Medium | Servings: 4 | Ready In: 35 minutes | Yield: about 6 cups
Summer’s freshest vegetables come together with healthy whole wheat orzo in this satisfying oil-free Italian pasta salad. This makes a great plant-based dish for a picnic or serve at a summer party as a vegan side. Enjoy with Grilled Asparagus Kalamata Olive Salad, Red Cabbage Poppy Seed Cole Slaw, and Chickpea Garden Veggie Burgers.
- 1 Chinese eggplant
- 1 bell pepper, any color
- 1 zucchini
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 ounces whole wheat orzo pasta (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 small tomatoes (or one large)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
How it’s Done
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
To Roast the Oil-Free Ratatouille Vegetables: While the oven and water heat up, prep your vegetables. Dice the bell pepper, eggplant, and zucchini into large, bite-sized pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick silicon baking mat. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle them with the thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast at 450F for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10-12 minutes, until browned around the edges.
To Boil the Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta: When the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and stir. Cook according to package directions, about 8-10 minutes. Be sure not to overcook or you’ll have mushy pasta. It should still have a “bite”.
To make the Whole Wheat Orzo Ratatouille Vegetable Pasta Salad: Dice the tomatoes. Retain as much of the juices as you can. Place them in a large bowl.
Remove the stems of the parsley and chop well. Add it to the bowl with the tomatoes.
When the pasta is ready, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and immediately rinse under cold water. Rinse until completely chilled, about 30 seconds. Drain well. Add to the bowl with the tomatoes and parsley.
When the vegetables are done roasting, remove them from the oven. While they are still warm, add the roasted vegetables to the large bowl with the tomatoes and parsley. Stir well to combine.
Add a couple tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking liquid, to make a creamier salad. Depending on your taste, you might add just 2 tablespoons or up to 1/2 cup. The juiciness of the tomatoes will also affect how wet your pasta salad becomes.
Taste to adjust seasoning and serve. Best enjoyed at room temperature.
Yield: 6 cups
Chef Katie’s Tips:
Make-Ahead Tip: This salad gets even better after it sits for a day or two. Make it ahead of time and bring to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.
Italian Herbs: You can swap out the dried thyme and oregano and use a pre-made Italian herb mix. Use 1 teaspoon for this recipe. Feel free to add other fresh herbs like basil and thyme.
Single Layer Roasting: Be sure not to overcrowd your baking sheet, laying the vegetables into just a single layer. Use two sheet pans if needed.
Gluten-Free: For a gluten-free version of this recipe, use gluten-free pasta. Orzo might be hard to find, but fusilli, shells, or another small shape pasta would work. You can also use a wild rice pilaf, short grain rice, or quinoa.
Watch to Learn More:
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (about 1 1/2 cups).
Calories From Fat (8%) 7.44
% Daily Value
- Total Fat 0.9g 1%
- Saturated Fat 0.09g <1%
- Cholesterol 0mg 0%
- Sodium 156.82mg 7%
- Potassium 445.65mg 13%
- Total Carbohydrates 20.47g 7%
- Fiber 5.9g 24%
- Sugar 6.17g
- Protein 4.1g 8%
- Calcium 58.09mg 6%
- Iron 30.69mg 171%
- Vitamin A 1630.4IU 33%
- Vitamin C 797.64mg 1329%
Shopping and Gear List
- Baron’s Kosher Orzo Whole Wheat Pasta 21.16-ounce Jar (Pack of 2)
- McCORMICK Culinary Thyme Leaves
- GUSTUS VITAE CONDIMENTS Taste Tuscany, 0.7 Ounce
- Beyond Gourmet 42 Unbleached Non-Stick Parchment Paper, Made in Sweden, 71-Square-Feet