- Food: Orzo Salad
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
This orzo salad recipe is ideal for summer cookouts and picnics! It’s bursting with flavor thanks to feta cheese, olives, and a zingy Greek dressing.
Make this orzo salad recipe if you need a last-minute side dish for a barbecue or picnic this weekend! It’s light and tasty, simple to put together, and, like any good picnic salad, it’s great to prepare ahead of time.
Toss it up a few hours to a day ahead of time for a summer get-together, and it’ll still be delicious when it’s time to dine.
Even if you’re not having a picnic this weekend (or if your menu is already planned), keep this orzo salad dish on hand. It’s a terrific meal to pack for lunch because it stores so well.
Crisp cucumbers and luscious tomatoes contrast with salty, acidic feta cheese and briny olives. It’s filling thanks to the orzo pasta and chickpeas, and it’s finished off with a zingy Greek dressing.
Ingredients for Orzo Salad
To prepare this orzo pasta salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Of course, orzo! I really like how this small pasta shape blends in with the other ingredients.
- Cherry tomatoes — For a burst of sweet, juicy flavor.
- Persian cucumbers lend a cold, refreshing crunch to the dish.
- Slice the red onions as finely as possible. If you have a mandoline, I recommend utilizing it!
- The salty, briny flavor of Kalamata olives contrasts nicely with the fresh herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
- Feta cheese — For this dish, use crumbled feta instead of pre-crumbled feta. Instead, search for feta in a block form, preferably brined. It has a lot better flavor and texture. You won’t be able to get the crumbled kind ever again!
- Chickpeas — I can’t get enough of garbanzo beans with Mediterranean flavors like feta and olives, so I couldn’t leave them out of this orzo salad. They also give it greater weight.
- Greek salad dressing – I add an extra tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a huge squeeze of lemon juice to the dressing in this orzo salad to make it particularly vivid.
- Choose one or a combination of fresh mint and basil.
- Also, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to bring out the flavors!
While the orzo is cooking, dice the vegetables, feta, and olives.
After that, whisk together the dressing and toss everything together. It’s as easy as that to make delicious orzo salad!
Recipe Suggestions for Orzo Salad
- Cook the pasta until it is slightly firmer than al dente. I cook the pasta just past al dente whenever I prepare a pasta salad so that it stays tender when it cools.
- Allow cooling before adding the vegetables. The tomatoes, cucumber, and onion will begin to wilt if you toss them with a hot orzo. Instead, drain the cooked orzo, sprinkle it with olive oil to keep it from sticking together, and spread it out evenly on a big baking sheet to cool. Continue with the recipe once it has reached room temperature.
- Make it ahead of time. You may create this orzo salad up to a day ahead of time, but keep the herbs to add right before serving. They’ll wilt if they sit in the dressing for too long, so toss them in right before you eat. In the fridge, the salad may also dry out a little. If you believe it needs additional moisture, sprinkle it with olive oil before serving to loosen it up.
Serving Suggestions for Orzo Salad
This orzo salad is a great side dish for summer cookouts and picnics. Combine it with grilled corn on the cob or vegetables, broccoli salad, potato salad, and/or coleslaw for a complete meal. If you’re looking for a main meal, consider one of these:
- Vegetarian Burger
- BBQ Black Bean Burgers Made Simple Sandwiches with Jackfruit
- Burger with Portobello Mushrooms
- Sandwich with Chickpea Salad
If there are any leftovers, preserve them for the next day’s lunch. The salad creates a light yet filling supper on its own, thanks to the orzo, chickpeas, feta, and olives.
|Time to Prepare: 30 minutes
Time to cook: 8 minutes
This orzo salad is a light and refreshing side dish or vegetarian lunch! Save the herbs to add at the last minute if you’re making it ahead of time. Before serving, I recommend tossing the salad with a sprinkle of olive oil.
- 1½ cups orzo pasta
- 1 recipe for Greek Salad Dressing
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Persian cucumbers, halved vertically and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 cup fresh basil and/or mint leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A big saucepan of salted water should be brought to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is little past al dente, as directed on the packet. To keep the orzo from sticking together, drain it and sprinkle it with a little olive oil. Allow cooling on a baking sheet.
- Combine the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, and sea salt in the Greek Salad Dressing.
- Toss the cooked orzo, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, feta, red onion, and olives in a large mixing dish. Drizzle half of the herbs over the salad, season with freshly ground black pepper, and toss to combine. Serve with the remaining herbs as a garnish.