Despite its name, this beautiful, refreshing and super sturdy Warm Grilled Halloumi Orzo Salad is just as delicious eaten warm or cold, making it the perfect candidate for a light summer lunch, family picnic or BBQ among friends!

Despite its name, this beautiful, refreshing and super sturdy Warm Grilled Halloumi Orzo Salad is just as delicious eaten warm or cold, making it the perfect candidate for a light summer lunch, family picnic or BBQ among friends!

My daughter-in-law had an appointment with her tattooist last week and asked if I would tag along, for moral support, you know. I was more than happy to oblige: I just LOVE spending time at the studio, whether or not I’m the one getting inked. I just love the vibe there…

Plus, for some reason, it seems like I often get recipe ideas when I go there! This time was no exception. When came time for dinner, Dave  — that’s the tattoo artist — whipped out this mouth-watering orzo salad, filled with all kinds of morsels of grilled halloumi, asparagus, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin seeds and arugula. Just one look at his dish and I knew I’d have to recreate this amazingness as soon as I could.

Funny thing is, when I actually got to whipping it up, I realized that it was a bit of a cross between two salads that I’d already come up with in the past: this Lemony Asparagus Orzo Salad and this Cucumber and Peas Orzo Salad with Grilled Halloumi. Well, let me tell you, it’s a totally brilliant union, and I’m glad that it came to be!

As delicious cold as it is in its warm state, this salad makes for a great side dish but totally qualifies as a meal on its own! It’s pretty sturdy too, so it can be made ahead of time, and it travels well (Dave had his in a Mason jar!) making it an ideal candidate for picnics and other social gatherings…

I’ve no doubt that you will love it as much as I did! 

Cooked Orzo getting rinsed under cold running water

To start, cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package, then rinse it under cold running water until it no longer feels warm. Drain completely.

Slices of grilled halloumi in a non-stick pan

While the orzo is cooking, heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan set over medium heat; once hot, grill the slices of cheese until golden brown, about 1 minute per side; remove to a plate and set aside to cool slightly. 

Onions and diced carrots cooking in a non-stick skillet

Next, add the onion, carrot and garlic to the pan and cook until slightly softened and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes;

Onions, diced carrots, zucchini and asparagus cooking in a non-stick skillet

Then throw in the zucchini and asparagus and continue cooking for a minute or 2, until slightly browned and softened. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

Grilled halloumi cheese cut into bite size pieces all piled up in a square white plate

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup; whisk vigorously until well combined and slightly emulsified. Then, slice the grilled halloumi into bite size pieces and set aside.

Cooked veggies getting dumped into a white bowl containing cooked orzo

Place the drained orzo in a large mixing bowl and dump the slightly cooled veggies right in…

Pumpkin seeds getting poured into a white bowl containing arugula leaves, grilled halloumi, vegetables and cooked orzo

…followed with the pieces of grilled halloumi, thawed green peas, handful of arugula and pumpkin.

I find the best way to thaw frozen green peas is to place them in a sieve and rinse them under warm running water for about a minute, give ’em a good shake and then let them drip for a few seconds to rid them of excess water. 

Vinaigrette getting poured out of measuring cup into salad in a white bowl

Pour that gorgeous dressing right on top of this pile of goodness…

Warm Grilled Halloumi Orzo Salad getting delicately tossed

Give the whole thing a gentle toss, until all the ingredients are well combined.

Despite its name, this beautiful, refreshing and super sturdy Warm Grilled Halloumi Orzo Salad is just as delicious eaten warm or cold, making it the perfect candidate for a light summer lunch, family picnic or BBQ among friends!

You can serve your salad immediately, or throw it in the fridge until ready to eat, as this salad is also excellent cold!

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a few days.

Despite its name, this beautiful, refreshing and super sturdy Warm Grilled Halloumi Orzo Salad is just as delicious eaten warm or cold, making it the perfect candidate for a light summer lunch, family picnic or BBQ among friends!

Warm Grilled Halloumi Orzo Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Despite its name, this beautiful, refreshing and super sturdy Warm Grilled Halloumi Orzo Salad is just as delicious eaten warm or cold, making it the perfect candidate for a light summer lunch, family picnic or BBQ among friends!
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the orzo salad

  • 12.5 oz dry orzo
  • 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz halloumi cheese, cut into 1/3" thick slices
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into quarter slices
  • 5-6 spears asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed*
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • handful fresh arugula

For the dressing

Instructions

  • Cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package, then rinse it under cold running water until it no longer feels warm. Drain completely.
  • While the orzo is cooking, heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan set over medium heat; once hot, grill the cheese slices until golden brown, about 1 minute per side; remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the pan and cook until slightly softened and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes; add the zucchini and asparagus and continue cooking for a minute or 2, until slightly browned and softened. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup; whisk vigorously until well combined and slightly emulsified. Set aside.
  • Slice the grilled halloumi into bite size pieces and set aside.
  • Combine the drained orzo, cooled veggies, grilled halloumi, thawed green peas, arugula and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss gently until well combined.
  • Serve immediately; this salad is also excellent cold and leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a few days.

Notes

*rinse the peas under warm water to thaw almost instantly

Nutrition

Calories: 751kcal, Carbohydrates: 81g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Sodium: 1037mg, Potassium: 586mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 3155IU, Vitamin C: 30.6mg, Calcium: 628mg, Iron: 3.2mg
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Orzo
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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