Crispy Orzo Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min (includes drying time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons jarred green olive tapenade 

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano  

1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 


1 to 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, sliced thin

2 roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips 

1 bulb fennel, shaved thin 

One 6-ounce combo package of provolone and genoa salami, sliced thin 


1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup par-cooked orzo pasta (see Cook's Note) 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 


  1. For the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, tapenade, vinegar, oregano and chili paste in a large bowl. Season with the salt.
  2. For the salad: Add the chopped romaine, roasted red pepper, fennel, provolone and salami to the dressing. Toss well to coat.
  3. For the pasta: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the par-cooked pasta and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season with the salt. Sprinkle the crispy orzo over the top of the salad and serve.

Cook’s Note

To par cook the pasta, bring a pot of water to a boil. Season well with salt. Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and spread on a paper towel-lined plate to dry completely. Dry very well.

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