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This Mediterranean Orzo Salad recipe is so colorful and fresh, chock full of tender orzo, crunchy veggies, kalamata olives, tangy feta, and capers. Make this healthy pasta salad for your next picnic or side dish, or add a protein and make it for dinner. This 30-minute recipe is even better the next day!

A white bowl filled with Mediterranean Orzo Pasta salad.

Spring is coming, and salads are king! But just chopping up some lettuce and adding a jar of dressing is not doing the salad any justice. I say, get creative and enjoy the fresh flavors and crispy veggies in your salad. Try new and homemade dressings, and experiment with new cheeses.

A few of my experiments ended up in favorite recipes like this Pea Salad Recipe, my Tex-Mex Chicken Chopped Salad, or Watermelon Arugula and Feta Salad, and this Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe.

Try one or all of them, and let me know what you think!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make mediterranean orzo salad.

Salad Ingredients

  • Orzo pasta: Cooked al dente and cooled, this pasta makes the salad.
  • Tomatoes: I use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved to release all the yummy juices.
  • Cucumber: Chop your cucumber for a fresh crunch.
  • Kalamata olives: Make it easy by choosing pitted briny olives
  • Bell Peppers: Use half a green pepper and a red pepper, chopped.
  • Parsley: Finely chop fresh parsley for an earthy herb addition to the recipe.
  • Feta cheese: I mean, how can you not have feta cheese in a Greek salad?
  • Capers: The capers are optional, but I love the salty flavor they add.

Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • Olive oil: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the base of any good salad dressing.
  • Lemons: Use 2 lemons, zested & juiced.
  • Garlic clove: Use a whole minced clove, or get the minced jar from the grocery store.
  • Honey: Add a touch of sweetness to balance all the flavors.
  • Dill: I use dried dill to add that earthy, licorice flavor to my salad.
  • Oregano: Choose fresh chopped oregano for the dressing.
  • Salt & Pepper: I like to use Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper in my dressing recipes. Adjust the amount according to your taste.

Variations and Substitutions

What are your favorite Mediterranean flavors? Make it your own.

  • More Veggies: Feel free to play with the vegetable list and add red onion, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, avocado, or even grilled eggplant!
  • Add a Protein: Want to make it a meal? Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon, a can of chickpeas, and more to this dish. 
  • Olives: Change it up and use green olives if you prefer.
  • Herbs and More Herbs: Change it up and add fresh basil, fresh dill, and more.

How To Make Greek Orzo Pasta Recipe

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

I like to chop, dice, mince, and zest all my ingredients ahead of time. Alternatively, you can get that started while cooking the orzo. There’s plenty of time, as this recipe is so fast and easy!

Step 1 |  Prepare the Orzo Pasta

Grab a large pot from the cabinet and get ready to cook the orzo pasta as directed in the package instructions; this should take about 8 minutes until the pasta is perfectly al dente. Drain and rinse the cooked orzo in a colander with cold water to stop the cooking process and until the orzo is cool. Then, set that aside.

Step 2 | Mix the Lemon Vinaigrette

Make this a one-bowl recipe by mixing the dressing right in a large mixing bowl or a serving bowl! To your chosen serving bowl, add the olive oil, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, honey, dill, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk ingredients with a fork or whisk until all the ingredients are combined. Set that bowl aside.

Collage image showing adding lemon vinaigrette ingredients to a large white bowl and whisking to combine.

Step 3 | Assemble the Salad

Add the cooked and cooled orzo pasta, halved fresh tomatoes, diced crunchy cucumbers, olives, chopped green and red bell pepper, fresh parsley, feta cheese, and capers to the large bowl of dressing.

Step 4 | Toss and serve

Now, it is time to take out a spoon or salad tongs and toss all the ingredients together until all coated with dressing and nicely distributed. Then, for best results, I like to refrigerate my Greek Orzo Salad for a few hours to let the flavors develop more.

Then you are ready to serve this fast and easy, colorful Mediterranean orzo pasta salad with lemony dressing and a smile!

Collage image showing adding orzo salad ingredients to the dressing in a large white bowl and mixing to combine.

Tips

  • Chop the veggies small so you get a mix of all the flavors in each bite.
  • Allow time for the salad to rest in the fridge; an hour will do. That way, the flavors marry, and the orzo absorbs some of the juices.
A white serving bowl with orzo salad and a wooden serving spoon.

Recipe FAQs

What type of pasta is Orzo?

Many people make the mistake of thinking orzo is made from rice. But it is a tiny pasta product made from wheat semolina flour and is very popular in Mediterranean and Italian dishes. Listen, the great thing is that it is so versatile, making an excellent substitution for rice, quinoa, risotto, or couscous in many recipes!

Can You Double the Dressing Recipe?

Making homemade dressing is so fresh and yummy; it is a great idea to double the recipe, mix it in a jar with a lid, shake it, and put half into the serving bowl. Then, store the remainder of the lemon dressing in the refrigerator for your next salad.

Can you make this recipe gluten-free?

Absolutely, you can. Just be sure all the seasonings and jars are labeled GF, and choose the variety of gluten-free orzo you like.

A white plate with a serving of lemon orzo pasta salad.

Storage

Make Ahead: If you’d like to make this ahead to serve the next day, prepare the vinaigrette in a separate bowl or mason jar and dress the salad before serving so the pasta doesn’t dry out.

Storage: Cover with foil or plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (It can be stored with or without dressing on it). After storing it with dressing, you can add more oil if the salad is dry.

What to Serve with Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

This orzo pasta salad pairs well with many protein dishes, from chicken and shrimp to scallops and salmon. Here are a few ideas from my recipe box: 

More Mediterranean Dishes

A wooden spoon putting Greek orzo salad on a white plate.

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A white bowl filled with Mediterranean Orzo Pasta salad.
Recipe
4.88 from 8 votes

(click stars to rate)

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
This Mediterranean Orzo Salad recipe is so colorful and fresh, chock full of tender orzo, crunchy veggies, kalamata olives, tangy feta, and capers.
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Ingredients 

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zested & juices
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • teaspoon coarse kosher salt, (or to taste)
  • teaspoon ground black pepper, (or to taste)

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups dry orzo pasta , cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper, (approximately ½ a bell pepper)
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper, (approximately ½ a bell pepper)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoons capers, (optional)

Instructions

  • Cook the orzo according to the directions. Approximately 8 minutes or until Al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water until the orzo is cool. Set aside.
  • To your serving bowl, add the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, honey, dill, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk ingredients togehter with a fork or whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  • To the dressing, add cooked and cooled orzo pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, green and red bell pepper, parsley, feta cheese, and capers.
  • Toss together with a spoon and serve. Or refrigerate for a few hours to let flavors develop more.

Notes

TIPS:
  • Chop the veggies small, so you get a mix of all the flavors in each bite.
  • Allow time for the salad to rest in the fridge; an hour will do. The flavors marry, and the orzo absorbs some of the juices.
Storage
Make Ahead: If you’d like to make this ahead to serve the next day, prepare the vinaigrette in a separate bowl or mason jar and dress the salad before serving so the pasta doesn’t dry out.
Storage: Cover with foil or plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (It can be stored with or without dressing on it). After storing it with dressing, you can add more oil if the salad is dry.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 548kcal (27%) Carbohydrates: 38g (13%) Protein: 9g (18%) Fat: 42g (65%) Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 29g Cholesterol: 7mg (2%) Sodium: 559mg (24%) Potassium: 316mg (9%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 1107IU (22%) Vitamin C: 58mg (70%) Calcium: 54mg (5%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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12 Comments

  1. I have not make this as of yet but this beautiful salad will be my dinner today I know it will be good,

    thanks for sending this orzo salad recipe it looks beautiful and I know it will taste just as good. Hattie Currie.

  2. 5 stars
    I agree, this pasta salad is even better the next day! I have really been enjoying it for lunch this week. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!