Light, Fresh Greek Orzo Salad
If you love the classic combination of Mediterranean flavors, such as Kalamata olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese, look no further than this make-ahead, colorful, healthy Greek orzo salad!
It’s loaded with veggies, is tossed with a homemade red wine vinaigrette, and will be the perfect side dish for any and all summer cookouts and gatherings. It can be served warm, cold, or room temperature, and is easily turned into a full meal with grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon. We absolutely love it!
Ingredients For Greek Orzo Salad
- Orzo: Thin, rice-shaped pasta (or pastina). White or whole wheat is fine!
- English cucumber: You can use any type of cucumber you want (substitute with 2 Persian cucumbers, for instance), but we love the taste and texture of English cucumbers.
- Red onion: If the flavor of raw red onion is too intense, you can use thinly sliced or finely chopped shallot instead.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes: Any tomato will work, but smaller tomatoes such as cherry or grape tend to hold their shape better. If you’re making this a few days in advance, an heirloom or vine ripe tomato will become a soggy, mushy mess.
- Sweet bell pepper: Use any color you like: yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, diced
- Kalamata olives: For that classic Greek salad flavor, we recommend pitted Kalamata olives. Castelvetrano olives are our second choice!
- Feta cheese: A block of fresh feta cheese is a must!
- Parsley and oregano: We love the addition of fresh herbs to add a bright flavor to the orzo salad. Finely chop parsley and mix in, then sprinkle the finished dish with a few fresh oregano leaves for garnish. Fresh basil is delicious too!
For the red wine vinaigrette, typical in Greek salads, you’ll need: extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh lemon zest and juice, honey, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Make-Ahead Greek Orzo Salad
To make the orzo salad dressing, combine EVOO, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in a 2-cup measuring cup or mason jar with lid.Whisk well (or shake) to emulsify.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the orzo until tender, not al dente. Drain, then transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the remaining salad ingredients (except for feta!): black olives, chopped bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle the red wine dressing on top, then give it a good stir.
Add crumbled feta cheese and lots of chopped parsley, then toss once more. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. The salad should feel well dressed (not at all dry), and have a salty bite, but fresh Mediterranean flavor. And don’t even get us started on that crunch from the cucumber and bell peppers – YUM!
How Long Will Orzo Salad Keep?
When stored properly in an airtight container, orzo salad (and most pasta salads) will keep for 4-5 days in a refrigerator. We love these Zwilling Fresh & Save vacuum seal containers for meal prep and leftovers!
What To Serve With Greek Orzo Salad
Greek orzo salad is a veggie-forward dish, so we usually pair it with a protein like grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon. Easy, well rounded meal!
It’s light, it’s flavorful, and it’s ready to be the star of your next cookout. What are you waiting for?!
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More recipes to try!
- Israeli Couscous Salad
- Vegan Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Lemon Kale Caesar Salad
- Eggplant Caponata
- Antipasto Salad
Greek Orzo Salad Recipe
- 16 oz orzo
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1 medium bell pepper seeded and diced
- ½ medium red onion diced
- ½ English cucumber halved and sliced into half moons
- ½ cup Kalamata olives pitted and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup fresh feta cheese crumbled
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- fresh oregano for garnish
For the red wine vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice plus 1 lemon zested
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the orzo. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Season generously with Kosher salt (about 2 Tbsp), then add orzo, stir, and cook according to package directions, about 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then transfer orzo to a large mixing bowl.
- Make the salad dressing. Combine ⅓ cup EVOO, ¼ red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1 lemon zested, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp Kosher salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper in a mason jar, then seal. Shake tightly until emulsified. Alternatively, you can whisk all ingredients together in a measuring cup or bowl. Set aside.
- Mix the salad. To the orzo, add tomatoes, diced bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, and Kalamata olives. Drizzle the dressing on top, then toss well to thoroughly coat. Add crumbled feta and chopped parsley, then stir once more. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Just before serving, garnish with a few fresh oregano leaves.
- While the recipe makes the desired amount of dressing for this salad, you can increase the quantity of veggies to fit your specific tastes, adding as much or as little as you like!
- Greek orzo salad will keep in an airtight container in a refrigerator for 4-5 days. Do not freeze.