Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe

I love a light and fresh orzo salad filled with everything under the sun. This one is tossed in a tangy, lemony dressing and makes a beautiful main dish salad with diced grilled chicken thrown in, or a side alongside something like grilled shrimp skewers, grilled fish, or burgers. Oh, and it’s easy to make ahead, plop in a cooler, and take along to tailgates, picnics, and cookouts!

  • What’s in Mediterranean orzo salad?

Cherry tomatoes (yellow and red), red onion, garbanzo beans (yum!), kalamata olives, feta cheese, and parsley! Other varieties of olives and herbs would be great too. Oh, and diced cucumber! Toss in anything you want.

How long can orzo salad sit out?

Foods shouldn’t sit out more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is 90 degrees or above. (Thanks Food and Drug Administration!) If you’re planning to take this salad to any sort of hot, outdoor get-together, it might be a good idea to skip the feta cheese. It’ll still taste delicious without it!

Is orzo a pasta or rice?

It may have a similar shape and look to rice, but orzo is a pasta. So, consider this a pasta salad!

YIELDS: 12 serving(s)

PREP TIME: 2 hrs



bookmarksSAVE RECIPE

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 whole lemon, juiced

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

12 oz. orzo pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled

1 c. red grape or cherry tomatoes

1 c. yellow grape or cherry tomatoes

1 c. kalamata olives, halved

1 c. crumbled feta cheese (optional), plus more to serve

1 c. chickpeas, drained.

1/2 red onion, diced

3 tbsp. minced fresh parsley, plus more to serve


In a jar or bowl, mix together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper until totally combined.

To a large mixing bowl, add the orzo and all other ingredients. Pour the dressing over the top and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Top with more feta, if using, and parsley just before serving.

I love a good orzo salad, and this is one of my favorites because it’s tangy and fresh and there are approximately fourteen million fun ingredients…so it goes with pretty much everything!

You know what Confucius always said: “There’s just something about that orzo!”

First, make the delicious dressing (alliteration alert): Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a jar…

Place the cooked, cooled orzo into a large bowl with all the other ingredients. As you can see, there are so many “other ingredients” that you can barely see the poor orzo, but trust me…it’s there! You can see it peeking out from beneath the tomatoes.

I added tomatoes (yellow and red), red onion, garbanzo beans (yum!), pitted kalamata olives, feta cheese, and parsley! But you can add cucumbers, other olives…anything you want.

Oh, and a note about orzo. It grows when it cooks, man! Seriously, you can start with just a tiny little container of the stuff and pretty soon you have to move out of your house because the orzo has taken over. So just be sure to gauge how much orzo you have relative to the other ingredients, and adjust according to your taste or mood or astrological sign.

Pour over the dressing and toss it all together, making sure it’s all combined. Then it’s always nice to pop it in the fridge for at least an hour, just to let all the flavors meld. Oh, and give it a taste

When you serve it, throw a little more feta on top for good luck. Or good measure. Or good will. Or all of the above!

And a little extra parsley makes it even purtier.


•Add Parmesan shavings

•Add diced grilled chicken

•Add sliced cucumbers

Serve with:


•Grilled Chicken

•Grilled Vegetables

•Roasted chicken legs for a picnic

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving (Serves 12)

Calories271Fat10 gSaturated fat3 gTrans fat0 gCholesterol11 mgSodium265 mgCarbohydrates33 gFiber4 gSugar5 gProtein9 gVitamin D0 mcgCalcium96 mgIron2 mgPotassium278 mg

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