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This Mediterranean Orzo Salad combines a wonderful mix of flavors, colors, and textures to make a great pasta dish. Everything comes together in this zesty summer side dish for a perfect party favorite or cookout add-on.

Fresh orzo salad in a white bowl.
Get out your fresh summer ingredients and give this Orzo Salad a whirl today.

This recipe is bursting with flavor, but is healthy and tasty. You can make this quickly, but it is a great make-ahead dish that can be served as a side or a light main. Not only is it easy, this Orzo Salad is very versatile. Add or subtract ingredients, as you like, to make this the perfect dish for you.

If you are looking for other great summer side dishes, check out this easy Coleslaw recipe or this Crab Pasta Salad Recipe. If you are looking for some great main dishes that would go with this, check out these tasty Lamb Burgers, Grilled Blackened Shrimp, or this Foil Packet Grilled Salmon recipe. No matter what, make sure to treat yourself.

🔥 Ingredients

There are a number of ingredients in this recipe, but they are all simple. Here is what you need for the dressing:

Orzo salad dressing ingredients.
Garlic, salt, pepper, lemon, Extra Virgin Olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Here is what the rest of the salad calls for.

Orzo Salad ingredients.
Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, orzo, red onions, feta cheese, green olives, artichoke hearts, and fresh basil.

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

To start, mix up the dressing by combining the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk or shake everything together until well blended, then set it aside. In a large bowl, combine the cooled, cooked orzo pasta with the halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, diced red onion, fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese, and optional ingredients like sliced green olives, quartered artichoke hearts, and toasted pine nuts.

Once all the salad ingredients are mixed, pour the prepared dressing over the top and stir until everything is well coated. Pop the salad into the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors meld together. When you’re ready to serve, give it a quick stir and enjoy the vibrant, fresh flavors of this Mediterranean Orzo Salad!

🤷 Substitutions and variations

Feel free to swap out orzo for any small pasta like couscous or quinoa for a gluten-free option. If you’re not a fan of feta, goat cheese or mozzarella balls work great. Swap cherry tomatoes with sun-dried tomatoes for a richer flavor.

You can use black olives instead of green for a different twist. Add some protein by tossing in grilled chicken, shrimp, or chickpeas. For extra crunch, try adding chopped bell peppers or radishes. Don’t hesitate to make it your own!

📦 Storage

Store your Mediterranean Orzo Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days. If the salad seems dry after chilling, just add a splash of olive oil and lemon juice before serving. This makes it perfect for meal prep and enjoying throughout the week!

🎓 History tidbit

Orzo, meaning “barley” in Italian, is a rice-shaped pasta often used in Mediterranean cuisine. This versatile pasta dates back to ancient Rome, where it was commonly added to soups and broths.

In Greece, orzo is a staple in many traditional dishes. Orzo salads gained popularity in modern times as a refreshing and easy-to-make dish, combining the pasta’s hearty texture with fresh vegetables and flavorful dressings .

❓ FAQ

What is orzo?

Orzo is a type of pasta shaped like large grains of rice. It’s commonly used in soups, salads, and as a side dish in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

How long does pasta salad last in the fridge?

Pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to stir it before serving and add extra dressing if it seems dry.

Is orzo gluten-free?

Traditional orzo is made from wheat and is not gluten-free. However, you can find gluten-free orzo made from rice or corn in many grocery stores.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • Cool the Orzo: Rinse the cooked orzo under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh, ripe tomatoes and crisp cucumbers will make a big difference in flavor and texture.
  • Marinate the Salad: For best results, let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
Two bowls of orzo salad in white bowls.
Give this fresh and tasty orzo salad recipe a try today.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Mediterranean Orzo Salad recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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Fresh orzo salad in a white bowl.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe

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  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Greek
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Description

This vibrant Mediterranean Orzo Salad is a refreshing blend of orzo pasta, fresh vegetables, and crumbled feta cheese, all tossed in a tangy lemon and olive oil dressing. Perfect for picnics, potlucks, or a light meal, this salad is easy to customize with your favorite ingredients and tastes even better after a few hours in the fridge.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta (dry, cooked according to package instructions, then cooled)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 225 grams), halved
  • 1 medium cucumber (about 185 grams), peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced (60 grams)
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (113 g grams)
  • 1/2 cup Green Olives (about 75 g), pitted and sliced – Green olives, such as Castelvetrano or Cerignola, (optional)
  • 14 ounces Can Quartered artichoke hearts (optional), about 250 gra,s drained
  • 1/3 cups toasted pine nuts (optional)

For Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Make Dressing: Mix dressing ingredients, whisk or shake and set aside
  2. Make Pasta Salad: Combine all other ingredients in large bowl
  3. Mix Pasta Salad and Dressing: Add Dressing and stir
  4. Refrigerate for a few hours and serve

Notes

  • Cool the Orzo: Rinse the cooked orzo under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh, ripe tomatoes and crisp cucumbers will make a big difference in flavor and texture.
  • Marinate the Salad: For best results, let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

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