Pesto Orzo Salad

5 from 3 votes

Take your picnics, barbecues and grilling sessions up a notch with this fancy yet super simple side dish- Pesto orzo salad! Filled with marinated slow roasted sweet potato chunks, it’s tossed through a vegan pesto making it dairy free, vegan and with a gluten free option!

Pesto + Marinated Sweet Potato Orzo Salad- Take your picnics, barbecues and grilling sessions up a notch with this fancy yet super simple side dish- Pesto orzo salad! Filled with marinated slow roasted sweet potato chunks, it's tossed through a vegan pesto making it dairy free, vegan and with a gluten free option! @thebigmansworld - thebigmansworld.com

So I was originally going to call this Vegan Pesto and Marinated Sweet Potato Orzo Salad but then couldn’t even say it in one go myself.

No dice. 

Some of the biggest dilemmas I have when posting recipes with unique twists or multiple ingredients is naming them. I am a fool when it comes to SEO but I do know it’s imperative when it comes to you showing up in google. To be completely honest, 95% of the time I want to call a recipe ‘legal crack’ or ‘no bake cookies which make you want to sell your own sister’ but the logical part of my brain tells me otherwise (and the potential to reach readers I don’t intent on).

Pesto + Marinated Sweet Potato Orzo Salad- Take your picnics, barbecues and grilling sessions up a notch with this fancy yet super simple side dish- Pesto orzo salad! Filled with marinated slow roasted sweet potato chunks, it's tossed through a vegan pesto making it dairy free, vegan and with a gluten free option! @thebigmansworld - thebigmansworld.com

The epic folk at Colavita send me the most amazing package filled with various oils, vinegars, seasonings, pastas and sauces. They also threw the challenge to create a recipe including 5 of their ingredients

My first thought was to create a pesto style pasta dish but that would have been the ultimate cop out. I sampled the pesto and it was so delicious, all I would have had to do was merely mix it straight through the package of orzo they sent over and called it a meal. No dice. The pesto was put in the corner for later use….and by later use I mean eating on toast or even better, by the spoon.

The thought of pesto pasta would NOT leave my mind so I took a long at their other ingredients provided and decided to make my own pesto for a pesto orzo salad and to include another delightful addition- Sweet potatoes.

I know I only recently admitted sweet potatoes being sub par to the white spud, however in this orzo salad- It was the key ingredient. I marinated the sweet potato chunks in the colavita olive oil, balsamic vinegar, TRUFFLE balsamic glace, sea salt and slow roasted it in the oven for 45 minutes to caramelise. At the same time, I made a ridiculously easy homemade pesto but wanted this dish to be vegan so omitted the parmesan and added a touch more salt and olive oil. 

Pesto + Marinated Sweet Potato Orzo Salad- Take your picnics, barbecues and grilling sessions up a notch with this fancy yet super simple side dish- Pesto orzo salad! Filled with marinated slow roasted sweet potato chunks, it's tossed through a vegan pesto making it dairy free, vegan and with a gluten free option! @thebigmansworld - thebigmansworld.com

This Pesto Orzo Salad is a the kind of salad you bring to a barbecue, picnic or party to impress others yet it is super simple to whip up. The pesto is easily made by blitzing all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. The sweet potatoes are best when marinated for an hour prior to roasting but for those in a time crunch, can be simply dressed, roasted and face planted chopped through the salad. For the orzo, you simply boil it in salt water as you do with most pastas until al dente and voila- This pesto orzo salad will be THE star. 

For those who want to cheat even further, you can totally buy your own store bought pesto. Vegan friends, I’d recommend buying this one after having the pleasure of sampling it in Chelsea the other week. For those who just can’t be bothered- Of course you should use the delicious Colavita one

Let’s celebrate Summer grilling with Colavita by making this Pesto Orzo Salad the first of your upcoming recipes to make.

#nobakecookieswhichmakeyouwanttosellyourownsister

Pesto Orzo Salad

Take your picnics, barbecues and grilling sessions up a notch with this fancy yet super simple side dish- Pesto orzo salad! Filled with marinated slow roasted sweet potato chunks, it's tossed through a vegan pesto making it dairy free, vegan and with a gluten free option!
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Author: Arman

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Colavita Orzo cooked and cooled (for GF use GF pasta of choice)

For the pesto

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup + 1 T Colavita olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon salted cashews
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Colavita salt from the sea to taste

For the sweet potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes chopped into large chunks (4-5 per potato)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Colavita white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Colavita balsamic white truffle balsamic glace
  • 1 tablespoon Colavita extra virgin olive oil
  • Colavita salt from the sea to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare your sweet potatoes by combining the balsamic vinegar, truffle balsamic glace, olive oil and sea salt from the sea in a small bowl and whisk well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with the oil and vinegar mixture and allow to sit for at least an hour. 10 minutes prior to roasting, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Coat a large baking tray lightly with oil and cover evenly with the marinated sweet potatoes and cook for 40-50 minutes, until soft and caramelised. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Make the orzo according to directions and boil until al dente. (If using the Colavita brand, it should be 7 minutes ). Set aside.
  • In a quality blender or food processor, combine all the pesto ingredients and blend well.
  • Mix the pesto mixture throughout the orzo and taste- It may need more salt. Chop the cooled marinated sweet potatoes and in mix through the orzo.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to consume.

Notes

This salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance and eaten within 4 days.
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Looking for other non traditional salads to impress? I’ve got your back! 

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Healthy Spanish Gnocchi Salad- Spruce up your salads this Spring and Summer with this pasta salad based off gnocchi! Marry Italy and Spain together for this delicious, healthy and gluten free Spanish Gnocchi salad which is perfect eaten hot or cold and takes minutes to whip up- A flavour explosion! @thebigmansworld -thebigmansworld.com

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Healthy Pho Noodle Salad- This Healthy Pho Noodle salad is perfect for a weeknight light meal or served alongside your mains! Gluten free and chock full of delicious flavours, the delicious sauce used is paleo and vegan friendly- There is also a low carb version! @thebigmansworld -thebigmansworld.com

Greek Couscous Salad 

No longer are salads boring with this Healthy Greek Couscous salad! A combination of grains, feta and other vegetables means no dressing is needed- Ready in less than 10 minutes, gluten free and perfect for healthy meals throughout the week!

Pesto + Marinated Sweet Potato Orzo Salad- Take your picnics, barbecues and grilling sessions up a notch with this fancy yet super simple side dish- Pesto orzo salad! Filled with marinated slow roasted sweet potato chunks, it's tossed through a vegan pesto making it dairy free, vegan and with a gluten free option! @thebigmansworld - thebigmansworld.com

This is a Sponsored Post by Colavita – Italian Summer Grilling. Cheers, hugs and handshakes for supporting companies and brands which help in making The Big Man’s World continue to grow.

What is your favourite kind of salad?

Favourite side dish when grilling?

Comments

65 thoughts on “Pesto Orzo Salad

  1. This recipe is right up my ally. I love the use of cashews for an added bit of crunch. Also, I just so happen to have all these ingredients so I will for sure be making it.

  2. White truffle balsamic glace? Faaaaaancy. Here’s the part where I admit that I don’t think I’ve ever had truffle anything before… aside from the chocolate ones 😛 And I’d sell my sister for this. If I had one.

  3. My favorite kind of salad is any pasta salad that features a cartoon character as the pasta shape. There is no way not to be happy while eating it 🙂

  4. Not only do you make delicious and healthy desserts, but you’re good at making real food. I’m impressed, Arman! lol I love incorporating orzo in salads, but I’ve never mixed it with sweet potatoes. Moreover, I’ve never marinated it either. That’s such a lovely idea – good job! P.S. What’s for dessert? 🙂

  5. So clever to think of putting sweet potato in there! Do australians call it kumara too? I always feel weird saying sweet potato when I grew up saying kumara!
    Ps Pesto is the besto! (Yes that is a Frinds references… Like 90% of the things I say 🙂 ).

  6. I love pesto and I love sweet potatoes, yet I never thought of pairing them in one dish. Thanks for the inspiration my friend!

  7. I’ve never had pesto before (the whole dairy shenanigans), but have been looking for a recipe that doesn’t include an amount of pine nuts that cost the equivalent of a small island off of Puerto Rico or some kind weird Amazonian herb. TO THE STORE!

  8. Psssh I’d sell my family for this…kidding (kinda)! This looks delicious. I always forget about orzo when I’m thinking about grains, time to stock up on a packet methinks! If I’m grilling, nothing goes down quite like potatoes- grilled, fried or in salad form….they gotta be present!

  9. Last week’s meals featured some crockpot pesto chicken. Next time I need to get my pesto fill, I can get it from this side dish. Boom!

  10. Can you occasionally (or all the time) tell us what you would have preferred to name your recipes? That way, you can be up to speed with SEO and we get to experience your humor! P.S. I LOVE COLAVITA OLIVE OIL. That is all.

  11. Love this! Such a nice dish for the summer. Also, I’m a (never-recovering) pestoholic, so yes…I’m drooling! 🙂

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