Pasta salads are always a hit in the summer. They hold up great in the fridge and most people love them. But if you're tired of serving heavy mayonnaise-rich pasta salads, try this orzo and corn salad for a change. This Southwest orzo salad has tons of flavour from the chipotle lime dressing and plenty of added veggies to round it out. This can be served as a main, a side or as an appetizer. Any way you serve it, it's a hit!
Growing up, macaroni salads were always on the table in the summer, it was my mom's specialty. And I've made a few versions here with this classic, but lightened up version and this ranch macaroni salad with bacon. This chipotle pasta salad with orzo and grilled corn is the next version of pasta salad for me and I'm really loving it. It's light, fresh and perfect for the summer.
Here are all of the ingredients you'll need to make this orzo and corn salad.
Making this southwest orzo salad is super simple and can easily be prepped in advance. See prep notes for more on how to do that.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions (about eight to ten minutes). Drain and set aside in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil to avoid it clumping together.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil. Pour in the corn and cook until charred and starting to pop, about eight to nine minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the orzo.
Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a blender or the standing jar for an immersion blender. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
Add the onion, tomatoes and greens to the orzo.
Drizzle about half of the dressing over the orzo salad and toss gently to combine. Add the seeds, basil and cheese and more dressing as needed and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!
This southwest orzo salad makes enough for about 6-8 portions, depending on what else you're eating with it. You can turn it into a full meal with grilled chicken, shrimp or steak on the side.
I share these products only to show you what I choose to use in my kitchen as staple ingredients I use daily (or weekly).
I exclusively use Diamond Crystal kosher salt for all of my recipes. I prefer the texture, taste and consistency of this brand and highly recommend it for everyday cooking.
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Alright, are you ready to make this?
If you make this orzo and grilled corn salad, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram, or leave a comment and/or review below!
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This grilled corn and orzo salad is packed with summer produce like fresh tomatoes, corn and mixed greens. Tossed in a creamy southwest inspired chipotle dressing with fresh herbs on top.