This easy Greek Orzo Salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, BBQs and get togethers. Whenever you need an easy and healthy side dish, that is guaranteed to disappear first, make this gorgeous Greek orzo salad!
OK, so I have to confess: I’m not a fan of pasta salads. I just don’t like the concept of eating pasta cold. I am being offered pasta salads nearly every time I’m at someone’s birthday or BBQ party and I always have to refuse (or let my husband have my portion) because I would rather eat anything else than pasta salad. I probably would eat it only if I am very very hungry. But absolutely not if there are other options.
With that being sad, I had to change my mind about pasta salads once I decided to give this summer fresh Greek pasta salad a try and I loved it so much it can now compete with the vegan Mexican chopped salad in being my go-to summer salad!
It came out surprisingly (for me) delicious, full of flavor and so easy to make! I made it a few times already for potlucks and every time it was a hit.
I guess what makes the difference for me is the type of pasta, among other things. Orzo is a rice-looking pasta perfect for salads as it mixes well into a salad without overpowering it with pasta taste.
Another thing I like in this Greek pasta salad is the overall summer tone. Light, fresh and crunchy are the keywords here. The simple olive oil lemon dressing fits so well to this salad, giving it a refreshing zesty note.
This Greek orzo salad is perfect for summer picnics, potlucks, BBQ parties and any get together. It is great as a portable lunch as well (ask my husband about it). Whenever you need an easy and healthy side dish that is almost guaranteed to disappear first, make this Greek orzo salad 😉
Ingredients used in this salad you might already have on hand. Orzo pasta, arugula, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes in oil (my go-to staple!), olives and parsley.
The combination of these simple ingredients makes this salad a great nutrient-dense side dish packed with Mediterranean flavors. Lots of veggies, a bit of carbs, healthy oil and proteins is what makes a typical Mediterranean dish.
Mediterranean diet emphasizing vegetables, fruits and whole grains, is among the healthiest diets out there. Studies have shown that it helps prevent heart disease and promote weight loss if combined with active lifestyle.
I don’t fully follow this diet but I love all the veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains, and olive oil is my go-to cooking fat. I love that it emphasizes whole foods and seasonal ingredients, which I am all about!
Since this Greek orzo salad was a major hit in my household, I’m sure you will enjoy it too! Another great thing about it is that it takes you 20 minutes tops to make it and here is how.
How to Make Easy Greek Orzo Salad
Start by cooking the orzo pasta (use gluten-free if you must) following the package directions until al dente. I cooked my orzo in salty water for 7 minutes.
Prepare your veggies: Roughly chop arugula, cut cherry tomatoes and olives in halves, chop sun-dried tomatoes, finely chop parsley. You can also add chopped red onions for an extra pungent note. Break feta cheese with your fingers and add it to the veggies together with cooled orzo.
Prepare the easiest summer salad dressing: Combine olive oil with lemon juice, honey, garlic powder, salt and freshly ground black pepper in a jar and give it a good shake. Pour the dressing over your salad to coat and mix it all together. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you need. Enjoy!
Serve it as a side dish for BBQ or as a main for lunch. It makes for a great portable snack/lunch. You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
A nice way to serve it is with a glass of chilled ayran (yogurt drink).
Here is the full recipe for you. What is your favorite pasta salad? I’d love to know!
Easy Greek Orzo Salad
For the salad:
- 5 oz or 140 g orzo gluten-free if preferred
- 2 handfuls arugula
- 1 cup or 150 g cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup or 40 g Kalamata olives pitted, halved
- 1/2 cup or 60 g sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 3.5 oz or 100 g feta cheese
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Make the salad:
- Start by cooking the orzo pasta following the package directions until al dente. I cooked my orzo in salty water for 7 minutes.
- Prepare your veggies: Roughly chop arugula, cut cherry tomatoes and olives in halves, chop sun-dried tomatoes, finely chop parsley. You can also add chopped red onions for an extra pungent note. Break feta cheese with your fingers and add it to the veggies together with cooled orzo.
Make the dressing:
- Prepare the dressing: Combine olive oil with lemon juice, honey, garlic powder, salt and freshly ground black pepper in a jar and give it a good shake. Pour the dressing over your salad to coat and mix it all together. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you need. Enjoy!
Other Salad Recipes You’ll Love:
- Shaved Asparagus Salad with Peanut Dressing
- Healthy Vegan Waldorf Salad Recipe
- Summer Grilled Peach Salad