Orzo Pasta Salad is a great twist on a classic pasta salad recipe and is a perfect lunch or side dish.
Tender riced-sized pasta is tossed with fresh tomatoes, spinach, and chickpeas. It’s mixed with easy lemon dressing and topped with feta cheese for the perfect bite!
Fresh, tangy, and tasty recipe, serve it as a vegetarian main dish or alongside grilled chicken or shrimp.
Ingredients for Orzo Pasta Salad
ORZO – Since this is an orzo pasta salad, I use orzo, which is pasta shaped like large grains of rice. It can be found in the pasta aisle of almost any grocery store and it’s great for salads or cooked and served hot. Any mini pasta can be used.
VEGGIES – Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes add a tangy freshness. We also love fresh spinach (or massaged kale) in this orzo pasta salad recipe. Add in your favorite crisp and crunchy vegetables, almost anything goes.
CHICKPEAS – Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) add texture and protein to this salad (but they aren’t the base of the salad like they are in a Chickpea Salad).
BOLD FLAVORS: I add a bit of red onion and some feta cheese along with a simple zesty homemade dressing.
- add your fave veggies from chopped cauliflower to cucumbers or red bell peppers
- stir in kalamata olives, chopped artichokes, or sundried tomatoes
- before serving, sprinkle with fresh herbs like fresh mint, dill, parsley, or fresh basil
- swap the feta for goat cheese
Dressing for Orzo Pasta Salad
This dressing takes just a couple of minutes but you can use any vinaigrette for an Orzo Pasta Salad.
- Use a light flavored olive oil, extra virgin olive oil can be a bit bitter for dressings.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon honey in place of sugar if desired
- lemon zest or fresh dill can be added
- to make it fast, shake the dressing in a mason jar with a lid
To Make Orzo Pasta Salad
This orzo pasta salad is super easy to prepare.
- Whisk together orzo salad dressing ingredients.
- Cook orzo until tender, then drain and cool.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Make-Ahead for the Best Flavor
- Cook the orzo and rinse under cold water to stop it from cooking.
- Whisk dressing ingredients and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Re-toss before serving.
- This salad contains lots of fresh ingredients and they will keep for a few days but it’s best served within about 48 hours.
Keep some tomatoes and feta aside for garnish if desired.
More Tasty Pasta Salads
- Bow Tie Pasta Salad – ham, peas and cheddar cheese
- Pesto Pasta Salad – ready in 20 mins!
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad – Fresh and flavorful!
- BLT Pasta Salad– bacon, cheese, and a cool ranch dressing!
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad – 5 fresh greek veggies!
- Italian Pasta Salad – perfect made ahead side dish
Easy Orzo Pasta Salad
- 1 ½ cups orzo
- 15 ounces garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup red onion finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh spinach chopped
- 1 ½ cups tomatoes diced
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook orzo until tender. Cool.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.
- Combine orzo with remaining salad ingredients.
- Toss with dressing and season with salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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