Orzo Salad with Pears, Walnuts, & GorgonzolaRemember when we talked about balance? Reminder here. Well, this is what I mean about balance. One day you have five two boozy doughnuts, but the next day you balance that off with something like this –  a serving (or two) of orzo tossed with pears, walnuts, and gorgonzola. All great stuff! Even with the cheese, as long as it’s a serving.

I’m taking this Orzo Salad with Pears, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola to a Labor Day Party on Monday. I will probably finish it in the car before we even get there. It’s that good. Really, it is. Toasted walnuts, a bit of soft cheese, some fruit…sounds perfect to me! Plus, the last time I brought out Orzo to serve some guests, I got these weird looks. They were confused. Few of the guests thought it was rice. “No, thanks”, was their reply. Hm. All the more for me. But, really, don’t knock it before you try it. Orzo is great! You can do whatever you want with it; add it to a soup, throw it in a casserole, make a salad, or serve it as a side.

Orzo Salad with Pears, Walnuts, & Gorgonzola

My advice here would be to one, cook the Orzo until it’s al-dente. That is about 9 minutes. Another tip, take the Gorgonzola out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you need to use it. Gorgonzola should always be served at room temperature.

Orzo Salad with Pears, Walnuts, & Gorgonzola
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1½ cups orzo
  • 1 whole Pear (Anjou or Bosc), cored and diced
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add in Orzo and cook for about 9 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Drain and wash under cold water.
  4. In the meantime toast the walnuts by tossing them in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine orzo, diced pears, toasted walnuts, and Gorgonzola.
  6. In a separate bowl whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the dressing over the Orzo mixture and toss lightly.
  8. Serve immediately.

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16 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jenny @ Savour the Senses September 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM - Reply

    This sounds so great. An awesome seasonal dish!

  2. dottie @ losing weight September 9, 2012 at 8:30 PM - Reply

    I love walnuts and gorgonzola cheese so I know I will love this recipe. And your right it is all about balance when it comes to losing weight or just maintaining a healthy diet. Dieting can be extremely challenging so you definitely need to treat yourself every once in while especially when you have achieved part of your weight loss goals. There are tools to support your weight loss plan and to help you stay on track and keep track of your calorie intake so you can reach your goals.

  3. Megan @ Pip and Ebby August 31, 2012 at 10:28 AM - Reply

    What a perfect combination of flavors! Yummy! I would bring it to a party hoping nobody wanted to try it. :)

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook August 30, 2012 at 11:16 PM - Reply

    When my kids hear PASTA salad, they think they eat pasta and don’t seem to hear “salad” part. That’s why I love cooking it! This looks delicious. Gorgonzola is nice… I can almost smell the flavor. I gotta check your donuts now. ;-)

  5. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking August 30, 2012 at 11:05 PM - Reply

    Pasta salad is my go-to dinner when i’m short of time. Always a hit with my family.

  6. PolaM August 30, 2012 at 11:36 AM - Reply

    I love gorgonzola so much!! And with nuts??!?! to die for! Love this idea!

  7. Jen at The Three Little Piglets August 29, 2012 at 10:56 PM - Reply

    Those are my favorite salad ingredients, and it never once occurred to me to put them in an orzo salad! Sounds perfect for Labor Day.

  8. Zoe August 29, 2012 at 5:21 PM - Reply

    Like your very “nice” salad to balance well with your “naughty” treats :D

  9. Kristy August 29, 2012 at 4:47 PM - Reply

    This salad sounds like one I would love! I’d make this and eat for lunch every day of the week. I love the pears with the gorgonzola and the orzo is perfect with this! :) This will be one tasty Labor Day party!

  10. Ramona August 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM - Reply

    Sounds like a wonderful bowl of flavors! I am really enjoying working with orzo pasta these days. :)

  11. Amy @ fragrantvanillacake August 29, 2012 at 6:09 AM - Reply

    This sounds wonderful Kate! I may just have to make it for my Mom, because she loves orzo, walnuts and blue cheese! The pears are a perfect addition as well, especially this time of the year when they are just starting to become in season! Yum :)!

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