4.83 from 17 reviews

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe

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greek orzo pasta salad in a large white bowl

There is something about the warmer temps that has me craving fresh Mediterranean flavors! I’ve been making this Mediterranean salad dressing and drizzling it over this Orzo Mediterranean Salad, on my chicken, adding it to marinades and over grilled veggies too.

Orzo salad isn’t a dish you may often think of for summer BBQ’s or picnics so it is one your guests will be pleasantly surprised with!

It has the perfect crunch from the cucumbers, plant protein from the garbanzo beans and bound together with a zingy Mediterranean/Greek vinaigrette dressing.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe in a large white bowl about to be tossed with Greek dressing

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe is a satisfying side that will soon be a staple worth keeping in your salad rotation!

Plus, who doesn’t love an easy summer salad?!

What is orzo?

Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta that is usually made from white flour, but can be made from whole-grain flour too.

Orzo can be easily confused with rice. Rice is simply rice, while orzo is a short-cut pasta that just happens to look a lot like rice because of its petite size.

Is orzo gluten free?

No, orzo is not gluten free because it is made from wheat semolina flour and wheat contains gluten. However, you should be able to find gluten-free orzo on grocery store shelves since the gluten-free diet is increasingly popular.

Orzo Salad Recipe in a large white bowl with red onion, cherry tomatoes, parsley and garbanzo beans

How do you cook orzo?

For this Orzo Mediterranean Salad recipe you will use the pasta method.

(This blog post is a great reference on a variety of other ways to cook orzo if you are interested in cooking it other ways!)

Bring salted water to boil, add your uncooked orzo to the water and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes (according to package directions). Drain the liquid off using a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking. Toss with a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil to prevent it from clumping.

Since this is a cold salad, you can keep the orzo in the fridge while you prep the veggies and Mediterranean dressing.

Once you have all of your veggies chopped and prepped make the Greek dressing by whisking all of the following ingredients together in a small bowl.

MEDITERRANEAN/GREEK DRESSING

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (1 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (optional)
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Cold Orzo pasta salad with a Mediterranean Vinaigrette

Once the orzo salad is finished, properly store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. That storage life makes this Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe a great meal prep option to take for lunch throughout the week.

What will I need to make this easy orzo salad?

ingredients needed to make orzo salad in glass bowls
  • Orzo (you can also sub any small pasta shape ditalini or even Israeli Couscous)
  • Red Onion
  • Kalamata olives
  • Quartered Artichoke Hearts
  • Peperoncini
  • Cherry tomatoes (or sun-dried tomatoes)
  • Cucumber
  • Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans
  • Greek Dressing
  • Feta cheese(optional)
ingredients needed to make greek dressing in glass bowls

How do I make a Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe?

  • Cook the orzo to package directions. In a large bowl, place the cooked and cooled orzo pasta, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pepperoncini, kalamata olives and artichokes together.
  • In a 2 cup measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the Greek dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the Mediterranean Orzo Salad, toss to thoroughly mix in dressing and serve.
The best orzo salad tossed with a greek dressing in a large bowl ready to be served

Some other delicious additions to this orzo salad to add variety include:

  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Feta cheese
  • Chopped baby spinach
  • Capers
  • Roasted red peppers (jarred)

What do I make with orzo besides salads?

  • Put it in soups
  • Toss cooked orzo with broccoli
  • Salads, like this delicious one!
  • Casseroles
  • Treat it like rice and make stuffed bell peppers
  • Use it in rice pilaf or other rice dishes
  • Make as a side dish and enjoy with prawns, chicken, roasted vegetables, lamb, salmon, pork or sausage. The possibilities are endless.

This vegetarian Orzo Salad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and a perfect make-ahead salad for all of the potlucks, picnics, barbecues and parties you have lined up this summer!

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

greek orzo pasta salad in a large white bowl
4.83 from 17 reviews

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe is an easy and elevated pasta salad side dish filled with bright flavors and fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (~260 grams)
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1, (14.5 oz. jar) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1/2 cup peperoncini, sliced
  • 1/2 large cucumber, quartered (or 2-3 mini cucumbers )
  • 1, (15.5 oz. can) garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz. feta cheese (I like to buy the chunk and break it up myself. I use the whole 8 oz. block, but if you prefer less feta, use less 🙂 )

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed with a garlic press
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more to garnish
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Instructions 

  • Cook the orzo to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
    1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
  • In a large bowl, add the orzo and all of the salad ingredients.
    1/2 small red onion, finely diced, 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced, 1, (14.5 oz. jar) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large, 1/2 cup peperoncini, sliced, 1/2 large cucumber, quartered, 1, (15.5 oz. can) garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 8 oz. feta cheese
  • In a 2 cup measuring cup or bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed with a garlic press, 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more to garnish, 1 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. fresh), 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, toss thoroughly to mix. Chill before serving or enjoy straight away. (You can keep some of the dressing on the side or make a little more to serve with the salad when ready). Garnish with more basil prior to serving, if desired.

Video

Notes

The Greek dressing recipe makes 1 cup. Double the recipe if desired. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 399kcal (20%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

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14 Comments
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Laurie

This recipe was delicious! I added chicken to it to add a protein and it made a wonderful dinner. Everyone LOVED it! I will definitely make this again!

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Stephanie

The recipe was delicious! Definitely one I will remember for the future. Especially for summer potlucks/picnic/bbqs!

I added jalapeños because we like everything spicy! So good!

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Shana

Easy to make and the flavor is amazing and refreshing! Definitely a favorite:)

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Chrissie Baker

This salad seems easy to make and looks good. I am looking for quick and easy inexpensive ways make healthy food.

Beth Sachs

All of my favourite things in this salad. I can’t wait for summer BBQ’s so I have an excuse to make it again.

Marlynn

This is such a vibrant, delicious dish and great way to use up some leftover orzo!

Jenn

This is not your usual pasta salad! It is so filled with yummy good things that it’s a real favorite in our house!

Kara

This recipe is so simple and so fresh and delicious.