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Rocket leaves, bocconcini, cherry tomatoes, white beans and pesto orzo in a bowl with mixing spoons.

Pesto Orzo Salad

  • Author: Caitlin Rule
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


This pesto orzo salad with cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, rocket (arugula) and white beans is a simple flavourful summer salad perfect for a BBQ or picnic. 


  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta (risoni)
  • 250g/ 9oz punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can cannelini beans, drained
  • 220g/ 8oz tub bocconcini, drained
  • 2 large handfuls rocket leaves (arugula)
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto 
  • 12 fresh lemons, juiced
  • salt + pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Once the orzo is cooked, drain it in a strainer, and run it under cold water. (The cold water will stop the cooking process and allow the orzo to cool).
  2. Cut the fresh tomatoes in half, drain the cannelini beans and bocconcini. Add them to a large bowl with the rocket leaves.
  3. Add the cooled orzo, pesto and lemon juice to the salad and gently toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper or extra lemon juice if needed 
  4. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Add extra fresh lemon juice before serving.

Keywords: Orzo, risoni, pesto, salad, Mediterranean, vegetarian