Giada's Crispy Orzo Salad
Giada De Laurentiis' Sheet-Pan Eggplant Parmesan + Crispy Orzo Salad
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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(55 rated)
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This chopped antipasti salad has a twist that takes it to the next level: crunchy orzo! It is crispy, crunchy, refreshing and satisfying all at once. It makes for a filling lunch or a delicious side dish at a potluck.

Technique tip: To par cook the pasta, bring a pot of boiling water to a boil. Season well with salt. Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and spread on a paper towel lined plate to dry completely. Dry very well. Make sure the pasta is very well dried before frying to avoid the oil popping.

Swap option: Try red wine vinegar instead of white wine and arugula instead of romaine.


  • Dressing

    • 2 tablespoons jarred green olive tapenade
    • 1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste
    • 1½ teaspoons dry oregano
    • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Salad

    • 1 to 2 hearts romaine lettuce, sliced thin
    • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
    • 3 ounces provolone, thinly sliced
    • 3 ounces Genoa salami, thinly sliced
    • 1 bulb fennel, thinly shaved
  • Pasta

    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 cup par-cooked orzo pasta
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


For the dressing:

In a large bowl, whisk together the tapenade, chili paste, oregano, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

For the salad:

Add the chopped romaine, roasted red pepper, fennel, provolone and salami to the bowl with the dressing and toss well to coat.

For the pasta:

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the par-cooked pasta and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel lined plate and season with the salt.

To serve:

Sprinkle the crispy orzo over the top of the salad and serve.

Related video

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Giada De Laurentiis shares her healthy eggplant Parm recipe

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