Mediterranean Orzo Salad combines orzo (rice shaped pasta) with our favorite mediterranean veggies all in one tangy and nourishing side dish. It’s dressed in a delicious Greek salad dressing for the perfect bite.
This orzo pasta salad recipe is simple to prepare and delicious served with roasted or grilled chicken.
Easy Orzo Salad
What is Orzo? Ingredients in this orzo salad include cooked orzo which is a rice shaped pasta. It is often served on as a side dish (like this Mediterranean orzo pasta salad) or used the base ingredient in our favorite pasta salad recipes.
- Veggies: Cucumbers, tomatoes and artichokes
- Bold Flavors: crumbled feta, sliced black olives, and red onion.
- Dressing: An easy Greek dressing (store bought or homemade below).
You can add or substitute other veggies too, as you desire. Garbanzo beans or diced bell peppers are good in pasta salads too. You can also add some wilted spinach leaves to make a nutritious orzo spinach pasta salad.
How to Make Orzo Salad
Orzo salad is a dish that requires a little bit of prep work, so get out your cutting board and sharpen your chef’s knife.
How to Cook Orzo for Pasta Salad: When prepared properly, orzo has a pleasantly chewy texture. Here’s how to cook it for the perfect orzo pasta salad:
- Bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to boil.
- Add the orzo and stir as the water comes back to a boil to prevent sticking.
- Cook for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender yet slightly firm. Drain and cool.
How to Make Orzo Salad:
- Prep: Slice all the vegetables and chop the artichoke hearts into chunks, reserving the juice for the dressing.
- Dressing: You can use Greek dressing from a bottle, or prepare your own lemon orzo pasta salad dressing.
- Assemble: Combine orzo with chopped and sliced veggies and artichoke hearts. Add crumbled feta cheese. Pour on dressing and mix well, re-mixing several times to re-coat.
Orzo Salad Dressing
Any vinaigrette will work well in this recipe so if you’re short on time, you can use a bottled Greek dressing. Making your own homemade dressing is so easy and tastes better than store bought.
Don’t skip the honey in this recipe, it helps ’emulsify’ the dressing which keeps it from separating. Combine the following in a jar and shake until well combined.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside
The next time you’re planning a picnic or barbecue, this cold orzo salad is a welcome change loaded with flavor! It keeps in the fridge for days making for the perfect make ahead lunch option.
More Tasty Barbecue Side Dishes:
- Italian Pasta Salad – Potluck perfection.
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad – READER. FAVORITE!
- The Best Potato Salad Recipe – simple classic.
- Favorite Spaghetti Salad – fun twist on a pasta salad!
- Old Fashioned Bean Salad – family staple.
Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
- 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta uncooked
- 6 oz marinated artichoke hearts juices reserved
- 1 cup english cucumber diced
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives sliced and pitted
- 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/3 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup Greek dressing or to taste
- parsley for garnish
- Cook orzo in salted water according to package directions.
Drain artichoke hearts reserving liquid for the dressing. Chop artichokes and slice remaining vegetables.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine 2 tablespoons of the artichoke marinade with Greek dressing. Toss with remaining ingredients (or make the homemade dressing recipe below).
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)