Orzo Salad with Prosciutto & Parmesan Vinaigrette

Bringing you a fresh and flavorful orzo salad with Prosciutto di Parma to make for your Labor Day cookout! It’s a simple salad full of charred corn, caramelized cherry tomatoes, peppery arugula, lots of fresh basil and chives, and of course some beautiful thinly sliced prosciutto. It’s all tossed with a garlicky parmesan vinaigrette that comes together quickly in the food processor. You can make this ahead of time and serve it with just about anything! All of the best end of summer flavors in one delicious salad.

This post is sponsored by Prosciutto di Parma.

Orzo Salad

prosciutto & herbs

Sharing another recipe today inspired by Prosciutto di Parma! If you missed my summer cheese & charcuterie picnic board from last week, definitely check that out before the summer ends. But today, it’s all about this really fun orzo salad.

Prosciutto di Parma is the perfect ingredient to add to any type of pasta salad for a rich, flavorful bite. Its smooth & buttery texture is such a great contrast to all the fresh produce. And unlike other cured meats, it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients, but instead adds just a subtle savory flavor.

charred corn

salad ingredients in a mixing bowl

orzo salad with Prosciutto di Parma & parmesan vinaigrette – the details

Since parmesan cheese and Prosciutto di Parma is such a natural combination, I took lots of grated parm and blended it up into a flavor-packed vinaigrette – full of garlic, white wine vinegar, honey, lemon, and black pepper.

The vinaigrette is made right in the food processor, so it’s simple and comes together effortlessly. Since it’s a richer vinaigrette, I wanted the rest of the ingredients to be really fresh. I used up some lovely late summer produce by charring corn and caramelizing tomatoes in a hot skillet before cooling them down and adding them to the salad.

A little arugula and some fresh herbs are all you need to finish things off. Everything gets tossed together with the orzo and vinaigrette. I add some Prosciutto di Parma right into the salad, but like to leave the rest to drape over top.

Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad

I’m thinking this orzo salad would be absolutely perfect to serve for Labor Day. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge until the rest of your menu is ready to go. I like to let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes or so just to take the chill off before serving.

It’s an orzo salad that’s packed with flavor, yet so refreshing. Just the thing we need to help enjoy these last warm days of the year!


Orzo Salad with Prosciutto & Parmesan Vinaigrette

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a fresh orzo salad full of charred corn, caramelized cherry tomatoes, arugula, herbs, Prosciutto di Parma, and a garlicky parmesan vinaigrette

servings: 4-6


  • ¾ lb orzo
  • olive oil
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 30 cracks fresh black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 oz arugula
  • 3 oz thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, each slice cut into thirds
  • ¼ cup packed basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tbsp minced chives


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the orzo and cook according to the package’s instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water to fully cool, and drain again.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the bottom. Place the corn into the hot skillet. Cook on all sides for about 10 minutes until slightly charred and tender, flipping continuously. Allow the corn to cool, then slice off the kernels.
  3. In the same skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and a good pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until burst. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until caramelized and softened, about 10 minutes longer. Let cool.
  4. Add the garlic, parmesan, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse to combine. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive and vegetable oils.
  5. Combine the orzo, corn, tomatoes, arugula, Prosciutto di Parma, basil, and chives in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle in the parmesan vinaigrette and toss well. Serve at room temperature.

Orzo Salad

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