If you make just one recipe for your upcoming Labor Day cookout, it has to be this orzo pasta salad! It's another recipe that I first had on the Walmart trip I took back in June (along with these grilled peaches and grilled potato salad), and I kid you not when I say I went back for seconds... and then thirds. It's THAT good!
I've adjusted the recipe a little and updated the directions to make it simpler to follow for the home cook, and judging by the number of friends that asked for the recipe at a gathering last night, I'd say it's a winner.
This lemony basil orzo salad is perfect this time of year, because it highlights all of the great summery flavors that you can buy fresh right now -- gorgeous red and yellow cherry tomatoes, bright parsley, and vibrant basil, along with a healthy dose of fresh lemon zest and juice. It only gets better as it chills and the flavors marry together, so it's the perfect side to make earlier in the day for an evening gathering.
If you're not familiar with orzo, it looks like a rice, but it's actually a rice-shaped pasta. Orzo means "barley" in Italian, referring to the small, barley-like shape. I like the DeLallo brand, which I found tucked away on the top shelf in the pasta aisle at my local Walmart.
While I adore this orzo salad as is, since it highlights the flavorful fresh tomatoes we can get this time of year, you can also add a 4-oz. container of crumbled feta cheese for more of a Greek-style salad. Or turn it into a main dish by adding some sliced grilled chicken breast on top.
Either way, just make it ASAP -- I promise you won't be sorry you did!
Need some more Labor Day inspiration? Check out these other ideas from my fellow Walmart Moms:
- How To Plan An Easy Labor Day Picnic
- Salami Chopped Salad
- Frozen Berry Lemonade
- Jack Daniel's Smoked and Grilled Burgers
- Mac-N-Cheese Deep Fried Bites
- Creamy Chicken Artichoke Casserole
- DIY Patriotic Frames
- Red, White and Blue Burlap Bandana Wreath
- Red, White & Blue Angel Fluff
- Key Lime Pie
- Mango Chicken Skewers
- Patriotic Paper Petal Wreath
- Simple Summer Side Dishes
- Easy Labor Day Chips and Dips