Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette.
This grilled vegetable orzo will be your new summer BFF.
It’s loaded with flavor. Everyone loves it. It should be dinner tonight!
Okay, but seriously? This orzo has been on repeat for weeks now. IT IS SO GOOD.
First, let’s talk about how versatile it is. You can basically throw whatever veggies you have and love on the grill. There is no right or wrong here, as long as it’s vegetables you like. It’s a great way to do a clean-out-the-fridge meal and use up everything that’s about to spoil.
The veggies that I always do for flavor purposes alone: mushrooms, bell peppers and broccoli.
Those are my faves!
However, as you can see in the photos, I add in many many more vegetables too. Cauliflower, zucchini and scallions here. I also like to throw in asparagus and/or green beans.
Everything ends up tasting incredible thanks to the charred, smoky flavor from the grill, but I also add a dash of balsamic vinegar to make the flavor pop.
When it comes to grilling, the way you grill the vegetables may vary. I love using this grilling basket and this grilling pan for almost all the vegetables. But if you have mushrooms that are thinly sliced, then I suggest grilling them in foil. They will get very crisp and this is where you can add that balsamic flavor.
Of course, if you don’t have a grill, this works just as well with roasted vegetables too. Winning all around right here!
Now this vinaigrette. Oh my gosh. This might be my favorite dressing of the summer. I’m calling it now. My new signature!
You make a classic vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, some herbs, salt, pepper and garlic, them smash feta into that mixture while bring it together. Add your olive oil and boom! It’s perfect.
This reminds me a lot of a blue cheese vinaigrette I’ve been perfecting for a long time. The recipe will be in my next book! There’s just something about these soft cheeses that marinate in the dressing. Fantastic.
More great news:
You can make this ahead of time. Yes! The entire thing. Even this past weekend I made it almost a full 24 hours ahead of time and served it as a cold pasta salad. The flavors become more pronounced and everything marries together even more.
So yes, that means you can serve this warm or cold. It’s totally your choice.
What I’ve been doing? If I want to make it for dinner, then we tend to eat it warm. I grilled the vegetables while making the orzo then toss it all together and serve. If you want to make it for a gathering with family or friends, I suggest taking it at room temp (so making it right before you leave) or serving it cold. All the ways are delicious.
If you do go the dinner route, you can serve this alone, serve it as the main dish with a greens salad or serve it as a side with some grilled chicken or salmon. Of course, you can also add chicken or beans or whatever else you’d like right into the salad.
What I’m really saying is take this and make it your own. You’ll have wonderful leftovers. And double the dressing because you will freak over it!
Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette
Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 4 green onions
- 1 medium zucchini squash, cut into rounds or spears
- olive oil for drizzling
- balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- salt, pepper and garlic powder for sprinkling
- crumbled feta for serving
- fresh herbs, like dill and chives, for serving
smashed feta vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
- 2 teaspoons honey
- salt and pepper
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Note: there is no wrong way to do the vegetables here! Cut them as you wish (at least large enough so they don’t fall through grates/grill pan), use the vegetables you wish - whatever you love most!
- Preheat the grill to high. Make the dressing first and set it aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions - usually around 8 minutes for al dente. If the orzo is finished before everything else is, toss with a spoonful of olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Grill the vegetables while the water boils and orzo cooks.
- I find that I need 2 grill baskets/trays here to do all the vegetables. You can of course put vegetables right on the grill too - especially things like large pieces of bell peppers, asparagus, zucchini rounds or spears, etc. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, you can also toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
- If the mushrooms are sliced, I put them on a sheet of foil. (if they are whole, you can place them directly on the grill or grill plate.) Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. You can add cracked black pepper and garlic powder too. Wait to salt until the mushrooms cook.
- Place the vegetables on the grill. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes total, tossing and turning some of the vegetables every few minutes. The length of time will depend on how small you cut your vegetables, so keep an eye on them. I check every 5 minutes or so.
- Once the vegetables are done, toss them in a large bowl with the orzo. Pout the feta vinaigrette on top and toss. You can add in extra feta, fresh dill or chives if you wish. Either serve immediately, or store in the fridge until you serve. You can make this 24 hours ahead of time. Leftovers are great!
smashed feta vinaigrette
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, herbs and feta. Use a spoon or whisk to smash some of the feta into the mixture. Whisk the olive oil into the dressing until combined. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It will separate but whisking or shaking will bring it back together.
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26 Comments on “Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette.”
This looks fantastic! It has all my favourite things ;) Pinned to make asap!
Thank you for the recipe that you shared. It seems like I just found out this recipe. From the ingredients used it looks like it will become a special food. This is an interesting recipe.
Did you make it or just rate it without trying it first?
Please ask people not to rate a recipe if they haven’t tried it. It’s misleading. Now I always have to read everyone’s review to judge whether they just like the picture or they actually tried it- which is two entirely different things. Thanks and it looks nice but I won’t rate it till I tried it :)
Just curious, no tomatoes? Is there a reason? I know you said we can use whatever we like, but I wondered if they were not a good option. Thanks. Can’t wait to try this yummy looker!
I can already tell that this would be on serious repeat here, it looks amazing!
Happy Sunday — I have your cookbook and have made many of the recipes: thank you. I enjoy your blogs, especially with your two adorable children.
this is perfection!! ALL THE veggies, amazing vinaigrette… cannot wait to make this! nothing like grilled (well anything!) vegetables. on point, girl!
My husband and I made this last night for dinner and I’m currently eating the leftover right now for lunch. We both loved this meal!
The recipe definitely make a lot of food and our only tip would be to make extra dressing. I ended up making another batch of the smashed feta vinaigrette to pour on the leftovers today. I would definitely make this again!
Made this the other day & it was so good. I used mushrooms, a red pepper, a cubanelle, a poblano & part of an onion. Also dumped the rest of the feta container on the top. Next time, I will maybe cook 10-12 ounces of orzo. It ended up being around 8 servings for us.
I made this and it was delish!! Making again today for our Canada Day BBQ 🇨🇦. I’m all out of orzo but will try subbing a different pasta.
Thank you for sharing all your amazing recipes!
Delicious! We used different veggies based on what I had, but the dressing is amazing, and there were no leftovers at all.
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Delicious and easy to make! I used a few different veggies (and actually oven roasted them) but other than that I stuck to the recipe and had great success. The dish heated up well because I kept the orzo and the vinaigrette separate when storing the leftovers.
This was so much more amazingly Delicious than I thought it would be and it looked super good just looking at it. I see this being my lunch for many weeks out of the summer. Xoxo
I made this salad this past weekend-we loved it! Even my husband that usually turns up his nose at pasta loved it and had a second helping. I added some grilled chicken and it was just perfect. And then it was even better the next day cold! Came together quickly and easily. Will definitely be making this again on a regular basis! Thanks for another great recipe!
If I don’t have dill or chives but have parsley , would that work ? Thanks
Mu husband and I made this and loved it! We’re planning on making it for a second time next weekend.
Made this last weekend for my husband and our meal prep and we have literally been raving about how amazing it is every day when we eat!! Such a great summer recipe — I made the vinaigrette without lemon juice since I just didn’t have any and it still turned out delicious. Definitely will be making again and often!!!
So easy and so good! Love how versatile it is also! Next time I will have to remember to take a photo before it is devoured!😆
I am late to this party but am so happy I stumbled upon this recipe. My whole family loves it. I mix in a deboned rotisserie chicken for the sake of my teenaged boys. Have made it with and without a little balsamic vinegar on the roasted veggies and liked it both ways. I don’t have a grill basket, so I split the zucchini horizontally and sliced it after grilling, grilled the peppers whole and did not use mushrooms (no one in my family will eat mushrooms anyway). Oh, and the second time I made it, I grilled some corn with it and sliced that off into the mix. It has been a long, hot, impossibly humid summer here in Atlanta, and this just hits the spot.
I have made this twice and will keep making it! Love love love it. Amazing flavor and easy. I have doubled the veggies and halved the pasta, the second time. I used ditalini as I couldn’t find orzo. I also oven roasted the veggies.
I live in a Condo Apt, so I assume I can just roast the veggies in the oven on 400-425.