't a lot of ingredients and it just gets better the longer it sits, so it's perfect for making ahead of time. Great for picnics or weekend lunch. I love it!
  2. I loved this salad - great blend of flavors. I was able to buy shelled pistachios so it was a breeze to make. It was made early in the morning so it sat for about 12 hours before eating. It was very well received at the party we took it to. I added more grapes and did the rest as is. One batch makes a large bowl so I feel it makes a lot more than 6 servings. I think some roasted chicken shredded and put in this salad could turn it into a main course pretty easily. Thanks so much for sharing Gay!
  3. This is so wonderful and I have made it several times. I thought I'd reviewed it, but due to some kind of hole in my brain, I found this morning that I hadn't. I also only use 1/2 cup of the oil to start, but often will add a bit more right before serving. Don't sub a regular oil; it won't be the same at all, but I imagine other nut oils might be good. The combination of textures, flavors, sweet & sour, and fresh herbs is incredible.
  4. This was really really good! I halved the recipe and it made a ton. Next time I will cut the grapes in half.
  5. Great recipe. I couldn't find walnut oil so just used olive oil and skipped the bit with the walnut oil and the nuts. I added poached, cubed chicken to the ingredient list. I made most of the salad b4 hand, everything except the garapes and nuts. B4 serving I mixed in halved red grapes and the nuts. It was very good, but even better a few hours later when we had the leftovers for dinner. I think the nuts needed the extra time to soak in some dressing. Next time I will do everything the same except I'll add the grapes and nuts in the morning b4 serving for lunch or dinner. Thanks for posting this great recipe. I'm sure I'll make it again and again.


  1. We were served something very similar by some French friends at a cocktail party probably 25-30 years ago. She used wild rice rather than orzo. I loved it and have been trying to figure out a dressing similar to hers on and off since then, this sounds close. Thanks!
  2. I cut the grapes in half because I didn't want big chunks of grapes.


I'm really just learning how to cook, but I hope that my skills at eating will really guide me in this endeavor. ;-) I think that sharing recipes on the internet is better than any cookbook. Of course, I founded Recipezaar, so I might be a little biased.
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