Easy Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This post contains Amazon links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

You’re going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives. Crumbled feta cheese adds a creamy richness, all tossed in a tangy Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing. Prepare this vibrant and easy-to-make salad to enjoy a burst of Mediterranean flavors that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Share on Pinterest DON’T LOSE THIS DELICIOUS RECIPE, PIN IT FOR LATER!

Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean with this Mediterranean Orzo Salad with a zesty Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing. A refreshing and easy recipe for a delightful meal.

What makes this Mediterranean Orzo salad healthy?

This Mediterranean orzo salad recipe incorporates several healthy elements:

  1. Whole Grains: The use of whole-grain orzo provides complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, promoting sustained energy and digestive health.
  2. Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, red onion, and fresh parsley contribute a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for overall well-being.
  3. Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil and feta cheese are sources of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, supporting heart health.
  4. Lean Protein: Feta cheese adds a protein boost while being lower in fat compared to some other cheeses.
  5. Antioxidant-Rich Ingredients: Kalamata olives and the variety of vegetables bring antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
  6. Low in Added Sugar: The recipe doesn’t contain added sugars, contributing to a healthier overall diet.
  7. Balanced Dressing: The dressing, made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic, not only enhances flavor but also provides healthy fats and a burst of citrusy freshness without relying on excessive amounts of unhealthy ingredients.

Overall, this salad offers a nutritious combination of whole grains, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein, making it a wholesome and health-conscious choice.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 34 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Why you’ll love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad recipe

This mediterranean orzo salad stands out as a delicious and appealing option for several reasons:

  1. Vibrant Colors and Fresh Ingredients: The combination of colorful cherry tomatoes, crisp Persian cucumbers, red onion, and fresh parsley creates an visually appealing and appetizing dish.
  2. Rich Flavor Profile: The inclusion of kalamata olives, feta cheese, and the flavorful dressing made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic contribute to a rich and well-balanced taste.
  3. Textural Variety: The orzo pasta provides a satisfying chewiness, while the combination of crunchy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and the creamy texture of feta cheese adds a delightful mix of textures.
  4. Versatility: This salad is versatile and can serve as a refreshing side dish or a standalone meal. It’s suitable for various occasions, from casual gatherings to more formal events.
  5. Ease of Preparation: The straightforward instructions and readily available ingredients make it an easy recipe to follow, even for individuals with busy schedules.
  6. Make-Ahead Convenience: The ability to chill the salad in the refrigerator allows for preparation in advance, making it a convenient option for busy individuals or those planning ahead for events.
  7. Health-conscious Ingredients: The inclusion of whole-grain orzo, a variety of vegetables, and a balanced dressing made with olive oil adds a health-conscious element to the salad without compromising on flavor.
  8. Refreshing and Perfect for Warm Weather: The combination of fresh ingredients and the option to serve chilled make it an ideal choice for warm weather or outdoor events.

RELATED: Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad – Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fiber-rich heart healthy lunch salad is a great way of adding legumes into your diet.   

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 22 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

↑ Back to top.

Ingredients you’ll need for easy mediterranean orzo salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 1 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

To make this easy healthy mediterranean orzo salad you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the salad

  • 1 ½ cups dry orzo pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, diced (mini cucumbers)
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the dressing

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Be sure to check out the full ingredient list and printable recipe in the recipe card below.

↑ Back to top.

How to make mediterranean orzo salad

Step 1: Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 2 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Step 2: In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo with cherry tomatoes, diced Persian cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 8 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Step 3: Add the chopped parsley to the bowl.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 18 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Step 4: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 13 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Step 5: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine all the ingredients well.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 19 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Step 6: Adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your taste.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 24 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Step 7: Chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 20 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Make this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, then check out more of my pasta salad recipes.

↑ Back to top.

TIPS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Read on for tips and substitution ideas on how to make this recipe, such as how to customize this salad, and how to store this salad.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

While orzo works wonderfully in this recipe, you can absolutely experiment with different types of pasta to suit your preferences or dietary needs. Here are some pasta alternatives you can consider:

  • Rotini or Fusilli: These spiral-shaped pastas can hold the dressing well and provide a nice texture.
  • Farfalle (Bowtie Pasta): Bowtie pasta adds a charming shape to the salad and captures the flavors of the dressing.
  • Penne: Penne’s tube-like shape allows it to hold onto the other ingredients and dressing, making each bite flavorful.
  • Couscous: Although not technically pasta, couscous can be a great alternative, offering a unique texture.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta: For a healthier option, you can use whole wheat pasta, adding extra fiber to the dish.
  • Gluten-Free Pasta: If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, there are various gluten-free pasta alternatives available in the market.

Remember to adjust cooking times according to the pasta you choose and enjoy experimenting with different shapes to find what works best for your taste preferences.

Is there a gluten-free option for the orzo?

Yes, absolutely! If you’re looking for a gluten-free option for the orzo in your Mediterranean pasta salad, you can substitute it with gluten-free pasta. There are several gluten-free pasta options available, such as:

  1. Gluten-Free Orzo: Some stores offer specifically gluten-free orzo that you can use as a 1:1 substitute.
  2. Gluten-Free Fusilli or Penne: Opt for gluten-free spiral or tube-shaped pasta. These shapes work well in pasta salads and can hold the dressing nicely.
  3. Rice Pasta: Pasta made from rice flour is a common gluten-free alternative and is available in various shapes.
  4. Quinoa Pasta: Quinoa pasta is another gluten-free option that adds a unique flavor and texture to the dish.
  5. Chickpea or Lentil Pasta: These pasta varieties are not only gluten-free but also high in protein, providing a nutritious alternative.

Ensure that you follow the cooking instructions on the gluten-free pasta packaging, as the cooking times may vary. Making this simple substitution allows individuals with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free diet to enjoy your delicious Mediterranean pasta salad.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! Your Mediterranean orzo pasta salad can be made ahead of time, which makes it a convenient option for planning and preparation. Here’s a guide on how to do it:

  1. Prepare the Salad: Follow the recipe instructions to prepare the salad completely, up to the point of adding the dressing.
  2. Stop Before Dressing: Instead of adding the dressing immediately, cover the salad with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container without the dressing.
  3. Refrigerate: Place the covered or sealed salad in the refrigerator. It’s recommended to chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, but you can refrigerate it for longer if needed.
  4. Add Dressing Before Serving: Just before serving, take the salad out of the refrigerator and add the dressing. Toss the salad gently to ensure even coating with the dressing.
  5. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to suit your preferences.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your orzo pasta salad stays fresh, and the flavors remain vibrant. This make-ahead approach is particularly useful for events, gatherings, or busy days when you want a delicious and ready-to-go dish.

What can I substitute for feta cheese if I don’t like it or have an allergy?

Absolutely! Your Mediterranean orzo pasta salad can be made ahead of time, which makes it a convenient option for planning and preparation. Here’s a guide on how to do it:

  1. Prepare the Salad: Follow the recipe instructions to prepare the salad completely, up to the point of adding the dressing.
  2. Stop Before Dressing: Instead of adding the dressing immediately, cover the salad with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container without the dressing.
  3. Refrigerate: Place the covered or sealed salad in the refrigerator. It’s recommended to chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, but you can refrigerate it for longer if needed.
  4. Add Dressing Before Serving: Just before serving, take the salad out of the refrigerator and add the dressing. Toss the salad gently to ensure even coating with the dressing.
  5. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to suit your preferences.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your orzo pasta salad stays fresh, and the flavors remain vibrant. This make-ahead approach is particularly useful for events, gatherings, or busy days when you want a delicious and ready-to-go dish.

What other vegetables can I add or substitute in this salad?

This orzo pasta salad is quite versatile, and you can experiment with various vegetables to add or substitute based on your preferences. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Bell Peppers: Add a pop of color and sweetness with diced red, yellow, or orange bell peppers.
  2. Cucumber Varieties: Besides Persian cucumbers, you can try English cucumbers or regular slicing cucumbers for a different texture.
  3. Cherry or Grape Tomatoes: Mix in different types or colors of tomatoes for a visually appealing and flavorful twist.
  4. Artichoke Hearts: Canned or marinated artichoke hearts can add a delightful briny flavor to the salad.
  5. Spinach or Arugula: Toss in some fresh spinach or arugula for added greens and a peppery kick.
  6. Zucchini or Yellow Squash: Diced and lightly sautéed zucchini or yellow squash can contribute a subtle, savory element.
  7. Sun-Dried Tomatoes: For an intense burst of flavor, consider adding chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  8. Roasted Red Peppers: Incorporate roasted red peppers for a smoky and sweet flavor.
  9. Red or Yellow Onion: Besides red onion, you can use finely sliced red or yellow onion for a milder or sweeter taste.
  10. Avocado: Add creamy avocado slices just before serving for a luxurious texture.

Remember to adjust the quantities based on your taste preferences, and feel free to mix and match vegetables to create your ideal combination. This allows you to tailor the salad to your liking and make the most of seasonal produce.

↑ Back to top.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe 28 - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

❄️ CELEBRATE WINTER with 

5+ Easy Winter Salad Recipes

Filled with winter ingredients like Brussels sproutscranberries, and beets, these 5 winter salads are the best way to get your veggie fix while you wait for spring.

Other pasta salad recipes to try

  • Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad – Packed with protein-rich chicken, as well as flavorful mandarin oranges, vegetables and a tasty dressing, this salad is an easy way to nourish your body.
  • Creamy Shrimp Pasta Salad – a delightful combination of succulent shrimp, al dente pasta, and a creamy dressing that will transport your taste buds to a sunny beachside retreat. This salad is a hearty and refreshing summer salad delight!
  • Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad – this pasta salad is loaded with your favorite pasta noodles, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella and tossed in the best tasty pesto! It’s such an easy dish and perfect for anytime of the year!
Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean with this Mediterranean Orzo Salad with a zesty Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing. A refreshing and easy recipe for a delightful meal.

Ingredients

For the Orzo salad

  • 1 ½ cups dry orzo pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, diced (mini cucumbers)
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo with cherry tomatoes, diced Persian cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese.
  3. Add the chopped parsley to the bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine all the ingredients well.
  6. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your taste.
  7. Chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below or snap a pic and hashtag it #Salads4Lunch — I'd love to see all of your tasty creations on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

Hey friend! What can I help you find?

Search my entire site!
Share on Pinterest DON’T LOSE THIS DELICIOUS RECIPE, PIN IT FOR LATER!

Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe 2 scaled - You're going to love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad, a delightful blend of orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and kalamata olives

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *