Quick and easy to make Greek Orzo Salad is loaded with fresh crunchy veggies and all of your favorite Mediterranean flavors. This healthy pasta salad recipe is perfect for picnics, potlucks, or barbeques or as an easy, flavorful side dish for dinner.
The best Greek Orzo Salad recipe!
The BEST Mediterranean Greek Orzo Salad made with the fresh and crunchy veggies that are found in an authentic Greek Salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion. Tossed with orzo and all your favorite Greek flavors – Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and a delicious lemon vinaigrette.
What is orzo?
Orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta made of durum wheat semolina flour. Orzo is Italian for “barley” due to its resemblance to the grain. This small pasta is categorized as “pastina,” which means “little pasta.” In traditional Italian cooking, orzo is used in soups and broths, but it’s also great as a side dish and in pasta salads.
Ingredients in Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Veggies in an authentic Greek Salad – tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion. Green bell pepper is traditional, but I like to use red and green for color and flavor. I use the mini cucumbers, but you can also use an English cucumber or a regular cucumber.
- Fresh herbs – use a mix of what you like and have on hand. I’ve used parsley and mint here. You could also use basil and/or dill.
- Kalamata olives
- Feta cheese
- Lemon herb vinaigrette – a simple vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, lemon, olive oil, dried oregano, and salt. I like to add a clove of garlic as well.
How to make Greek Orzo Salad
Cook the orzo: Boil the orzo just like pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled. Drain again and put into a large mixing bowl.
Chop the veggies and herbs: I like to chop the veggies small to be more similar to the size of the orzo, but chunky is fine too. Soak the chopped onion in cool water for about 10 minutes to remove the strong flavor.
Make the vinaigrette dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.
Mix all the ingredients: Toss the orzo, the veggies and herbs, the dressing, and the crumbled feta together.
Chill: Refrigerate for an hour or two to chill the salad and infuse the flavors.
Is Orzo eaten hot or cold?
Orzo can be eaten hot or cold. I prefer to eat this Greek Orzo Salad either chilled or at a cool room temperature.
How long is Greek Orzo Salad good for?
Greek Orzo Salad will keep for about 4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
Greek Orzo Salad
- 16 oz orzo (454g)
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 3 mini cucumbers chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- ½ red onion chopped, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained
- 1 large bell pepper chopped (red, green, or half of each)
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley and mint *see note
- 1 cup Kalamata olives chopped (about 4.7oz)
- 4 oz feta cheese crumbled
- For the lemon vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt to taste
- Optional: 1-2 cloves garlic finely minced
- Cook and drain the orzo: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled. Drain again and put into a large mixing bowl.
- Make the vinaigrette dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.
- Mix all the ingredients: Toss the orzo, the veggies and herbs, the dressing, and the crumbled feta and olives together.
- Chill: Refrigerate for an hour or two to chill the salad and infuse the flavors or serve right away.
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