Lemon Dill Orzo Salad from Stirlist.com

We will now return you to our regularly scheduled programming. Did you miss this? Yeah you did.

I actually developed this recipe a few years ago when I was going through my food service management rotation as a dietetic intern. Sounds so glamorous doesn’t it? Sorry, I have no gif today of Chris Farley as the lunch lady. My food service management rotation was such a trip. I will never forget some of the people that I met and the drama that occurred in the short time I was there. For example, the guy that managed the pots & pans room was the master of his domain and you did NOT mess with his domain. He was slightly crazy too, and would tell me things like, “You’re going to jail for 99 days” or “I’m going to drop a tornado on your house.” I would intentionally not leave the pans where I was supposed to just so that I could hear him yell something new at me each day. Then I would go back to my lunch lady duties/dietetic intern duties.

(By the way, I’m kinda diggin’ the water in this shot below)

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad from Stirlist.comI chose orzo for this salad because this was before the dawn of quinoa. I love quinoa, but I also love the taste of a good pasta salad. Spare me the mayo and cream cheese,  because this pasta salad is light and packed full of fresh veggies. I also love orzo because if you’re trying to switch to quinoa, this is a good transition grain because of it’s size. But if I’m using orzo, I make sure it’s ganged up on by veggies. Seriously, always bully your pasta with veggies.

Sometimes I make this salad even when it’s not summertime, because it reminds me of summer. You know what else reminds me of summer? Richard Marx, Endless Summer Nights. I love that song and pretty much every song by Richard Marx. I blame my siblings for that because he is way before my time, hahaha. (FYI, he has an acoustic album with Matt Scannell from Vertical Horizon and it’s great background music for making out…I mean, writing.) In my former life, I would tease my siblings for their 80’s and 90’s easy listening albums, but now I’m the one that is searching all over iTunes and spotify to build my playlists full of those songs. It’s quite possible that I might have been Debbie Gibson’s biggest fan at one point in my life.

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad from Stirlist.comIn fact, I have a video of me dancing to a Debbie Gibson song when I was 8, because I was cool like that. At one point in the video, I drift out of the shot and all you hear is the smack of me hitting the closet door. Not much has changed I guess. I still dance in my room and hit the closet door on occasion.

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad from Stirlist.com

I’m not sure what Richard Marx and Debbie Gibson have in common with this pasta salad, except that all three are amazing and should be enjoyed every summer.

Happy Friday. =)

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad from Stirlist.com

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad

  • 15 minutes
  • 9 ingredients
  • 2 steps


  • 2 cups cooked orzo pasta (about 1/2 of uncooked 16 oz package)
  • 1 cucumber (sliced and quartered)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 10 oz or 1.5-2 cups cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Lemon (use the zest and the juice)
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Prepare pasta as directed and measure out 2 cups of cooked pasta. Set aside to cool.
  2. Chop and prepare all other ingredients and then mix together with pasta. Using a microplane, zest a lemon and then also squeeze the juice into your mixing bowl (watch out for the lemon seeds) Chill and serve cold.

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