This Southwest Orzo Salad post is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bush’s Beans. The opinions and text are all mine.
Flavorful, healthy, refreshing, texture packed Southwest Orzo Salad will actually have you craving salad! Its loaded with sweet mangoes, hearty BUSH’S® Black Beans, fresh corn, crunchy peppers, creamy avocado, punchy red onions and cilantro all doused with the most incredible tangy sweet heat Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette! This make-ahead Southwest Orzo Salad is an ideal side for any occasion (hello summer potlucks!) or add some chicken and make it dinner!
Every so often a salad comes along that has me actually craving salad. This Southwest Orzo Salad with Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette is such a salad. A love at first bite salad. A take to every summer picnic, potluck, BBQ, pool party type of pasta salad.
This salad was inspired by the flavor elements in Food Network Kitchen Arepas with Black Beans, Mango and Avocado. These traditional Venezuelan snacks (think griddled and stuffed corn cakes) are all dressed up with spicy and smoky black beans—thanks to a chipotle chile in adobo sauce—and slices of mango and avocado. And they are perfectly portable: wrap them up and take them to-go. See VIDEO HERE.
This orzo salad recipe is also bursting with smoky chipotle, mangoes, avocados, and BUSH’S® Black Beans and is truly exceptional because:
1. Although this Southwest Orzo Salad might appear like just a side dish at first glance, it really is an appetizer, salad, and dinner all in one! You can top it with chopped lettuce, a dollop of sour cream and dig in with chips for an exquisite appetizer (SO GOOD)! Or it is hearty enough to stand alone as an entree because BUSH’S® Black Beans is a super food, well at least in my book. BUSH’S® Black Beans boast 7 g of protein, 6 g of fiber, are super low in fat, cholesterol-free, gluten-free and have only 105 calories in a serving!
I am such a fan of BUSH’S® Black Beans and how they allow me to prepare healthy and delicious meals in such a short amount of time. By tossing BUSH’S® Black Beans into dinner, you’re instantly adding protein and fiber and a whole lot of YUM like in my Southwest Pepper Jack Salad, One Pot Chicken Fajita Soup, TexMex Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta, Chipotle Mango Black Bean Chili, Chicken Fajita Wraps, Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad, One Pot Cilantro Rice with Black Beans, 30 Minute Skinny Sante Fe Pasta and on and on and on…
2. This Southwest Orzo Salad can be on the table in 30 minutes! Its so invitingly easy – just chop your mangoes/veggies, rinse and drain your BUSH’S® Black Beans and shake up your salad dressing and that’s it! Another win for hassle free BUSH’S® Black Beans.
3. This Southwest Orzo Salad is healthy, loaded with a rainbow of fiestalicious flavors and textures from mangoes, corn, BUSH’S® Black Beans, peppers, red onion, tomatoes, avocados and cilantro. All the components are delicious individually but add them together and you have an explosion of exponential deliciousness.
4. This Southwest Orzo Salad is great to make in advance. You can prep this Southwest Orzo Salad almost completely ahead of time as BUSH’S® Black Beans and other salad ingredients keep beautifully – just leave the avocados until the last minute. This make-ahead factor gives you a stress free side/potluck ace at a seconds notice or allows you to feast on its deliciousness throughout the week. If you do make ahead of time, I like to keep the pasta salad and dressing separate and then toss just before serving as it keeps the flavors fresh and bright.
5. The orzo itself has a wonderfully satisfying texture. I chose orzo specifically for this pasta salad because to me, orzo is rice’s pasta cousin. Orzo’s texture is a mix between a pasta and a rice, so it lends itself fabulously to anything Mexican related, particularity black beans, and fabulously to this Southwest Orzo Salad.
6. This Southwest Orzo Salad boasts an extra punch of flavor by tossing the orzo with a couple tablespoons of the Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette right after its cooked and drained. I borrowed this technique from my traditional pasta cooking – whenever I cook a pasta, I toss the cooked pasta with a couple tablespoons of olive oil to keep it moist and from sticking together.
7. This Southwest Orzo Salad is doused in delectable Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette that boasts a sweet heat that’s light and refreshing – without any mayo! I am so in loooooovve with this dressing. Its packed with flavor from not only the honey and lime but chipotle powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Its the perfect enlivening accompaniment to the orzo/veggies that you will strongly be tempted to drink all by itself. But trust me, its even better with the salad.
Exceptionally delicious Southwest Orzo Salad. Bright, healthy, DE-licious and packed with veggies and protein thanks to BUSH’S® Black Beans! This versatile Southwest Orzo Salad its guaranteed to become a new favorite in your home and a new favorite at all your summer gatherings!
Want to try this Southwest Orzo Salad with Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bush’s Beans. The opinions and text are all mine.