The Orzo Pasta Salad that everyone will be raving about!
It starts with garden fresh cherry tomatoes, Sweet Corn off the cob and diced scallions. The true shining star of this dish though is the big chunks of Maine Lobster! Top it all off with a creamy Lemon Dressing and this dish will be the hit of your Summer Cookout!
This Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! Garden fresh produce is ripe for the picking and when you live in New England Summer is all about Lobster!
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a small “rice shaped” pasta that’s commonly used in soups and broths but is also a great option in pasta salads. In Italian Orzo means barley due to it’s resemblance to the grain.
What is a good substitute for Orzo?
I absolutely love using Orzo in this recipe, however if you can’t find it or just want to use a different pasta that you have on hand here are some other options.
- Risi Pasta– This pasta is slightly smaller than Orzo. If you like the idea of using a small styled pasta and can’t find Orzo this would be a great substitute.
- Arborio Rice– This is the perfect Gluten Free option. It will have a different texture but still delicious and a great allergy friendly option.
- Mini Pasta Shells– I also love the idea of using shells in this Pasta Salad. Since this is a Seafood themed salad using mini pasta shells keeps with that theme.
What are the ingredients in this Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe?
This Orzo Pasta Salad recipe using simple fresh ingredients that are available all year long.
Orzo Pasta– Small ‘rice shaped’ pasta
Cherry Tomatoes– Cut into quarters or sixths.
Corn off the cob– I used fresh picked sweet corn since it’s in season. It can be steamed or grilled then cut off the cob.
Scallions- I love the mild flavor of green onions in my pasta salads. The other bonus to using green onions is that the stalk end adds a nice touch of green color to your salad.
Lobster– The Fresh Maine Lobster is definitely the show stopper in this recipe! I usually use about 4-5 one-one and half pound lobsters (about 2 Cups of lobster meat).
Creamy Lemon Dressing– This adds a nice bright fresh flavor to the pasta salad. I used sour cream, mayonnaise, and freshly squeezed lemon juice but yogurt would be a great substitute for a more healthful version.
What can I use in place of Lobster in this Pasta Salad?
There are lots of great substitutes for the lobster in this recipe. Here are a few of my favorites.
Can this Orzo Pasta Salad recipe be made ahead of time?
The best part about making Pasta Salad is the fact that you need to make it ahead of time. You want to make this recipe either a day ahead or at least a few hours ahead of time so it has time to chill in the fridge.
Tips for making the best Orzo Pasta Salad
- Cook your pasta al dente and rinse it after cooking– No one wants a mushy pasta salad. To ensure you do not over cook your pasta use the lower end of the time estimate on the package. Also drain it immediately and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Buy fresh lobster and have your grocer steam them for you-Lobster can be quite pricy. Buying it fresh in the shell may add a bit of work but will save you some $. Most markets provide the option of steaming your lobster for you while you shop for the rest of the ingredients.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice– Nothing beats the flavor of freshly squeezed lemon juice in this Creamy Lemon Dressing so don’t skimp there.
Try more of our favorite Seafood dishes!
- New England Baked Haddock with Ritz Cracker & Shrimp Stuffing
- Four Season’s Crab Cakes
- Grilled Shrimp Scampi
- Steve’s Calamari with Pepperoncini
Orzo Pasta Salad with Lobster & Lemon Dressing
For the Orzo Salad
- 1 ,1 pound package Orzo Pasta ,cooked al dente per package directions, drained and rinsed in cold water
- 1-2 pints Cherry tomatoes ,quartered
- 8 Scallions ,chopped including green stalks
- 3 Ears Corn ,steamed and corn cut off the cob
- 4-5 ,1 pound Lobsters ,steamed, meat removed from shell and cut into bite sized chunks
For the lemon dressing
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice ,freshly squeezed (about 2-3 lemons)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Orzo Salad
- Place all ingredients in an extra large mixing bowl once they have cooled.
For the Lemon Dressing
- Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together to combine
Put your Lobster Orzo Salad together
- Pour Lemon Dressing over the Orzo Salad and toss until it is well combined. Place in a large serving dish, cover and place in the fridge to chill for 3 hours to overnight.
- Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for a more healthful option in the lemon dressing.
- Recipe can be cut in half for smaller gatherings.
- For a Gluten Free option substitute orzo with Arborio rice.
- Lobster can be substituted with shrimp, langostino or crab.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Be a Rockstar at your next Summer Cookout with this Orzo Pasta Salad with Lobster!