Home Side Dish Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

This bright and refreshing Greek orzo pasta salad is a vibrant medley of crisp veggies, briny olives, tangy feta, and fresh herbs. 

Tossed in a zesty lemon-oregano vinaigrette, it’s a crowd-pleasing dish perfect for summer potlucks, picnics, and barbecues.

The tender orzo provides the perfect canvas to let the bold Mediterranean flavors shine in every bite.

It’s endlessly versatile, make-ahead friendly, and tastes even better the next day.

Greek orzo pasta salad made with mix of diced English cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, drained and rinsed chickpeas, finely chopped red onion, crumbled feta cheese, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh parsley served in a wooden bowl.
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Why You’ll Love This Orzo Pasta Salad

Texture Extravaganza: The combination of tender orzo, crisp cucumber, and creamy feta creates a delightful interplay of textures. And let’s not forget the juicy tomatoes, crisp red onion, and hearty chickpeas!

Meal-Prep Marvel: The flavors in this salad only get better the longer it sits. So it’s perfect for busy weeknights or convenient meal-prep lunches.

Customizable Canvas: With its simple yet flavorful base, this orzo salad serves as a versatile canvas for adding your favorite vegetables, proteins, or other mix-ins.

Diced English cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, drained and rinsed chickpeas, finely chopped red onion, crumbled feta cheese, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh parsley in a glass bowl.


  • Dry Orzo Pasta: Rice-shaped pasta provides the perfect tender base for the salad.
  • English Cucumber: Adds a cool, refreshing crunch to every bite. 
  • Cherry Tomatoes: For bursts of juicy sweetness throughout the salad.
  • Red Onion: Provides a subtle, peppery bite that complements the other flavors. 
  • Kalamata Olives: Brings a briny, salty depth to the dish. 
  • Feta Cheese: Creamy, tangy, and slightly salty, it’s crumbled for a delightful texture and taste in every mouthful.
  • Fresh Basil and Parsley: Lend fragrant, peppery notes that elevate the salad. 
  • Lemon Herb Dressing: A vibrant blend of extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
Orzo pasta in a pot cooked with broth.

How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad

Whether you’re firing up the grill, hosting a picnic, or just need a light lunch, this orzo salad is guaranteed to be a hit.

And it’s ready in a flash!

1. COOK the orzo to al dente in chicken broth, lemon juice, and salt. Drain and rinse under cold water, then set aside. 

2. MIX the dressing ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. 

3. ADD the orzo, veggies, chickpeas, feta, and herbs. Toss until everything is well coated. 

4. COVER and chill for about an hour to let the flavors meld. 

5. TOSS one last time and serve cold. Enjoy!

Wooden bowl full of orzo pasta salad

Tips For the Best Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo salad is light, refreshing, and packed with Mediterranean flavors that’ll transport you to a sunny Greek island. 

And with these tips, it’s foolproof!

  • Rinse the orzo. After cooking the orzo, rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent it from getting mushy.
  • Marinate the salad. For the best flavor, let the salad marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Adjust the seasoning. Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed before serving.
  • Chop evenly. Dice everything as evenly as possible so you get a little bit of everything in every forkful.
  • Serving suggestions. This orzo salad pairs well with grilled meats like chicken, fish, or steak. It’s also a great addition to any summer BBQ, picnic, or potluck spread.
Easy Mediterranean orzo salad

Recipe Variations

This recipe is incredible as is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own!

Here are a few fun ideas:

  • Swap the orzo: add rice, pasta, quinoa or couscous instead.
  • Add more veggies: Add artichokes, roasted red peppers, or fresh spinach. Avocado is also a nice creamy addition. 
  • Add protein: Serve it with or toss in some grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu. 
  • Ditch the feta: Try fresh mozzarella pearls instead. 
  • Try capers: They’ll amp up the salty flavors, so keep that in mind when making the dressing.
  • Give it some heat: Try 1/2-1 cup of Pepperoncini for warmth.
Orzo pasta salad served in a wooden bowl.

How to Store

If you’re looking for a simple summer side dish or a satisfying vegetarian meal, give this orzo salad recipe a try. 

Trust me, your taste buds will thank you! 

Here’s how to keep it fresh:

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To Make Ahead: Orzo pasta salad can be prepared up to two days in advance. Make the recipe as instructed below, but remember to only add the fresh herbs just before serving. 

To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If the salad appears dry after storage, rejuvenate it with a little extra olive oil or dressing before serving. Remember to give it a good stir to redistribute the flavors evenly.

More Summer Salads Your Family Will Love

Chinese Chicken Salad
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Avocado Salad
Mexican Street Corn Salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

Course: SaladCuisine: Mediterranean


Prep time


Cooking time





This bright Greek orzo pasta salad is a vibrant medley of crisp veggies, olives, feta, and fresh herbs tossed in a zesty lemon-oregano vinaigrette.


  • For the Orzo
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 8 ounces dry orzo pasta (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • For the Lemon Herb Dressing
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • For the Salad
  • 1 English cucumber, diced

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  • In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the orzo. Stir well and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the orzo is al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water, then leave to drain in a colander or sieve.
  • While the orzo cooks, make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed.
  • Add the cooked orzo, diced cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, red onion, olives, and feta to the bowl. Toss everything gently in the dressing until well-coated.
  • For the best flavor, cover the bowl and chill for at least an hour before serving.
  • Add the fresh basil and parsley, give the salad a final toss, and serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!


  • Dice the cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion into small, even pieces so they distribute well in the salad.
  • Use good quality extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar for the best-tasting dressing.
  • Add the fresh herbs just before serving to keep them bright and fresh.

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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