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Greek Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta

This Greek Lemon Orzo Salad with feta is light, refreshing, and perfect for picnics or potlucks. It’s also incredibly easy to make, which is a bonus I’ll take any day of the week.

The ingredients are simple and healthy, but the flavor is amazing!

Half of a bowl of Greek Orzo Salad with lemon halves on the side.

Summertime is the perfect time for fresh salads! And when I say salads, I’m not just talking about lettuce salad in a bowl.

Oh, friends there is so much more to the world of salads! So let’s talk about this recipe…

This lemon orzo salad recipe is choked full of fresh veggies tossed together with some cooked orzo. A simple lemon vinaigrette pulls everything together.

This is basically the perfect dish for summertime or for adding to a cold packed lunch.

Ingredients

Ingredients in a Greek pasta salad with orzo, cucumber, feta and tomatoes.
  • cucumber: I like using English, or Persian cucumbers because they don’t require peeling. These are the kind we see wrapped in the plastic at the grocery store. They also have fewer seeds than a traditional cucumber.
  • Orzo pasta – this pasta is shaped by rice but is actually a pasta. I love it because it cooks quickly and fits easily on a spoon or fork.
  • grape tomatoes
  • kalamata olives
  • red onion – this mellow fellow is milder than its white and yellow counterparts
  • feta cheese – this is always the perfect flavor foil to contrast the briny olives
  • fresh parsley – this herb gives a bright flavor with a touch of bitterness which pairs well with everything else we’ve got goin’ on here.

Dressing Ingredients 

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • garlic cloves – you can mince your own garlic cloves or use the pre-minced variety that you store in the refrigerator. That’s what I do as an easy shortcut.
  • seasonings – dried oregano, salt and black pepper

farm girl tip: to keep this recipes gluten free, use a gluten-free orzo.

How to make this pasta salad

Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions. There’s no need to rinse it.

After draining, I like to spread the cooked pasta on a sheet pan so it cools quicker.

Assemble the in a large bowl.

Once it has cooled but is still warm, add it to a large bowl. Add in the orzo, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onion, feta, and parsley.

Set it aside and we’ll make the lemon vinaigrette.

Assembled ingredients in a large glass bowl.

Whisk the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. 

Lemon vinaigrette in a bowl with a whisk.

Pour the dressing over the warm pasta mixture and toss to combine. 

Making a orzo salad in a large glass bowl with olive oil and herbs.

Variations

  • For extra lemony flavor, grate the lemon zest into the dressing before juicing the lemon.
  • Use creamy goat cheese or slightly salty parmesan cheese as a cheese alternative.
  • Have leftover roasted asparagus? Chop it up and toss it into the salad too. All are welcome here!

Substitutions

Regular cucumbers may be substituted.

Any type of tomato can be used such as cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, etc.

Orzo pasta, cucumber, tomato, olives and a lemon dressing.

What to serve with orzo pasta salad

This is an amazing side with honey mustard grilled chicken or some juicy grilled pork chops!

Make it a meal: serve alongside grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken.

FAQS

What is orzo?

You’ll find orzo in the pasta aisle at your local grocery store. Orzo is like pasta but made with semolina flour with a higher protein than classic wheat flour.

Can this be made up ahead of time?

Yes, but I wouldn’t make it up more than two days ahead of time because the salad dressing will soften the vegetables the longer they sit.

I love to serve this the next day as the dressing marinates with the ingredients.

If making it ahead of time, I’ll usually dress the salad with half of the dressing and store the other half in a small jar to add to the salad before serving.

Can this be made with pasta instead of orzo?

This recipe works great with short-cut pasta like bow ties, penne, or rotini. To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten free pasta of your choice.

How do I store leftovers?

You will want to store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days. 

If you make this lemon orzo pasta salad, leave a recipe review or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Other pasta salad recipes

Quick & Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes

Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken

Amish Pasta Salad

made with love, Deanne
Yield: 8 servings

Greek Lemon Orzo Salad

Green Lemon Orzo Salad in a large bowl with a spoon.

This Greek Lemon Orzo Salad with feta is light, refreshing, and perfect for picnics or potlucks. It's also incredibly easy to make, which is a bonus I'll take any day of the week.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 8 oz orzo pasta,
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the dressing

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the orzo pasta to al dente in salted water according to package instructions. Spread in a sheet pan to cool slightly before adding to a large bowl.
  2. Stir together the orzo, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onion, feta, and parsley in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. 
  4. Pour the dressing over the warm pasta mixture and toss to combine. 

Notes

Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Can this be made up ahead of time?

Yes, but I wouldn’t make it up more than two days ahead of time because the salad dressing will soften the vegetables the longer they sit.

I love to serve this the next day as the dressing marinates with the ingredients.

If making it ahead of time, I'll usually dress the salad with half of the dressing and store the other half in a small jar to add to the salad before serving.

Can this be made with pasta instead of orzo?

This recipe works great with short-cut pasta like bow ties, penne, or rotini. To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten free pasta of your choice.

How do I store leftovers?

You will want to store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 290mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

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