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Orzo Salad


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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!

Orzo salad in a white serving bowl.

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.

Ingredients for orzo salad recipe.

  • 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!

  1. 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.
  2. Make the dressing by whisking together the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the orzo and toss to coat the pasta. Two photos that show pouring dressing on orzo and then stirring to combine.
  3. Add the remaining salad ingredients and stir everything together. Finally, gently stir in the basil. Tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, olives and feta added to bowl with orzo.
  4. 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. 

Orzo salad in a white bowl with lemon slices to the side.

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:

Storage Instructions

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:

Close up of Greek orzo 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.

Orzo Salad

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword greek orzo salad, orzo pasta salad, orzo salad
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 276kcal
This Orzo Salad will be the hit of the party! With feta, olives, tomatoes and chickpeas, this healthy pasta salad is full of Mediterranean flavors. Serve it as a side dish with your favorite summer meals.

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • The salad can be stored it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 305mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 454IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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