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This Orzo Salad is layered with fresh and flavorful ingredients, including crisp cucumber, juicy tomatoes, briny olives and salty feta cheese. This Greek-inspired pasta salad is the perfect side dish for any summer occasion!
Meet our new favorite pasta salad: Orzo Salad! This easy recipe is loaded with fresh, zippy flavor. It starts with orzo pasta, perfectly cooked to al dente. Tomatoes add little bursts of sweetness, while cucumber lends a satisfying crunch. Briny olives, salty feta and fresh basil bring the flavors of the Mediterranean, while a simple Greek salad dressing ties it all together.
This beautiful salad is the perfect side dish for your next summer BBQ or potluck. Or, enjoy it as a meatless main dish for lunch or dinner. If you’d like to make it a more filling meal, the salad would be delicious with some grilled chicken added as well.
Greek Orzo Salad Recipe Ingredients
There are many variations on orzo pasta salad, and this is our favorite version. It’s a spinoff of this Greek Salad Recipe, and the ingredients come together wonderfully to create a mouthwatering combination of flavors and textures.
- Orzo Pasta: Orzo pasta is a small pasta shape that looks similar to grains of rice. I love it because it lets the other fresh ingredients in this orzo pasta salad take center stage.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are an easy way to make this healthy salad more filling, since they’re a good source of satiating protein and fiber.
- Cucumber: I recommend using an English cucumber. English cucumbers have thin skin and small seeds so they don’t require peeling or seeding. If you only have a regular cucumber, just peel off the skin, then halve it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds before chopping.
- Tomatoes: Halved cherry or grape tomatoes work best. If using large tomatoes, drain off any excess juices after chopping so that they don’t water down the salad.
- Red Onion: Sweet and spicy, thinly slice it to moderate its sharp bite.
- Kalamata Olives: Briny Kalamata olives are so delicious in this salad!
- Feta Cheese: Creamy, salty feta is a must in any Greek salad.
- Fresh Basil: Have extra basil on hand? Make some Basil Pesto!
- Greek Salad Dressing: A tangy combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
Salad Dressing Options
This recipe includes a simple homemade Greek Salad Dressing. This bright and tangy Lemon Vinaigrette would also be delicious with this salad. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of dressing.
How to Make the Best Orzo Salad
Learn how to make orzo salad in just a few easy steps!
- Cook the orzo. Cooking the pasta in salted water flavors it right from the start. Cook it to al dente, so that it has a little bite to it and isn’t mushy. Then transfer the cooked orzo to a colander, rinse it with cold water and drain it well. Place the orzo in a large bowl.
- Make the dressing by whisking together the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the orzo and toss to coat the pasta.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients and stir everything together. Finally, gently stir in the basil.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
The salad can be served immediately but is even better if you chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. The flavors will blend together as the salad chills.
What to Serve with Orzo Salad
You can serve this orzo salad with other favorite Mediterranean dishes, such as gyros, skewers, pita bread, hummus and tzatziki. It’s also delicious as a side dish with these dinner recipes:
- Kabobs: Try Chicken Kabobs or Steak Kabobs.
- Grilled Meats: Orzo salad is the perfect side for Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Steak.
- Burgers and Sandwiches: Try our classic Turkey Burger Recipe, Black Bean Burgers or Instant Pot BBQ Chicken.
This easy salad stays fresh for a few days in the fridge, so it’s ideal for meal prep lunches (just like this Greek Chickpea Salad). Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Fresh basil can brown over time, especially after chopping, so you may wish to wait and add it right before serving.
More Summer Salad Recipes
If you love this easy orzo salad, you might also enjoy these salad recipes:
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Best Potato Salad
- Grilled Corn Salad
I always get so excited when this orzo salad is on our meal plan! Give it a try and then leave a comment to let me know how you liked it.
- 8 ounces orzo pasta, about 1 ¼ cups uncooked
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and then thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup sliced fresh basil
For the Greek Dressing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the orzo and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain into a colander, rinse with cold water, drain well, and then transfer to a large bowl.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over the orzo and stir to coat the pasta with the dressing.
- Add the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives and feta cheese to the salad. Stir to combine. Gently stir in the basil.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or chill a few hours in the refrigerator before serving.
- The salad can be stored it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.