Roasted Vegetable and Orzo Salad with Basil, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan

This Italian recipe for cold, colorful pasta salad pairs well with grilled meat or fish, and it’s hearty enough to fill you up all on its own. For variety, feel free to sub in other veggies, such as broccoli, fennel, and eggplant.



  • 3 medium zucchini (1 lb), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers, cut 
into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 cloves garlic, skin on, lightly crushed Thyme (a few sprigs)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lb orzo
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup basil leaves, roughly torn, 
plus extra for garnish


1. Heat oven to 350°. In a bowl, toss zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes with 4 tbsp olive oil, oregano, and plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper; transfer to a roasting pan and add garlic and thyme. Cook until vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, 25–30 minutes. (You can also use a grill pan or BBQ to add a lightly charred flavor.)

2. Roast pine nuts on a baking sheet until lightly golden, 3–5 minutes; remove from sheet and let cool. Cook orzo as directed on package; strain and toss 
with remaining 4 tbsp olive oil in a 
large serving bowl. 

3. Discard garlic and thyme from zucchini mixture; toss mixture with pasta while still warm. Let cool to room temperature, or finish and serve while warm. Add Parmesan, torn basil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve garnished with basil leaves.  

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 423
  • Carbohydrate Content 52 g
  • Fat Content 20 g
  • Fiber Content 2 g
  • Protein Content 11 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 72 mg