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.

serving orzo pasta salad with a wooden spoon

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.

Variations

  • 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

ingredients for orzo pasta salad in a bowl

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.

  1. Whisk together orzo salad dressing ingredients.
  2. Cook orzo until tender, then drain and cool.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Pouring dressing over Orzo pasta salad with tomatoes, spinach and chickpeas in a bowl

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.

orzo pasta salad in a bowl with feta

More Tasty Pasta Salads

serving orzo pasta salad with a wooden spoon
5 from 11 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Orzo Pasta Salad

This easy orzo pasta salad is a fun Mediterranean twist on a classic pasta salad. With tomatoes, spinach and garbanzo beans, it is packed with flavor!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ cups orzo
  • 15 ounces garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
  • cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomatoes diced
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbled

Dressing

  • cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions 

  • 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

Notes

Orzo Pasta Salad will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Stir before serving again. 
5 from 11 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 309 | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 990IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mediterranean

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Orzo salad was a great recipe. A lot of flavor and very refreshing for summertime. A definite keeper! Thanks5 stars

  2. I just made this for lunch today and it was so delicious! A great spring/summer meal- very fresh, cool, and healthy. I soaked the onions for about half an hour before adding them to the salad and I added in some cucumber, the rest of the recipe I followed exactly, including the dressing. The orzo and chickpeas were a great balance with the vegetables and the feta gave it a little saltiness. The dressing was great on top, with the fresh lemon and the slight bite from the mustard. I will definitely make this again- thank you for the great recipe!5 stars