Ready in 30 minutes, this Mediterranean orzo salad has all the flavors you love. It's made with fresh ingredients and creamy feta cheese.
We love flavorful summer salads and this orzo salad is delivering! Just like our tortellini salad, this one is packed with Mediterranean flavors and is perfect for a gathering. Read on to see how I make this delicious orzo salad with fresh Mediterranean ingredients.
Table Of Contents:
Why This Recipe Works
- Flavors: Thanks to all the delicious ingredients including feta and olives, this orzo salad is a celebration of bright flavors.
- Easy: As easy as chop and mix, this Mediterranean orzo pasta salad is perfect for a new cook!
- Make ahead: Looking for a dish to take to the next potluck or picnic? This one is for you! Make this dish a few hours in advance and enjoy it later.
What Goes Into Orzo Salad?
- Orzo: The main ingredient in this salad is cooked orzo. You can check out my tutorial to learn how to cook orzo using 2 easy methods.
- Cucumbers: I usually use Persian cucumbers but English cucumbers work too.
- Red onion: Finely chopped red onion adds a lot of flavor to this salad.
- Tomatoes: Make sure to remove the middle part with the seeds so they don't release much juice.
- Olives: I used a combination of chopped kalamata and green olives.
- Dill: Adds a lot of flavor to the salad. If dill is not available, use other herbs such as parsley or green onions.
- Dried mint: This is the Mediterranean touch you don't want to miss. Find dried mint at Middle Eastern or Mediterranean shops as well as online.
- Olive oil: A drizzle of some good extra virgin olive oil brings this salad together.
- Lemon: For some bright flavors. Freshly squeezed lemon juice works best for this recipe.
- Feta: Finish the salad with some crumbled feta. It's best to use a block of feta, preferably in brine, and crumble it yourself.
How To Make Orzo Salad
- Cook the orzo and let it cool completely. Place the cooked orzo in a bowl and add the cucumbers and red onion.
- Add in the tomatoes as well as the olives.
- Add he chopped dill, dried mint, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice.
- Mix well to combine, transfer to a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta.
Tips To Make The Best Orzo Salad
- Taste test: Make sure to taste the salad right before serving and add more salt and pepper or lemon juice if needed.
- Make ahead: If making this orzo salad ahead of time, it's best to drizzle it with some olive oil right before serving to give it a fresh look.
- Cool orzo: Make sure the orzo is completely cool before you add the rest of the ingredients. Adding fresh vegetables to warm orzo will wilt them.
There are a few ingredients you can add to this orzo salad to jazz it up:
- Add some grilled chicken or tuna to turn it into a complete meal.
- Add legumes such as chickpeas or white beans.
- Use cherry tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes.
- Use goat cheese instead of feta. You can also just skip the cheese to make this orzo salad dairy-free.
- Use pickles such as dill pickles, preserved lemon or banana pepper to add a kick.
- Stir in a couple tablespoons of basil pesto for an Italian flair.
Transfer the leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Drizzle with some olive oil and lemon juice before serving to freshen it up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make orzo pasta salad up to 6 hours in advance. It's best to keep it refrigerated until you're ready to serve it.
Yes, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the packaging to cook the orzo.
Orzo is a type of pasta. It's shape resembles rice grains but it's actually pasta.
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Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe
- 1 cup dry orzo
- 2 Persian cucumber chopped
- ¼ red onion chopped
- 1 roma tomato chopped
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives chopped
- ⅓ cup green olives chopped
- ½ cup fresh dill chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon juice of
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 4 oz feta
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the orzo. Cook for 10 minutes until the orzo is cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Mix the orzo with 1 tablespoon olive oil to avoid sticking. Let the orzo cool completely.
- Once the orzo is completely cool, place it in a bowl and add the cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, kalamata olives, green olives and fresh mint.
- Add in the dried mint, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix so all is well combined.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and crumble the feta on top of the salad. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve cold.
- You can use gluten-free orzo to make this salad gluten-free.
- Leave out the feta to make this orzo salad dairy-free.
- If using feta, it's best to use a block of feta in brine and crumble it yourself.
- You can add other ingredients such as peppers, pickles or grilled chicken to this orzo salad if desired.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.