Light and flavorful Greek Orzo Pasta Salad is so easy to make with crisp veggies, savory olives, fresh herbs, and tangy feta crumbles; all tossed in a simple vinaigrette. This healthy 30-minute side dish option is perfect for meal prep and great for potlucks and picnics!
This Orzo Pasta Salad is one of those recipes you’ll want to make on repeat. It’s fresh and flavorful, and the whole thing can be put together effortlessly in just 30 minutes. Made with veggies, orzo, topped with feta cheese, and then tossed with an amazing homemade dressing. Perfect to serve as a salad, appetizer, or as a side dish. This easy orzo salad will be a family favorite that you would want to make more often.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Wonderful texture: This orzo pasta salad recipe is packed with fresh flavors and great textures, from crunchy vegetables to creamy feta cheese. One bite and you’ll be hooked!
- It’s healthy: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this dish filled with vegetables is loaded with nutrients. To make it into a full meal, top it with some grilled chicken, salmon, or even chickpeas for a vegetarian option. If you would like to keep this vegan, omit the feta.
- Easy to make: Simply cook the pasta, do a little chopping, stir everything together, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and enjoy. Throw this together at a moment’s notice!
Not only is this pasta salad recipe filled with healthy superfoods, but it tastes amazing when they’re all mixed and combined together. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Orzo pasta: The base of the salad is orzo. You can find this short-cut pasta in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store.
- Veggies: We’re filling this dish with cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, and cherry tomatoes.
- Mix-ins: Major savory flavor comes from rich and smoky kalamata olives and creamy, salty feta cheese.
- Herbs: Fresh basil and dried oregano add freshness and that classic Greek taste.
- For the vinaigrette: The dressing is a simple drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
How to make this greek Orzo Salad recipe
There’s nothing complicated about tossing this orzo salad together! The only thing that takes a bit of time is cutting up all the vegetables. Here’s the easy process:
- Boil the pasta: Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside to cool. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Chop & dice the vegetables: Meanwhile, prepare all the veggies for the salad and add them to a large bowl.
- Top with oil & vinegar: Once the orzo pasta is cool, add it to the bowl with the veggies. Add in the crumbled feta, and oregano, and drizzle with the oil and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Be sure not to overcook the pasta. Al dente pasta is ideal. We also recommend draining and rinsing the pasta to stop it from cooking further.
- If you find the onion is too intense tasting, soak it in water for 30 minutes to help take the bite out of it.
- If you have the time, we recommend using a block of feta cheese and crumbling it yourself, as it has more flavor than the tubs of pre-crumbled cheese.
Frequently asked questions
It’s best to cook orzo pasta al dente, you want it to have a firm, chewy texture. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking together, then drain and rinse it. For best results, serve immediately after cooking.
Orzo is an Italian type of pasta that can be used like you would rice or small pasta in a variety of salad and soup recipes. It’s often made from semolina flour, a type of flour that comes from durum wheat.
Since this pasta salad is best served at room temperature or chilled, it’s recommended to rinse the pasta to cool it down.
Customize this recipe
Experiment with ingredients to make this Greek orzo salad your own! Here are some options:
- Protein: Keep this vegetarian and add chickpeas or another favorite variety of beans. Or mix in cooked chicken, shrimp, or fish.
- Make this gluten-free: Use gluten-free orzo or another small pasta shape to keep the entire recipe gluten-free.
- Other mix-ins: Try adding marinated artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, mushrooms, and/or toasted pine nuts.
- Herbs: Swap out the basil for fresh parsley, dill, or another favorite herb.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. The orzo will continue to absorb the dressing as it sits, so you may need to refresh the salad with a bit more olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.
More pasta salad recipes
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Southwest Pasta Salad
- Vegetarian Pasta Salad
- Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
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Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- 12 oz uncooked orzo pasta
- Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 English cucumber diced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives halved
- 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves picked and chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside to cool. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Meanwhile, prepare all the veggies for the salad and add them to a large bowl.
- Once the orzo pasta is cool, add it to the bowl with the veggies. Add in the crumbled feta, oregano, and drizzle with the oil and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine.