This easy to make Mediterranean Orzo Salad is satisfying, filling, and anything but boring! Orzo salad is packed with fresh Mediterranean flavors that include tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, crumbled feta cheese, and homemade Greek dressing. It’s a great summer salad that’s ideal for outdoor parties, potlucks, picnics, and more!
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This Mediterranean Orzo Salad couldn’t be easier to make! Overall, it’ll take you under thirty minutes from start to finish to follow my simple steps. After your half hour efforts are finished, you’ll end up with a delightfully flavorful and fresh salad that tastes like it’s straight from a Greek village! While the key salad ingredients are thoroughly Greek, it’s the homemade dressing that really ties it all together.
Store-bought Greek salad dressing just never quite cuts it for me. I like when my salads are tossed in a dressing that’s made with all real, natural ingredients – not preservatives and artificial flavors, which are all too common in the store-bought stuff. Instead of pouring a bottle of lackluster dressing onto your fresh salad, make the dressing yourself with my bold recipe! It’s got mouthwatering ingredients like freshly squeezed lemon juice, garlic, a medley of dried herbs, and more.
Bringing this Mediterranean Orzo Salad with you to a potluck or party of any sort during the summer is always a great idea. It’s filled with summery, fresh flavor, and it actually fills you up! While I do love a salad that’s full of leafy greens, those don’t always hit the spot like an orzo salad with diced veggies does. It’s always a hit at any gathering I bring it to, and it’s clear to see why. Really, who doesn’t love fresh vegetables, tender orzo, crumbled feta cheese, and a homemade dressing?!
How to Make Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Ingredients You’ll Need:
For the orzo salad:
- Orzo Pasta
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Red Onion
- Bell Pepper
- Black Olives – Make sure they’re drained prior to tossing with the other ingredients.
- Feta Cheese – you can get a block and crumble it yourself or get crumbled feta.
For the Greek salad dressing:
- Olive Oil – Use a good quality olive oil.
- White Wine Vinegar – champagne or white balsamic vinegar works in a pinch, but white is really the best for this flavor palate.
- Dijon Mustard – Do NOT substitute this with plain yellow mustard!
- Lemon Juice – for the best results, use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not the bottled alternative.
- Garlic – use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
- Dried Herbs – A medley of parsley, dill weed, and oregano create a delicious herbaceous note in the dressing.
- Salt – try to use coarse or sea salt, not table salt.
- Black Pepper
Prepare the ingredients.
Cook the orzo pasta according to package directions.
Dice and chop all of your vegetables accordingly. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
Drain the black olives and crumble the feta cheese before tossing them into the bowl.
Drain the cooked pasta, allow it to cool for a few minutes, then toss it into the mixing bowl.
Toss the salad.
Once all of the ingredients are prepared and in the bowl, toss everything together.
Combine all of the ingredients for your homemade dressing and mix it into the pasta salad just before serving. You don’t want the dressing to sit on the ingredients for too long, so make sure it’s only added to the salad right before you’re ready to enjoy it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this orzo salad ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can make the whole salad the day before, just without the dressing, and store it in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight food storage container. You can make the dressing ahead of time as well and store it separately in a glass jar with a lid or a dressing container. Mix the orzo salad with Greek dressing right before serving.
Remember, do NOT toss the pasta salad with the dressing before you store it! Pasta will soak up all the moisture leaving the salad dry and the dressing will also cause all of your fresh veggies to wilt and get mushy.
Can I use other pasta instead of orzo?
That is a personal choice, of course. I’d stick to the small pastas like ditalini, stellini, pastina, acini di pepe, etc. The reason I recommend to stick to a small pasta here is because of the ratio of the size of pasta to the vegetables and cheese. Since everything here is in small pieces, you get a beautifully balanced bite that has a little bit of everything.
Is this orzo salad gluten free?
This pasta salad can easy be gluten free if you use gluten free orzo. Every other ingredient is already gluten free, so all you have to do is swap out the pasta!
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- 1 lb orzo pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes diced
- 1/2 red onion sliced thin
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 small cucumber chopped
- 4-6 oz sliced black olives drained
- 6-8 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried dill weed
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta in salted water according to the package instructions and strain it. Set aside to cool down.
- Dice and chop the vegetables and place them into a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the black olives and feta cheese.
- When the pasta is cooled, add it into the mixing bowl and mix to combine.
- You can serve the pasta salad cold or room temperature. If you would like to serve it cold, cover the bowl with pasta and vegetables and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Stir in the dressing before serving.
- Shake together the ingredients for the Green dressing and mix it into the pasta salad.
- Serve right away.