Greek Orzo Salad - Baker by Nature (2024)

by Ashley Manila 12 Comments

This Greek Orzo Salad Recipe bursts with flavor thanks to feta cheese, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and kalamata olives. We use chickpeas for our protein, feel free to use grilled chicken or shrimp instead! Topped with a zesty Greek salad dressing, this is the perfect summer pasta salad recipe.Just combine the ingredients in a large bowl, add the dressing, and toss!

You’ll Love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe…

Say hello to the ultimate summer recipe: greek orzo salad! This pasta salad recipe is perfect for parties, picnics, and potlucks. Because it’seasy to make ahead of timeandperfect for feeding a hungry crowd! It’s also very forgiving and adaptable.

Feel free toswap the pasta,modify the veggies, oradd a protein like chicken or shrimp! I have a millionpasta salad recipesin my recipe box… but this Greek Orzo Pasta Salad is one of my all-time favorites. It comes together in 20 minutes and it’ll keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days!

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad: Ingredients

  • Orzo:Although it looks like rice,orzois actually a small variety of pasta that works great in soups and salads. Feel free to use regular or wheat orzo! And if you can’t find orzo, use another small pasta like macaroni or orecchiette. Just be sure to cook it al dente!
  • Tomatoes:When it comes to tomatoes, use whatever variety looks best! Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or even chopped heirloom or vine tomatoes will work great.
  • Cucumber:I love using english cucumber in this recipe, but almost any cucumber variety will work. Feel free to peel the cucumber or leave the peel on if you prefer.
  • Feta Cheese:Use the best variety of feta cheese you can get your hands on! For the best flavor, I suggest buying a large block of feta cheese and crumbling it yourself.
  • Red Onion:If you’re not a fan of red onion, feel free to omit the onion or reduce the amount.
  • Kalamata Olives:You’ll use the olives in the dressing as well as the salad. You can buy fresh or jarred olives. I suggest buying water packed olives vs oil packed olives, but both will work in a pinch.
  • Red Bell Pepper:Fresh red pepper adds a delicious crunch, jarred roasted red peppers make a fine replacement.
  • Green Pepper:Not a green pepper fan? Feel free to omit this ingredient, no need to add anything in its place.
  • Chickpeas:I used canned chickpeas, but you could certainly soak your own. Be sure to rinse and pat your chickpeas dry before adding them to the salad.

Greek Salad Dressing: More than Just Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

  • Olive Oil:The base of our red wine vinaigrette! Use a quality oil you enjoy the taste of. Feel free to lean into the Greek and use a Greek olive oil!
  • Garlic:I prefer fresh garlic and 100% suggest using it for the salad dressing. But in a pinch, use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Oregano:I prefer using fresh oregano, but you can use dried oregano if you cannot find fresh. Use half the amount called for.
  • Lemon Juice:Fresh lemon juice – and zest- adds acidity and brightness to the salad dressing.
  • Red Wine Vinegar:For a more intense vinegar flavor, add an extra tablespoon to the salad dressing recipe.
  • Dijon Mustard:Any variety will work, but we love Grey Poupon.
  • Seasoning:Sugar, salt, and pepper helps enhance all flavors in the dressing and salad. I suggest starting with a small amount, tasing, then adding more salt and pepper if desired.

This salad is extremely versatile, so feel free to use it as a starting point. Then shake it up and make it your own. This is one of those pasta salad recipes that’s hard to “mess up”.

Feel free to try adding fresh herbs like parsley, using white beans instead of chickpeas, or adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon!

How to Cook Orzo for Salad

  1. Bring a Large Pot of water to a Boil:Do not cook the orzo according to the package instructions.
  2. Cook the Orzo:For 6 to 7 minutes, or until al dente. You want to pull the pasta before it’s soft all the way through.
  3. Drain:You’ll want to drain the pasta right after you cook the orzo, and then rinse it under cold water. Rinsing the orzo with cold water will stop it from cooking any more and cool it off quickly.
  4. Use as Directed:Place the orzo in a large bowl and use as directed in the recipe!

How to Make Orzo Salad

  1. Cook the Pasta:Bring a large pot of water a boil then cook the pasta until al dente. Place in a large bowl and set aside until needed.
  2. Prep the Veggies:I suggest cutting everything into bite-sized pieces so it’s easy to eat.
  3. Make the Salad Dressing:Be sure to taste before dressing your salad. Season with salt and pepper as needed. If it tastes flat, feel free to add extra fresh lemon juice or vinegar.
  4. Toss the Salad:To the large bowl, add the salad dressing, chickpeas, chopped vegetables, feta cheese, and toss. You can sprinkle a little extra feta cheese on top to make it look pretty.
  5. Serve your Salad:Serve right away, or cover the bowl and place it in the fridge. It’ll keep for up to 5 days… not that it ever lasts that long in my house!

Jump to the recipe for the full list of ingredients and instructions!

Tools Needed for this Orzo Salad Recipe:

  • Large Mixing Bowl:Toss and serve your salad in style with this large bowl.
  • Salad Servers:You’ll need salad servers, so you might as well invest in some sturdy and pretty ones right?
  • Cutting Board:This is my favorite cutting board because it’s easy to store and dishwasher friendly.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife:A sharp knife is. must for chopping up all those veggies, and this one is a true workhorse.
  • Liquid Measuring Cup:I love using a large liquid measuring cup to make the salad dressing (and all vinaigrettes).
  • Kalamata Olives:These are truly my favorite olives, so fresh and flavorful! They taste amazing in this recipe.

This post may contain affiliate links!

More Summer Salad Recipes:

  • 20-Minute Greek Pasta Salad
  • Easy Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • 20-Minute Chicken Bruschetta Quinoa Salad
  • Pesto Orzo Pasta Salad with Zucchini, Goat Cheese, and Tomatoes
  • 20-Minute Easy BLT Pasta Salad
  • Avocado BLT Pasta Salad

Greek Orzo Salad

Ashley Manila

This Greek Orzo Salad Recipe bursts with flavor thanks to feta cheese, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and kalamata olives. We use chickpeas for our protein, feel free to use grilled chicken or shrimp instead! Topped with a zesty Greek salad dressing, this is the perfect summer pasta salad recipe. Just combine the ingredients in a large bowl, add the dressing, and toss!

5 from 5 votes

PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE

Prep Time 12 minutes mins

Cook Time 8 minutes mins

Total Time 20 minutes mins

Course Dinner

Cuisine American

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1 large english cucumber sliced in half lengthwise then cut into half moons
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and sliced in half
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeds removed and diced
  • 1 small green pepper seeds removed and diced
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 8 ounce container feta cheese crumbled

For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Oregano finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper more to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Kalamata olives finely chopped

Instructions

  • Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes.

  • Drain pasta and rinse under cold water until cool.

  • Place pasta in a large serving bowl and set aside.

  • In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and dressing.

For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, zest, mustard, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, and olives. Whisk well until completely combined. Add dressing to orzo.

  • Add vegetables, olives, chickpeas, and feta to the orzo bowl and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

  • Serve at once, or chill until needed. Salad will keep, covered and stored in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Mix well before serving.

Tried it and loved it?Snap a picture and share it with me on Instagram @Bakerbynature and by using the hashtag #BakerByNature

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Greek Orzo Salad - Baker by Nature (2024)

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