Classic Italian orzo pasta salad, complete with a homemade dressing and mini pepperonis. This traditional American pasta salad is great with an orzo pasta twist.
Italian pasta salad is a classic American dish, despite sneaking the word Italian in the title. It can be found at potlucks and picnics across the United States all summer long. It’s often made with bottled dressings and spiral noodles, but today I’ve taken this classic dish and given it a bit of a modern update. Orzo pasta is utilized to give it a fresh twist, and a homemade dressing gives this pasta a tasty, clean finish.
You really can’t go wrong with pasta salad. This particular recipe has all my favorite goodies including mini pepperonis and fresh mozzarella cheese. I’m telling you, that mozzarella cheese makes all the difference. It gives the salad such a fresh and clean taste.
This dish is perfect for potlucks and picnics. As part of National Picnic Day I’ve also included a roundup of more great picnic recipes from some of my favorite blogging friends. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to check out all of those tasty recipes.
Be sure to watch the video recipe to see all the steps to this recipe. Besides teaching you how to make the recipe, it’ll also make you hungry.
Italian Orzo Pasta Salad
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 4 ounces sliced black olives
- 4 ounces mini pepperonis
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup chopped pepperocinis
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- Cook orzo in salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Combine cooked orzo with olives, pepperonis, bell pepper, pepperocinis, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
- Dress the pasta salad by pouring in olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, parsley, pepper, and basil.
- Stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve cold.
Want more amazing picnic recipes? I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite blogging friends to bring you their best picnic recipes. Be sure to check out this roundup before your next picnic. We all created recipes specifically for International Picnic Day. How fun is that?
S’mores Truffle Pops from Ashlee Marie
Macaroni Salad from Like Mother Like Daughter
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad from Creations by Kara
Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad from Life Made Simple
Slow Cooker Savory Baked Beans from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches from Real Mom Kitchen
Turkey Club Picnic Sandwiches from The Baker Upstairs
BBQ Chicken Salad Wraps from Summer Scraps
Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches from The Stay At Home Chef
Homemade Lemonade Using Real Lemons from The Stay At Home Chef
Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad from The Stay At Home Chef
Cheese and Sausage Koklache from Ashlee Marie
Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad from Like Mother Like Daughter
Brocccoli Salad from Creations by Kara
Mom’s Classic Potato Salad from Life Made Simple
Wheat Berry Salad with Lime Dressing, Avocados, Jicama and Red Peppers from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Ham and Cheese Picnic Sandwiches from Real Mom Kitchen
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad from Summer Scraps
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad Wraps from The Baker Upstairs
No Bake Cheesecakes from Ashlee Marie
Bear Cookies from Like Mother Like Daughter
Sugar Cookie Bars from Creations by Kara
Graham Cracker S’mores Bars from Life Made Simple
Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars from Real Mom Kitchen