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Close up of Greek Pasta Salad with Orzo, garnished with fresh basil.
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Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

A summer orzo salad to make again and again! This Greek orzo salad recipe highlights the season's freshest veggies, with a snappy Greek dressing that ties all the flavors together. Versatile and delicious, this recipe is vegetarian and easily vegan.
*See blog post for more notes and variations.
This recipe yields about 10, 1 C (210g) servings.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Greek
Keyword Greek Orzo Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 225kcal
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean

Ingredients

For the Orzo:

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 C (70g) Fresh Lemon Juice from about two lemons
  • 1/4 C (50g) Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Fat Cloves of Garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano dried
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

For the Salad:

  • 2 lb (900g) Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half, about 2 pints
  • 1 lb (450g) Cucumber garden or Kerby, sliced lengthwise, seeds scraped, cut into chunks.
  • 1 1/2 C (150g) Red Onion sliced in 1/2 moons, larger pieces cut in half. about 3/4 of a large onion
  • 1 1/2 C (230g) Kalamata Olives pitted, sliced in half or quartered
  • 3/4 C (170g) Feta Cheese crumbled
  • Fresh Basil about a small handful, torn into pieces
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

For the Orzo:

  • In a large saute pan, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil on medium heat until shimmering. Add the orzo and stir, coating the orzo thoroughly. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the orzo is toasty and golden.
    Pour in the vegetable broth. Be careful here because the broth will spit and sputter. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to low, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for about five minutes.
    Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in 3 Tbs of the dressing (see below). Rest the salad in the fridge while you finish preparing the veggies.

For the Dressing:

  • In a lidded jar or small bowl shake/whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper until an emulsion forms. Set aside.

Put the Salad Together:

  • To the large mixing bowl with the orzo, add the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives, feta and basil. Add a few twists of fresh ground pepper. Pour the remaining dressing over the salad and gently toss. Taste for salt and add more basil to taste.
    Allow the salad to rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving if possible. This will allow the flavors to marry and/or fats to soften if previously in the fridge.

To Store:

  • Store in a lidded container for up to four days. This salad is freshest in appearance and cucumber crunch however, for up to two days.

Notes

Onion Tip: If the red onion has a sharp taste, you can soak it, sliced, in ice water for about 10 minutes prior to adding them to your recipe. This mellows their flavor yet retains crunch.
Hang on to those cucumber seeds after scraping the cucumbers. They're fabulous and nutritious in smoothies. 

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg