Halloumi and Tomato Orzo Salad

This super simple Orzo salad is both light and filling. It features classic Mediterranean flavours like balsamic, tomato and basil it is topped with seared Halloumi cheese. And all done in less than 30 minutes!

Tall image of seared Halloumi cheese sat on an orzo salad with tomatoes and basil taken from above.

Orzo Salad with Halloumi Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar.

This orzo salad recipe is me warming up for the changing seasons. Lighter and brighter flavours, fresher ingredients, a breath of fresh air if you like.

This recipe sees a debut appearance from Orzo pasta and only the second appearance from halloumi cheese. 

Although the honey, balsamic and tomatoes are much more regular visitors.

To be honest apart from a little olive oil and seasoning that is all this recipe contains.

But it all works so well. 

We are effectively talking about a pasta salad here. Just like my Tuna Pasta Salad, it can be served hot or at room temperature.

Oh yeah, 20 minutes and no skills required! 

Orzo pasta grains on a seared tomato in a orzo salad

Pasta Salad For Dinner.

I have to confess when I think of pasta salad I tend to think of picnic recipes.

Both of my previous pasta salad recipes, my BLT pasta salad and my Tuna Nicoise pasta salad were designed to be packed up and taken on a jolly.

This orzo salad, on the other hand, this is made for eating at home.

It is the perfect light dinner or substantial lunch recipe.

But you do want to ensure that you serve the halloumi cheese warm from the pan.

You can, of course, eat halloumi cheese cold, but I find that both the texture improves with ‘cooking’.

Fried halloumi cheese on an orzo salad with seared tomatoes and basil

What is Orzo?

I think I may have given this away, but orzo is a type of pasta. 

As you can see it kinda looks like large pasta grains and typically comes made from two types of flour.

This recipe calls for Orzo made from Durum wheat. That is traditional pasta flour, it is what helps pasta keep an al dente texture.

It also comes made from regular wheat flour. This works much better when used to make a creamy dish similar to risotto.

I have often seen this referred to as orzotto, that is not correct though. Orzotto is actually made from pearl barley.

Durum wheat orzo is also great for chucking into soup recipes like this summer minestrone soup recipe.

Square image of fried halloumi cheese on an orzo salad with seared tomatoes and basil taken from above
Halloumi and Tomato Orzo Salad

Halloumi and Tomato Orzo Salad

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This super simple Orzo salad is both light and filling, featuring classic Mediterranean flavours like balsamic, tomato and basil it is topped with seared Halloumi cheese.

Ingredients

  • 150 g Orzo Pasta
  • 225 g Halloumi Cheese
  • 225 g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 24 Basil Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  2. Slice the Halloumi cheese into 6 slices around 5-7mm thick.
  3. Cut the tomatoes in half.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
  5. Bring a large frying pan to a high heat and then add the oil.
  6. Place the orzo in the water and cook as per instructions, this will probably take around 8-10 minutes.
  7. Sear off the Halloumi cheese in the frying pan and the cut side of the tomatoes.
  8. Drain the orzo and then dress with the dressing whilst warm.
  9. Just before serving tear the basil leaves and toss through the pasta with the tomatoes.
  10. Serve with the Halloumi on top and more basil leaves.

Notes

Try and get orzo made from durum wheat, it will cook to al dente as opposed to wheat orzo that is better for cooking in a sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 786 Total Fat: 53g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 31g Cholesterol: 89mg Sodium: 1013mg Carbohydrates: 46g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 9g Protein: 32g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

10 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Love the idea of a pasta salad made with orzo. I really need to try this. I also love halloumi but, as you say, it’s better when it’s grilled!

  2. A Simply delicious looking salad. With halloumi on it, its like a light meal. Lovely clicks. I had no idea there were two types of orzo.

  3. I really like how light this salad is and the fact that it takes less than 30 minutes to make it. And those Mediterranean flavors must take the whole dining experience to the next level – delicious!

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