This summer has been all about the Mediterranean vibes. There is just something about the bright and vibrant vegetables, the lemony and olive oil flavours and all the fresh herbs, that screams summer. This quick and easy Mediterranean orzo pasta salad does not disappoint. It's packed with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, and olives all tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and packed with herbs. It's super easy to make, healthy and light, and so delicious.
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a tiny rice-shaped pasta that is easily confused with rice since it looks a lot like it. It's a quick-cooking pasta that can be thrown into so many recipes. Plus, a little goes a long way so it's not as filling as a big plate of pasta. For example, you can throw it into a salad or soup, add it into rice pilaf, or use it a replacement in any pasta dish that you want to make.
What is in Mediterranean Orzo Salad?
To give you an idea of what Mediterranean orzo salad is like, it is very similar to a Greek salad as it has all the same ingredients and dressing, except with the addition of orzo. Here is exactly what you will need to make this salad:
- orzo pasta
- grape tomatoes - You can substitute with cherry tomatoes, or even roma tomatoes diced into small pieces.
- mini cucumbers - I like the small slices you get from mini cucumbers. You can substitute with other types of cucumbers. Just quarter them and then slice.
- red onion
- Kalamata olives - pitted and halved.
- feta cheese - I cut my feta into small cubes but to save time, you can crumble as well.
- fresh dill - fresh herbs adds a nice depth of flavour to this salad. Fresh parsley also is really nice in this salad, or even a combination of the two works well.
- lemon vinaigrette dressing - made with olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt and pepper. This dressing is essentially the same as what I put into my Greek salad. So delicious.
How to Make the Best Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
First, you want to cook the orzo pasta. Just like any other type of pasta, cook the orzo in a pot of boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes, or according to package instructions. Then, drain in a colander and run it under cold water. Set it aside to cool down.
In a large bowl, combine cooled orzo, tomato, cucumber, red onion, olives, feta, and dill. In a small bowl, mix together the dressing (add olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper). Pour the dressing on top of the salad and toss to combine.
How to Serve Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Serve this salad with some grilled souvlaki skewers such as chicken souvlaki skewers, lamb souvlaki skewers or souvlaki beef shish kebabs. Don't forget the homemade tzatziki sauce and Greek pita bread.
Tips for Making Orzo Salad
- How to store orzo pasta salad. This recipe makes a big salad, so you may have some leftovers. You can store orzo salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 4 days. You can store it together with the dressing or separately.
- Add orzo salad to your meal prep menu. The great thing about this orzo salad is that it makes for some awesome leftovers that you can store in your fridge and eat throughout the week. Which also means, it's the perfect item to meal prep.
More Salad Recipes
- The Perfect Greek Salad
- Mediterranean Brown Rice Salad
- Persian Shirazi Salad with Cucumber and Tomato
- Mediterranean Chickpea Wedge Salad with Hummus Dressing
- Summer Corn Salad
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.