Christmas Pasta Salad


The orzo in this salad is reminiscent of pine needles and when dressed in pesto brings a lovely green hue. Perlini mozzarella balls become ornaments, as do cherry tomatoes and ribbons of basil and pepperoni. I do not add salt as I find the pepperoni and pesto to be ample enough. Additional toppings to consider are slivers of red onion, black olives, and diced green bell pepper. I don't like balsamic vinegar, thus the lemon juice.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 35 mins
8 servings


  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked orzo pasta

  • cup pesto, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (Optional)

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese balls or pearls

  • ¼ cup sliced pepperoni, cut into strips

  • 3 large fresh basil leaves, julienned


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook orzo in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Add pesto and lemon juice to the orzo; toss to coat. Mix in tomatoes, mozzarella cheese balls, and pepperoni strips. Refrigerate for 8 hours to overnight.

  3. Mix in basil right before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

331 Calories
11g Fat
44g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 331
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 289mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 198mg 15%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 187mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love