Greek Orzo Pasta Salad is an easy pasta side dish that's full of crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and creamy feta cheese in a homemade lemony Greek salad dressing.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Our orzo side dish is a less than 30-minute recipe that can be made with a variety of ingredients.
- Create a full meal and add protein such as chicken or shrimp to this Mediterranean orzo salad recipe
- This orzo pasta salad recipe is a crowd-pleaser and travels well for potlucks, summer celebrations, and family gatherings.
- The lemon vinaigrette has some of my favorite Greek flavors and simple pantry staples for bold flavors that complement this healthy pasta salad recipe.
The following are the main ingredients, the full list below in the recipe card.
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- Orzo - A small rice like pasta that cooks very quickly.
- English cucumber - a seedless cucumber that adds crunch to the salad.
- Bell Pepper - Any color bell pepper will work for this recipe. I like red, orange, or yellow for the brightness.
- Feta cheese - A classic Greek cheese that adds saltiness to the Greek pasta salad.
- Red Onions - A favorite for this pasta salad but green onions, shallots, or yellow onions are also great options.
- Kalamata olives - add a bit more saltiness to the salad that blends nicely with the vinaigrette.
- Tomato -Use any type of tomato, such as grape or cherry tomatoes.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper add an extra level of flavor to the Greek orzo pasta.
Greek Dressing Ingredients
- Red Wine Vinegar - a classic flavor for the vinaigrette.
- Olive Oil - any of your favorite oils can be used such as avocado, or grapeseed.
- Oregano -If you have fresh oregano available, use about 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano.
- Lemon Juice - balances the vinegar.
This is an overview of the recipe. The full instructions are below in the recipe card.
- Cook orzo according to the package instructions.
- While the orzo is cooking, cut up the veggies and olives.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. The Greek salad dressing can be made up to 2-3 days ahead of time.
- Mix the veggies with the pasta and pour vinaigrette on the cooked orzo. Refrigerate the orzo pasta salad for at least 1 hour and up to overnight before serving.
- Always taste the salad right before serving and if needed, adjust any seasoning.
Leftovers can be kept in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
The salad can be made ahead of time. We find the flavors blend well overnight.
The Greek vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept in the refrigerator in an airtight covered container.
Expert Tip: Once the large pot of water comes to a boil for the orzo, add salt to the boiling water and then the orzo. The salted water adds flavor to the pasta.
- Use the time wisely, while waiting for the water to boil, cut up the veggies and make the Greek dressing.
- Orzo Salad is a great next day salad. In other words, make it a day ahead and use the storage suggestions to keep the salad in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The salad can be made the day before and add the lemon vinaigrette dressing. Let the salad sit in the refrigerator in a covered large mixing bowl
My preference is to use pitted kalamata olives. Black olives can also be used.
Orzo is a rice-like pasta that is very popular in Mediterranean recipes. It is not naturally gluten-free however, you can purchase gluten-free orzo.
No. There is no need to rinse the pasta before cooking it.
- This is an orzo salad, h you can change the pasta and use any other small shaped pasta such as penne, ziti, or rotini.
- Artichoke hearts can be added to the salad.
- Add a bit of fresh mint as a garnish to enhance the Greek flavors.
- Make this a main course Greek pasta dinner and add either Greek marinated chicken or baked chicken breast to the salad.
- Poached Shrimp would be a fantastic protein to add to the salad.
- Short on time, purchase precut vegetables at your local grocery store.
- If you are in a rush, store-made Greek vinaigrette can be used.
- Sliced kalamata olives are easy to find in any grocery store.
Pair with Baked Crispy Chicken Drumsticks, one of my personal favorites
Baked Chicken Quarters would be a great match.
Marinated Chicken Drumsticks would be a. great combo.
Parmesan Chicken Tenders would be fantastic with this pasta salad recipe.
Chicken Sausage Vegetable Skillet is another great choice to pair with the Greek pasta salad.
Some other Greek-inspired recipes to enjoy are right below.
My Homemade Macaroni Salad is loaded with veggies and always a hit.
Lentil Salad is a great make-ahead salad that is great for summer BBQs, the 4th of July, actually any day.
Red Lentil Salad is an easy vegetarian salad that is another great make-ahead recipe.
Tuna Pasta Salad is a great pasta salad dinner with an abundance of flavor.
Bacon Ranch Potato Salad is a loaded side dish that is always a hit and can be made ahead for any dinner, potluck, or family gathering.
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If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Easy Greek Orzo Salad Recipe
Greek Orzo Salad
- Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Let pasta cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled orzo, diced cucumbers, bell pepper, diced red onion, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese.
- Mix in the Greek Lemon Vinaigrette,( recipe below) combine well.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour, up to overnight to blend flavors.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Taste for seasoning, re-season if needed.
- Serve over the orzo salad.
- Store the pasta salad in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.