Every summer my family uses our grill for most dinners – so the meat is usually easy to figure out. So then it becomes all about the side dishes – what can I do with the side dishes to keep it interesting? That’s how I came up with this Lemon Dill Orzo Salad. I was trying to develop something that was still a cold salad but not just some greens and veggies.
This salad is perfect for potlucks and picnics because it travels very well and actually gets better the longer you let it sit once you combine everything. It is super easy to put together quickly – you can basically prep all the veggies and make the dressing in the time it takes for the bacon bits to crisp up and the orzo to cook.
Prepping the cucumbers is an important step in the process though. You want to make sure that you remove all the seeds from the cucumber so that you don’t end up with a soggy mess of an Orzo Salad. First you want to peel the cucumber, then cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and then cut the cucumber into chunks. It takes an extra minute or two but it is so worth it!
The versatility of this side dish is another great selling point. It can go with pretty much any protein – grilled chicken, steaks, burgers, grilled pork, even shrimp or fish. And the Orzo just makes it sound more fancy! If you need more side dish ideas check out my Side Dishes & Sauces Recipe Collection.
I think this dish will definitely be a great addition to your potluck menu collection. If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!Yum
Lemon Dill Orzo Salad
- 1 lb Orzo Pasta
- ½ lb Bacon cut in ½ in pieces
- 2 Red Bell Peppers diced
- ½ Red Onion diced
- 1 English Cucumber peeled, seeded, diced
For the Dressing
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 2 Lemons
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Dill
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Parsley
- Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add bacon piece and cook until crispy. Remove to a plate with a paper towel and let cool until ready to add to salad
- Add orzo to boiling water and cook as directed on package. Drain and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process.
- In a large serving bowl, zest both lemons and then juice both lemons. Add all ingredients for the dressing and whisk together.
- Fold orzo into dressing until well coated. Then add in bacon and vegetables. Serve right away or cover and put in refrigerator for up to 3 days.