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Watermelon Tomato Orzo Salad Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 8 cups (4 servings)
Category Salad, Salad/Side dish
Cuisine American


A summer orzo salad that can be served as a side or a light lunch.


  • 1 ½ cups dry orzo pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry Vinegar
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3 cups cubed tomatoes (about 4 large tomatoes)
  • 16 large basil leaves, torn
  • ¾ cup shaved Pecorino cheese


  • Add orzo to a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and toast orzo, tossing pan occasionally, until orzo is light golden brown and fragrant, 4–5 minutes.
  • Carefully add water to saucepan to cover orzo by an inch or so. Bring to a boil, then season heavily with salt.
  • Cook orzo until al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta then return to saucepan and toss with a glug of olive oil to keep pasta from sticking; set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Add cooked and cooled orzo, watermelon and tomatoes and toss to combine.
  • Stir in basil and pecorino. Season with additional vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately.


Use a vegetable peeler to get large flat shaves of Pecorino.
Feel free to play around with the fresh herbs you add. Fresh parsley, mint or even oregano would be delicious.
To make this gluten-free: use gluten-free orzo (or any small shape of gluten-free pasta) or skip the pasta altogether.
1½ cups dry orzo = 3½ cups cooked orzo pasta.


Serving: 2cupsCalories: 368kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 13gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 697mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10g
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