Orzo, Chickpea, and Tahini Salad

Orzo, Chickpea, and Tahini Salad

By Laura Burrack | Updated July 17, 2023

This Orzo, Chickpea, and Tahini Salad recipe combines crisp vegetables with a touch of heat from the harissa.

The recipe makes a vegetarian dinner for one or two with a few leftovers. It would also be perfect as a side dish for a larger group.

I prefer the larger amount of harissa and capers. Depending on the spiciness of the harissa and your love of capers, start with the smaller amount and adjust as desired.

If tomatoes are in season, use your favorite kind, but if it’s not prime tomato season, I suggest using cherry or grape tomatoes as they tend to have the most flavor.

Orzo, Chickpea, and Tahini Salad

Orzo, Chickpea, and Tahini Salad

4 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 servings


  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp harissa
  • 1-2 tbsp capers
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz . orzo
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Begin by cooking the orzo according to the package directions in salted water. When cooked to al dente, drain well and rinse briefly with cold water.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine minced shallot, zest, and juice of one lemon, white wine vinegar, and 1 ½ tsp salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to quick pickle the shallot.
  • In a large bowl, combine olive oil, tahini, and harissa. Stir in shallot, lemon and vinegar mixture along with the drained chickpeas. Then, mix in cooked orzo, parsley, capers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Top with a bit of freshly ground black pepper and season with salt to taste if desired.


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The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

Laura Burrack is a microbiologist with a love of both science and food. She currently lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband. In addition to experimenting in the kitchen to feed groups large and small, she also enjoys visiting the farmer’s market, drinking delicious wine, traveling, watching baseball, and playing broomball.

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  1. Dianne A

    This is a nice change of pace salad and goes together quickly. I quadrupled the “dressing/flavor” part of the recipe, especially the harissa, lemon and vinegar, & capers. Because of the nature of the pasta base, the salad is even more flavorful the next day.

    1. Mark

      Glad you enjoyed it and that’s a good tip about it being more flavorful the next day.