Make Ahead

Tomato, Orzo & Chickpea Salad

June 18, 2011
3 Ratings
Photo by inpatskitchen
  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes about 8 cups
Author Notes

I love making pasta with a raw sauce of fresh tomatoes and a few other ingredients. I took the same concept and created this pasta salad adding a few other ingredients which can withstand the heat. Served cold or at "picnic" temperature it's an inexpensive great side or a wonderful vegetarian meal and can easily be doubled to serve a big crowd.
Marinating the tomatoes for 2 to 3 hours creates the dressing. —inpatskitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

This was nice and easy to pull off. I don't think 3 hours for the tomatoes is totally necessary but I like when it has some time to sit and come together. In the interest of time, I might put everything all together and then let it sit for 2 to 3 hours. I wish it had something a little sweet in it—I liked it much better once I had added a tsp of honey. It just rounded it out a little. But it might not be needed a little later in the summer if the tomatoes were a little riper. —Stephanie Bourgeois

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups seeded diced tomatoes ( try to find the ripest possible)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic crushed in a garlic press
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked and rinsed garbanzo beans (or one 14-15 ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pinch Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Park the mixture on the counter for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  3. After the 2 to 3 hours "marinating" time, combine the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cucumber, orzo and olives. Stir in the parsley and basil. Re-season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to take to the picnic.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • geli
  • JanetFL
  • Laura Abbasi
    Laura Abbasi
  • Sagegreen
  • aargersi

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

15 Reviews

LULULAND August 16, 2019
Liked the salad. Made it exactly like the recipe. I think next time I should drain the juice from the tomatoes before I put in the marinade. Skip the parsley add a little more basil, maybe some pine nuts. And sprinkle on each serving a little feta cheese.
inpatskitchen August 16, 2019
Happy you liked this LULULAND! Thanks !!
geli July 8, 2015
Love. It. Very refreshing and delicious. Made it without parsley, red pepper, olives. I also used half of the orzo. I probably should have cut the olive oil in half as well.
inpatskitchen July 8, 2015
Thanks so much geli!
JanetFL July 27, 2013
Fantastic! Love the ingredients and love that I can add grilled chicken to make it a main-dish salad for those of us who cannot do without meat. Thank you!!!!
inpatskitchen July 27, 2013
Thanks Janet! Grilled chicken sounds perfect!
Laura A. March 17, 2013
My husband and I gobbled up this fresh, delicious salad. The only changes we made were to use canned fire roasted tomatoes and we did not use olives. We were too impatient to let the dish sit as long as it should have and it was still fantastic, although I do believe it would have benefitted from "marinating" a longer. Will definitely be making this again. Can't wait for picnic season!
inpatskitchen March 18, 2013
Thanks Laura! Yep.. when the tomatoes are at their peak it's fantastic!!
GiGi26 June 18, 2011
This looks wonderful and sounds really refreshing. Will be trying it soon. Garbonzo Beans are one of very few legumes my other half likes! Then again I may not share. :-)
GiGi26 June 18, 2011
Garbanzo Beans...........ooops typeo
inpatskitchen June 18, 2011
It really is refreshing...thanks for the comment! Hope he enjoys..
Sagegreen June 18, 2011
Love that this is vegetarian and so loaded with protein, too. Fresh veggies add so much.
inpatskitchen June 18, 2011
Thank you...and I would have tagged vegan save for the fact that my orzo was made in a plant that uses eggs.
aargersi June 18, 2011
I would eat all of this and not share with the other picnic-ers
inpatskitchen June 18, 2011
Well we're no sharing...but I am experimenting with some chicken to serve on the "side"! Thank you !