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4.83 from 17 votes

Zucchini and Orzo Salad with Chimichurri

Zucchini and Orzo Salad with Chimichurri is a fresh summer salad that makes the perfect fresh and zesty side dish for summer grilling.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Total Cost: $6.57 recipe / $1.64 serving
Servings: 4
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes



  • 1/2 cup olive oil $0.83
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar $0.40
  • 1 cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley, packed $0.35
  • 1/2 cup cilantro*, packed $0.19
  • 3 cloves garlic $0.24
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo $1.07
  • 1 medium zucchini (0.75 to 1 lb.) $1.29
  • Pinch of salt and pepper $0.05
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes $2.79


  • Prepare the chimichurri by washing the parsley and cilantro leaves well, then shaking off as much water as possible. Pull the leaves from the stems and add them to a food processor, along with the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, red pepper, and salt. Pulse the mixture until smooth. (Or finely mince the parsley, cilantro, and garlic with a knife and stir together with the remaining ingredients.)
  • Cook the orzo according to the package directions, drain in a colander, and then let cool.
  • Slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch thick rounds. The zucchini can be added to the salad raw, grilled, or roasted in the oven first. I used a countertop grill to grill the slices, then cut them into quarter rounds after grilling. If roasting in the oven, toss with a little oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, then roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let the zucchini cool slightly.
  • While the zucchini and pasta are cooling, slice the grape tomatoes in half. Once the zucchini and orzo are no longer steaming hot, combine them in a bowl with the tomatoes. Pour about half of the chimichurri over top, and then toss until everything is coated. Add more chimichurri to your liking (I used about 3/4 of the batch). Taste and add salt or pepper to the salad if needed.


*If you are not a fan of cilantro, you can simply replace it with more parsley.