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This Orzo Pasta Salad is such a deliciously fresh and summery dish that’s perfect for a hearty lunch or quick dinner. In just 15 minutes you have a bowlful of crunch and flavour, loads of nutrition and light Mediterranean vibes.

A big bowl filled with finely sliced ingredients that make up an Orzo Pasta Salad.

I wanted to add another simple classic to my pasta salad collection, because they are FANTASTIC when we need a quick meal, so having a few variations up our sleeve keeps life interesting. 

This Orzo Pasta Salad is along the same lines as my Classic Tuna Pasta Salad, Pasta Pesto Salad and Chicken Pasta Pesto… meaning LOADS of flavour but quick and easy to make. A bit of chopping, a quick boil of pasta and a bit of dressing. Done.

You can enjoy it hot or cold, for lunch, a picnic, a side dish to a bigger meal or a quick dinner, and it’s also budget friendly and healthy, making it a perfect vegetarian family meal.


Why you’ll love this Orzo Pasta Salad recipe

⭐️ Great for leftovers

⭐️ Quick and easy – ready in under 15 minutes

⭐️ Fresh, delicious and nutritious


A big bowl filled with finely sliced ingredients that make up an Orzo Pasta Salad.

How we came up with this recipe

I used orzo in this recipe because I wanted something a bit different this time from the usual pasta salad dishes. If you haven’t come across or cooked with orzo before – I urge you to give it a go

I have started to introduce more recipes with orzo recently (such as my Orzo Bolognese and Butternut Squash & Halloumi Orzo Bake) because it offers something different. 

It’s shaped a bit like rice but has more of a pasta texture, it holds its shape and it also works really well in hot and cold dishes, like this salad that’s filled with other finely-diced ingredients. It’s always nice to have another string to our bow! 

What’s also great is that, while I’ve made this a sort of Greek-style Orzo Pasta with chickpeas, red onion, olives and feta, you can really customise this to your own tastes and what you have in the fridge.


Orzo Pasta Salad Ingredients Notes

Ingredients for the recipe Orzo Pasta Salad laid out on a counter. Onion, feta, orzo, tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, mind and dressing.
  • Orzo – If you’d like to stick to regular pasta, go for what you have. You could also use fresh pasta or wholemeal pasta instead to increase the fibre content
  • Salad – Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, black olives (optional), mint and chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • For the dressing – Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Feta – This gives a lot of flavour which complements the lightness of the salad

How to make Orzo Pasta Salad

Lots of ingredients for Orzo Pasta Salad in a bowl, ready to be mixed.

1. Boil your orzo according to the pack instructions. Meanwhile chop the salad ingredients.

Two spoons mixing up all of the ingredients for Orzo Pasta Salad.

2. When cooked, drain the orzo and rinse in cold water. Mix everything together and add the oil, vinegar and seasoning.


Substitutions

  • Salad mix – I’ve added chickpeas for protein and cucumber, tomatoes and mint for that ultra fresh flavour, but you can add whatever you like. Sweetcorn, radish, peppers… you name it, give it a go!

Leftovers

In the fridge This is perfect for cold leftovers. It travels well so is also fantastic for picnics or packed lunches too.

If you are planning to store this, you can keep the dressing separate and then mix it just before serving. It will stay fresher/crispier this way. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

In the freezer  I wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe.

What to serve With this

This is a full meal on its own, but if you want to you could double carb with dough balls or garlic bread to make your dish go further, or additional protein like cooked chicken.

Other quick pasta recipes…

FAQs

Is Orzo Pasta Salad healthy?

This salad is packed with vegetables and chickpeas for protein and fibre. It’s a filling and nutritious meal that’s got plenty of goodness.

Is it OK to have this dish warm?

Yes! Just omit the step where you run the pasta under cold water and mix the pasta straight in with the other ingredients after you’ve drained it. It’s delicious either way.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.92 from 12 votes

Orzo Pasta Salad {15 Minute Meal}

This fresh, flavour-packed and healthy Orzo Pasta Salad is ready in 15 minutes, making it perfect for a quick midweek dinner, a hearty lunch or a picnic addition. It’s also summery with a Mediterranean vibe.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 300 g Orzo
  • 1/2 Cucumber, Cut into 1cm cubes
  • 200 g Cherry tomatoes, Cut into 1cm cubes
  • 200 g Feta, Cut into 1cm cubes
  • 30 g Mint, Finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Red onion, Peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 80 g Black olives, Pitted and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 400 g Chickpeas, 1x tin drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Boil your orzo for about 5 minutes or according to the pack instructions.
  • Meanwhile, chop all of your fresh ingredients.
  • Once the orzo is cooked, drain and rinse it in very cold water.
  • Mix the orzo with the vegetables, add the vinegar and oil and mix well.

Notes

Orzo: Use alternative pasta shape if you prefer, but orzo does work brilliantly here
Chopping: Try to chop all of the vegetables and cheese to a similar size
To enjoy warm: Just omit the step where you run the pasta under cold water and mix the pasta straight in with the other ingredients after you’ve drained it. It’s delicious either way
Serving suggestions: This is a full meal on its own, but if you want to you could double carb with dough balls or garlic bread to make your dish go further, or additional protein like cooked chicken
To store: This is perfect for cold leftovers. It travels well so is also fantastic for picnics or packed lunches too. You can keep the dressing separate and then mix it just before serving. It will stay fresher/crispier this way. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days
Salad mix: I’ve added chickpeas for protein and cucumber, tomatoes and mint for that ultra fresh flavour, but you can add whatever you like. Sweetcorn, radish, peppers… you name it, give it a go!

Nutrition

Calories: 709kcalCarbohydrates: 95gProtein: 27gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 907mgPotassium: 758mgFiber: 12gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 907IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 361mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Family Food, Mediterranean
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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious and fresh, love it. can you recommend some alternative dressings so we can change up the flavour please. Thanks for inspo and sharing these recipes x

  2. 5 stars
    Cant so making this its so versatile.
    A meal on its own, a side with grilled Salmon topped with sliced chicken breast, its so versatile, easy to make and very tasty.

  3. 4 stars
    I recently tried Orzo Pasta Salad with Tahini, and it was a delightful experience! The creamy texture of the tahini combined with the chewiness of the orzo pasta created a perfect balance of flavors. The addition of fresh vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers added a refreshing crunch, while herbs like parsley and mint brought a burst of freshness. Overall, it was a satisfying and flavorful dish that I would make again! Follow for more food combination ideas https://www.gourmade.in/

  4. I’ve made a version of this for many years and would agree that it’s a real favourite with everyone! I would never run the orzo under cold water though – if you drain it, transfer to the large serving bowl and then dress with the dressing when it’s still warm then the orzo will absorb so much more flavour. I also always cook it for at least two or three minutes less than the packet states to give a little more ‘body’.