Cilantro Lime Confetti Orzo recipe unites the comfort of pasta with the fresh citrusy flavors of summer. A perfect make ahead dish for potlucks, lunches or hot summer nights.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I attended a blogging conference and it was wonderful to see friends and do a ton of learning. I came home to my sweet husband making me a beautiful cake, homemade chicken pot pie and a clean house. I also came home beat up tired. It made sense once I realized that I hadn’t taken one day off for a month leading up to the conference. Coming home, simple tasks have taken me hours to accomplish. When life gets to that point I love having a big bowl of pasta salad to eat off of like this Cilantro Lime Confetti Orzo recipe. So here is how it goes in my house, we make a big bowl of pasta salad earlier in the day. We then eat it for lunch, eat it for dinner that night with a garden salad and then it not unusual to see 1 or 2 of us eating it again for breakfast. We be crazy like that 😜…
The How To’s with Orzo Pasta:
- Orzo is a pasta that looks very similar to rice and works very well for pasta salads. It can be found in most grocery stores on the pasta aisle but the organic version is much easier found on Amazon. Here is also an organic whole wheat version. (affiliate)
- Cook orzo very similar to regular pasta, uncovered in salted water for 9 mins. I recommend testing for doneness (al dente) at around the 8 min marker.
- The easiest way to drain pasta is with a fine mesh colander as the orzo will not fall through the holes. You can also use a regular colander but just be prepared to loose a few orzo. (affiliate)
Tips about Cilantro Lime Confetti Orzo recipe:
- This Cilantro Lime Confetti Orzo pasta salad recipe can also be made with rice but when you are a pasta lover, this version is so much more satisfying.
- Replace the cilantro with Italian parsley if you are one of the unfortunate people that HATE cilantro because it tastes like soap.
- The amount from this Cilantro Lime Confetti Orzo recipe is perfect for a potluck or to eat as dinner with leftovers for lunches. If you are just cooking for two people, divide recipe in half. Personally, my family loves having this as leftovers especially during the hot summer months.
- To prevent veggies from becoming wilted do not add to salad until pasta has cooled own. Cook and drain pasta and then add to bowl with vinaigrette. Make sure to toss but wait until pasta is cooled before adding tomatoes, bell peppers and onions.
- Feta can be substituted if queso fresco is unavailable.
- 1 lb orzo pasta
- ¾-1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 pint tear drop tomatoes *cut in half
- 1-2 med orange bell peppers *diced
- 1-2 yellow bell peppers *diced
- ½ med red onion *diced about ½ cup
- 15 oz can black beans *drained
- 10 oz queso fresco *crumbled
- For the Vinaigrette
- ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime zest *about 4 limes
- ½ cup lime juice *about 4 limes
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ cup chopped cilantro *about ½ small bunch
- 1 tsp salt
- 3-4 garlic cloves *minced or crushed
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Place chicken in a large baking dish & drizzle with oil. Salt & pepper to taste. Bake for 25-30 mins or until reaches internal temperature of 165℉. Let chicken rest for about 10 mins and then cube.
- In the meantime whisk together olive oil, lime juice, zest, garlic, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and cilantro. Set aside.
- Pepare veggies. set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling cook orzo for 8-9 mins stirring occasionally. Drain immediately & place into large mixing boil. Toss with vinaigrette, veggies, beans, chicken and cheese.
- Refrigerate or eat immediately. Tastes wonderful cold.