Greek Orzo Salad is bursting with zesty, Mediterranean inspired flavors like crisp cucumber, juicy cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives, dill, mint and feta cheese. A simple red wine vinegar dressing brings it all together in less than 20 minutes making it the perfect side dish for summertime grilling!
It’s summertime and you know what that means … it’s time to get out of the kitchen and break out the grill! Pasta salad is easy to make and perfect for transporting to BBQ parties, pot-luck dinners or even to the beach.
Light and refreshing cold pasta salad makes the perfect side dish for grilled chicken and this Greek salad doesn’t disappoint!
Greek Orzo Salad ingredients.
- Orzo pasta – cook the pasta until “al dente” so it keeps a nice bite and to avoid it becoming mushy. Orzo pasta can be substituted with any other pasta you have on hand such as bow-tie, penne or elbow pasta.
- Veggies – black olives, red onion, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are a classic combination of flavors!
- Fresh herbs – this recipe calls for fresh dill and mint but you can use any fresh herb you prefer.
- Feta cheese – perfect for cold pasta salad. It’s a salty cheese that can stand up to the bold flavors in this salad.
- Dressing – a simple dressing made from extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey and seasonings.
How to Make Greek Orzo Salad.
- Cook the orzo pasta in boiling water that has been salted. It should be “al dente” meaning it is still firm. If the pasta is overcooked it will be mushy and it won’t be able to hold up to all the added ingredients. Once the pasta is finished cooking, pour into a colander and rinse with cold water to help bring the temperature down quickly.
- While the pasta is boiling, chop the vegetables and herbs. Place the orzo and remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, use a whisk to combine and emulsify the red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper together. This can also be done in a blender but I find it’s just as easy to do this with a whisk and a little elbow grease! Another way to mix the dressing is to put the dressing ingredients into a mason jar, cover and shake until well blended.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss everything together to make sure everything is coated evenly. Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.
Tips for making Greek Orzo Salad.
- Make up to 2 days ahead of time and keep covered in the refrigerator. Give the salad a quick toss before serving.
- Make this a Meatless Monday meal by adding a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
- Serve alongside grilled chicken, steak or fish.
- Use only the best olive oil for the dressing! I prefer to use extra light virgin olive oil for a lighter taste.
- Adjust ingredients to your liking. Feel free to add more or less of each ingredient to suite your taste!
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Other Greek recipes you may like.
Greek Orzo Salad
- 1.5 cups dry orzo pasta
- 1 cucumber, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Cook the orzo in salted, boiling water until "al dente". Drain the orzo in a colander and run cold water over it to help cool faster.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, red onion, dill, mint and feta cheese.
- In a small bowl, use a whisk to emulsify the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper together. Pour over the orzo and toss to coat ingredients evenly.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.
- Serve this pasta salad cold or at room temperature.
- Make up to 2 days ahead of time. Add the feta cheese and toss the ingredients before serving.
- This recipe can easily be doubled for large gatherings.
This recipe was originally published is 2016 and updated in July 2019.