This Greek orzo salad is made with cucumbers, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, feta and herbs, all tossed in a herb dressing. A simple yet hearty pasta salad that can be served as a main course or side dish.

Orzo pasta salad is an unexpected and delicious addition to any meal. The combination of crunchy vegetables, protein packed chickpeas and creamy feta cheese just can’t be beat! Serve this salad alongside other summer favorites such as sparkling raspberry limeade, fig salad, and shish kabobs for a memorable meal.

Orzo salad in a serving bowl with tomatoes, cucumbers and chickpeas.

There’s nothing better than the perfect side dish when it comes to a summer get together. I enjoy coming up with various side dishes that are fresh and new like this orzo salad. The delicious mixture of chickpeas and crunchy vegetables pair well with the creamy feta cheese to make the ultimate easy summer salad.

Orzo Pasta Salad Ingredients

For this recipe, you will need orzo pasta, cucumber, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, chickpeas, red onion, feta cheese, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, oregano, salt and black pepper.

How Do You Make Orzo Salad?

Cook and drain the orzo according to package directions. Place the cooked orzo in a large bowl along with the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, red onion, parsley and feta cheese. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing mixture over the pasta and veggies and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately, or chill for later use.

A bowl of orzo pasta, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, red onions, herbs and chickpeas.

Tips For The Perfect Salad

  • To cool your orzo quickly for this salad, run it under cold water in a colander. The cold water will cool the pasta as well as prevent it from clumping together.
  • The salad can be prepared up to 8 hours before you plan to eat it. You can also make the dressing up to 3 days in advance.
  • Leftover pasta salad will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • For added nutrition, you can serve this orzo salad over a bed of spinach or arugula.

Quick TIp

This salad can also be made with other types of small pasta. Some great options include macaroni, ditalini, small shells or even pastina.

A bowl of orzo pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, chickpeas and feta cheese topped with dressing.

Recipe FAQs

What is orzo?

Orzo is a type of short pasta that resembles grains of rice, only a tad bit bigger. It can also go by the name “risoni.”You can find orzo in the pasta aisle of almost all major grocery stores.

How do I use orzo?

Orzo is cooked just as most pasta is – boiled. You can use orzo like you would rice or in a variety of pasta dishes.

What is orzo salad made of?

Orzo salad contains orzo salad, as well as a variety of chopped uncooked vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and greens. It often contains cheese and is typically coated in a vinaigrette dressing.

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Orzo pasta salad with a serving spoon in the bowl.

Recipe Variations

This recipe is fabulous as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Protein: Make this a main course meal by adding diced grilled chicken tenders, grilled shrimp, or even grilled salmon flaked into smaller pieces. You can also use white beans instead of chickpeas if you prefer.
  • Grains: Swap out the pasta for a different grain such as brown rice, quinoa or farro. If you’re watching your carbs, you can even try using cauliflower rice.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add other veggies to the mix. Some of my favorite additions include green bell peppers, chopped kale, marinated artichoke hearts and asparagus.
  • Toppings: Finish your salad with a variety of toppings such as kalamata olives, toasted pine nuts or cooked crumbled bacon. Try adding some other fresh herbs such as fresh mint, dill, fresh basil or chives.
  • Cheese: No feta cheese on hand? Other great options include goat cheese or shaved parmesan.
Greek orzo salad with pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese.

This orzo pasta salad is so easy to make that I make a batch a few times a month, I love to have it as a lighter lunch. It’s definitely healthier than many other side dishes can be, and it gets the kids to eat their vegetables. It’s definitely one of my go-to dishes for summer family meals or get togethers.

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5 from 33 votes

Orzo Salad

AuthorSara Welch
Orzo salad in a serving bowl with tomatoes, cucumbers and chickpeas.
This greek orzo salad is made with cucumbers, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, feta and herbs, all tossed in a herb dressing. A simple yet hearty pasta salad that can be served as a main course or side dish.
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Greek
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces dried orzo pasta cooked in salted water according to package directions, then cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups cucumber diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Place the orzo pasta, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, red onion, parsley and feta cheese in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, oregano and salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture. Toss to coat, then serve.

Notes

  1. To cool your orzo quickly for this salad, run it under cold water in a colander. The cold water will cool the pasta as well as prevent it from clumping together.
  2. This salad can be prepared up to 8 hours before you plan to serve it.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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5 from 33 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing! It has been a hit every time I serve it. I add baked Italian seasoned shrimp and it is over the top good.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the first review I have ever left. I did this because this salad is amazing. I take it to every gathering I attend.

  3. 5 stars
    This salad is so good and so filling! I love that dressing, I’m going to have to try it on other salads!

  4. 5 stars
    This is such a delicious and easy salad to make! I’ve made it for lunch as a meal prep recipe, served it as a side dish for dinner, and brought it to a picnic, and it is always a hit!

  5. Made it today, but I didn’t have garbanzo beans or fresh parsley so I skipped them, and it was delicious! Will definitely make again!

  6. 5 stars
    This salad has wonderful flavors and texture. This was my first time using the orzo pasta and your directions were easy to

  7. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday and it was easy to make and delicious.
    I added sliced kalamata olives for more flavor even though it didn’t need it.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this for years and get requests to make this for family gatherings. Also great using asparagas