orzo pasta salad with grilled corn, zucchini and lime

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5 from 1 review

A fresh summer pasta salad made with al dente orzo, grilled corn and zucchini, cilantro and a creamy chile lime dressing.

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American


orzo salad

  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 4 small zucchini, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb orzo
  • 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

chile lime dressing

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 5 tbsp fresh lime juice (from about 2 1/2 limes)
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)


  1. Preheat grill to medium heat. On a baking sheet, toss corn and zucchini with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Grill vegetables until crisp tender and lightly charred, 5- 8 minutes for the zucchini (depending on size) and 12- 15 minutes for the corn. Set vegetables aside to cool. Chop the zucchini and cut the corn kernels off the cob, then place them in a large bowl.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt and cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking, then toss around in a fine mesh strainer to shake off excess water. Transfer orzo and cilantro to the bowl with the vegetables.
  3. To make the dressing, combine 5 tablespoons of olive oil, mayonnaise, lime juice, chile powder, cayenne (if using), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Taste and adjust with more salt or pepper if needed (the dressing will taste pretty tart, but it will be perfect when the sweet corn is mixed in).
  4. Pour dressing into the bowl with the vegetables and orzo and toss to coat. Taste, adjust with more salt or black pepper. Transfer to a large bowl or platter and serve.



serves 4- 6 | recipe adapted from Food and Wine

This orzo salad can be eaten at room temperature or cold. It will keep, refrigerated and covered, for up to 4 days.