Watermelon Orzo Salad

It doesn’t get more summer than this Watermelon Orzo Salad. With Mediterranean flavors and all the freshness of a summer garden’s bounty, this unique take on a pasta salad will have you scratching the mayo-based pasta salads in favor of this one.











  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • ¾ - 1 cup watermelon white balsamic vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup fresh mint (picked)
  • 3 cups diced watermelon
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 cup pistachios (shelled)
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Salt

Watermelon White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup of fresh watermelon (Skinned and Chopped)
  • The zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 4 ounces of white balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ of mint (picked and gently chopped)
  • 8 ounces of vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  1. Dice the watermelon by cutting both the top and bottom off of the watermelon so that you can see the red of the melon as a circle on both sides. With the melon sitting upright, carefully cut from the top down, in a slightly “C” shape so that you trim off the outer rind of the melon and are left with only the red. (similar to skinning an orange before segmenting.) Continue that process, rotating the melon, until all the outer rind is removed. Slice the melon into manageable pieces and dice the melon into cubes roughly ¾ inch by ¾ inch large. Set 3 cups of the watermelon aside for the salad and use some of the scraps for the vinaigrette.
  2. Before storing in the refrigerator, season the 3 cups of diced watermelon for the salad with a few pinches of salt. Set the watermelon in the fridge.
  3. Next, make the watermelon-white balsamic vinaigrette using the scraps from cutting the watermelon.
  4. Cook the orzo pasta in accordance with time on the package by boiling in slightly-salted water till al dente.
  5. When done, strain and place into a bowl. Toss the orzo with ½ cup of the watermelon-balsamic vinaigrette and refrigerate until cool (about 1 hour).
  6. Preheat an oven to 350 F.
  7. Lay the shelled pistachios on a nice even layer on a baking sheet and roast at 350 F for about 4-6 minutes or until toasted slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. Pluck the mint leaves from the stems and place it in a large bowl with your arugula.
  9. If it is not pre-crumbled, dice your feta into cubes that are about ½ inch x ½ inch large.
  10. Add half the feta to the arugula and mint mixture.
  11. Once cooled, remove the orzo and the diced watermelon from the fridge. Strain off the liquid that has seeped out of the cut watermelon from earlier and season the watermelon with 4-6 nice cracks of black pepper (about ⅓ teaspoon).
  12. Gently add the watermelon to the orzo and stir, being careful not to break up the watermelon too much.
  13. Right before serving, add the feta, mint and arugula mixture to the watermelon and orzo mixture and gently toss to combine.
  14. Taste a bit of the mixture and adjust the flavor by adding more salt or vinaigrette if needed.
  15. Garnish with the toasted pistachios, the remaining feta, and a nice drizzle of the remaining watermelon-balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy!

Watermelon White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. Turn off the blender and add the dijon mustard, the honey, the salt and the pepper. Blend again for another 15 seconds until everything is incorporated.
  2. Pick the leaves of mint off the stems and gently chop. Set the mint aside.
  3. While running the blender at its slowest speed, and slowly stream in the oil into the vinaigrette until all the oil is incorporated.
  4. Once incorporated, turn the blender up to high for about 5 seconds and then turn it off.
  5. (You are forming an emulsion between the oil and other ingredients so the mixture should be smooth and blended together, loosely resembling a smoothie.)
  6. Gently stir in the chopped mint and allow the vinaigrette to sit in the fridge for 1 hour for all the flavors to come together. Season to taste before using.

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