Grilled Zucchini Corn Orzo Salad.
Best side dish of summer! This grilled zucchini corn orzo salad is delicious served warm, at room temperature or even cold straight from the fridge. It’s filled with tons of fresh basil, creamy goat cheese and a lovely lemon dressing. Make it today!
Summer salads are the best salads!
Seriously, there is nothing better than throwing a bunch of grilled vegetables together with pasta or grains or greens and enjoying the most delicious seasonal produce. And that’s what we’re doing today!
An orzo salad with grilled sweet corn, grilled zucchini, creamy goat cheese, tons of fresh basil and a lemon vinaigrette? Sounds like just about everything I want to eat.
I love an orzo salad, and I love everything zucchini and corn in the summer. It’s a miracle that I’ve never shared this exact recipe before because it’s something I make on repeat in the summer. While my grilled vegetable orzo finds a way to our dinner table often, a version with just corn and zucchini is even more common here. I love to get the corn and zucchini from our local farms and it just tastes incredible. We eat SO much of it each season.
See, I also make a zucchini and summer squash farro salad in the summer which is similar. Except that my family is weird about farro. I love it, but the kids… eh. They aren’t thrilled with it.
But give them a giant bowl of orzo and it’s game on. They will eat just about anything if I put it in orzo.
Here’s what we have in our orzo salad!
Orzo of course. And you can use any grain you like! Or quinoa, or something similar. Or even turn this into a pasta salad with a bigger cut of pasta. There are no rules!
Grilled zucchini and corn. I do this at the same time on the grill. Makes it super simple! Then I chop the zucchini and slice the corn from the cob. Easy.
Crumbled goat cheese. I love the creamy, tart goat cheese with this combination. You could use feta or even chunks of fresh mozzarella. Or heck, cheddar works too!
Lots of fresh basil is key here. It makes the dish taste extra summery and refreshing. Not to mention, adds a beautiful shade of green throughout the orzo.
I make a lemon vinaigrette, which is one of my favorite simple dressings for a salad like this. It’s also one that most people love, which allows this salad to be enjoyed by all.
Like many of my other salads like this, it is delicious served warm, at room temperature or even cold, right out of the fridge. Most of the time we eat this at room temperature, because by the time everything comes together, it’s cooled down a bit. But even if you eat it out of the fridge for lunch, you can always heat it up.
And it’s great as a side dish or as a base for more protein on top! Love love love recipes like this.
Grilled Zucchini Orzo Salad
Grilled Zucchini and Corn Orzo Salad
- Preheat your grill to the highest setting. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions.
- Brush or spray the zucchini and corn with olive oil. Season all over with salt and pepper. Once the grill is hot, place the zucchini on the grill cut-side down first and the corn directly on the grill. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes, or until charred. Flip over and repeat. The zucchini will be done before the corn, you will need to turn the corn a few times to get it evenly cooked.
- Place the orzo in a large bowl and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss it together.
- Chop the zucchini into pieces. Slice the corn from the cob. Add both to the orzo, along with the goat cheese and basil. Drizzle with more dressing and toss well until everything is combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or so, so feel free to make a double batch if desired! You can also make it ahead of time.