Mexican Dish | March 18, 2009

Southwest Orzo and Black Bean Salad

Southwest Orzo and Black Bean Salad

It’s tournament time! Three Utah teams have been invited to the BIG DANCE. Stock the fridge, make some yummy food and enjoy the games. How can you NOT love the NCAA tournament? Ok, well I didn’t always love it… back in the early 80’s “One Shining Moment” a video of tournament highlights and watching Jim Valvano hooked me. Over the years, I graduated from the highlights to the actual games. I’m a little backwards, I know. You’ve never seen “One Shining Moment” ?? click here, this is one of my favorites, 1998, when the Utes played in the championship game. I love that some unknown team (at least to me), this year- Morgan State (15 seed), can make it into the tournament, beat a top seeded team and before you know it the whole nation is talking about Morgan State. I have no idea where they are located- anyone?

Enough with the basketball talk, this is a cooking blog! Southwest Orzo and Black Bean Salad is a great recipe I adapted from Cooking Light a few years back. It’s versatile because it can be served as a salad, or appetizer and is low fat (bonus). As an appetizer, serve with a big bowl of tortilla chips. If you are serving as a salad, chop some romaine lettuce onto a platter and pour the salad over the lettuce, top with the avocado mixture. If you’ve never cooked Orzo, you’ll love this rice shaped pasta. One box will last a long, long time.

U know who I will be cheering for…how about you?

Southwest Orzo and Black Bean Salad


  • 1 cup dried Orzo pasta
  • 1 can 15 oz black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups corn fresh cut, frozen or drained canned
  • 2 firm ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced green onion
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper about 1/2 teaspoon each
  • Avocado topping:
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup non fat low fat or regular sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • tortilla chips
  • chopped lettuce


  1. Boil 2 quarts water. Add pasta, cook until barely tender 9-11 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. In large mixing bowl, mix pasta, beans, corn, tomato, cilantro, onions, lime and lime juice. Toss to combine. Add seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In small bowl, mash avocado with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and sour cream. Salt and pepper.
  3. If serving as an appetizer, pour into serving bowl or platter, top with avocado mixture. Serve with tortilla chips. As a salad, shred romaine lettuce onto platter, top with salad and avocado.

Recipe Notes

-If you are serving as an appetizer, tuck some chips around the inside edge of the bowl just before serving.

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Recipe Rating

  1. Sounds delicious. I intend to make it to take to a fourth of July gathering and serve it as a salad. Thanks for sharing!!