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This orzo pasta salad recipe is the perfect side dish or lunch! Bursting with flavor, it’s loaded with fresh veggies and feta cheese.

Orzo pasta salad
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Need an easy side dish or lunch idea? This orzo pasta salad recipe is bursting with flavor and the perfect accessory for any meal. It stars the tender pasta grains with crunchy veggies, salty feta cheese, fresh herbs and a zippy vinaigrette dressing.

The best part? It tastes great for days! Leftovers hold up well in the fridge, making it perfect for lunches throughout the week too.

Ingredients in orzo pasta salad

This orzo pasta salad recipe is simple to put together: it’s a matter of cooking pasta, chopping veggies, and making a quick vinaigrette! The flavor profile has Mediterranean or Greek vibe, bursting with fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil. You can also add any vegetables you like! Here’s what you’ll need for the base salad:

  • Orzo
  • English cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shallot
  • Fresh oregano and parsley
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Garlic powder, dried dill, and salt
  • Olive oil
  • Feta cheese crumbles

Types of orzo

Orzo is a small pasta that’s shaped like grains of rice. Known as risoni in Italy, it can be served in various ways: as a side dish, pilaf, as part of an orzo salad, or in soups. There are several sizes of orzo available in stores; we prefer the medium grains that are about the size of grains of rice. You can also find different colors of orzo, like tricolor orzo that’s colored naturally with sundried tomatoes and spinach.

Variations and mix-ins

This orzo pasta salad is easily customizable to the ingredients you have on hand or your flavor preferences! It would be perfect with Kalamata olives like in a Greek pasta salad, or whatever vegetables are hiding in your refrigerator. Here are a few ideas for adding to this orzo pasta salad:

  • Kalamata olives
  • Red pepper, diced
  • Jarred roasted red pepper, diced
  • Broccoli, cut into very small florets
  • Red onion slices
  • Zucchini, small diced
  • Spinach or kale, chopped
Orzo pasta salad

Orzo pasta salad storage info

This orzo pasta salad recipe tastes great the day it is made, but it stores very well! You can also make it in advance and refrigerate until serving, or keep it refrigerated as a lunch idea to eat throughout the week. Here are a few tips for storage:

  • This orzo pasta salad lasts for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It’s ideal for making ahead or healthy lunches throughout the week.
  • Refresh the flavors before serving. Bring the salad to room temperature. Then stir in a drizzle of olive oil and a bit more crumbled feta cheese. You may or may not need an extra pinch of salt.

Ways to serve it

We’ve found that pasta salad recipes are fun and versatile: they work as a side for just about anything! They’re great for a summer dinner with any grilled main, or with fish, chicken, or vegetarian mains. Or add pita bread for a light lunch! Here are a few great ways to serve it:

Orzo pasta salad

More pasta salad recipes

Want more pasta salad ideas? There are so many recipes, from classic to pesto to shrimp and more! Here are a few of our top pasta salad recipes:

Dietary notes

This orzo pasta salad recipe is vegetarian.

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Orzo pasta salad

Orzo Pasta Salad

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6 1x
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This orzo pasta salad recipe is the perfect side dish or lunch! Bursting with flavor, it’s loaded with fresh veggies and feta cheese.


  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, small diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (2 cups)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Fill a medium pot with 10 cups water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the orzo and stir. Bring the pot back to a boil, then boil for about 8 minutes until the orzo is tender. Place the orzo in a strainer to drain, then rinse it under cold water until it comes to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the fresh vegetables and herbs as noted in the ingredient list.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, garlic, garlic powder, dill, and kosher salt. Then whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Once the orzo is done, add it to the large bowl of dressing and toss with the chopped vegetables and herbs. Add the feta cheese and fresh ground black pepper and stir to combine.
  5. Taste and add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve immediately. Stores up to 5 days refrigerated (leftovers taste great; allow to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more cheese or salt as necessary).
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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