Greek orzo salad is a recipe I’ve been bringing to parties and cookouts for years, even decades, and it always disappears! You can’t go wrong with a combination pasta salad and Greek salad, full of black olives, feta, cucumbers, and lots of tiny, baby peas. Yum!
Today I have for you an old family favorite. One I’ve been making for so long that I can’t even remember how I came up with it the first place! I seem to remember that I needed a recipe for a party and had everything needed to make a great Greek salad in the house and I had some orzo for pasta salad so I went with it and mashed the two ideas together.
Even if that’s not quite how I came up with the recipe, it’s probably close because any day of the week I could make an orzo salad just from the contents of my fridge and pantry. And this is good! Because orzo salad is excellent, and easy, and just as great to have as a side with dinner as it is to bring to the next potluck.
How to Make Greek Orzo Salad
Start by heating a big pot of salted water on the stove. Once it comes to a boil, cook your orzo and then stir in the peas at the very end. You just want to thaw them out.
Then drain and toss the orzo and peas with the dressing and let it all cool down.
While the orzo is cooling, chop up all the vegetables and then add them to the bowl when you’re ready. Toss everything together and serve! Easy. 🙂
While this recipe for Greek pasta salad is my favorite and the one I usually make, sometimes I like to mix it up and try something a little different.
Variations you might want to try
- Switch out the red onion for thinly sliced spring onions. Or, even better, red spring onions! You may see these onions at your local farm stand or farmer’s market.
- Have fusilli in the house but no orzo? While it won’t be a Greek orzo salad anymore, many of the small pasta shapes can be used in place of the orzo.
- Gluten-free? Gluten-free orzo! Yay!
- Add another layer of nutrition by using brown rice or farro in the recipe.
- Use other herbs, like parsley or mint.
Can orzo salad be made a day ahead?
Yes! It absolutely can be made ahead. In fact, I think it’s even better when it has time to sit and for all the flavors to come together.
- You may need to make a little extra dressing to toss with the salad before serving since the orzo is going to soak up the dressing. A good way to deal with that is to make a little more when you are making the salad and store it in the fridge along with the salad.
- I prefer not to chill the tomatoes if I’m going to be serving this at a party. It’s a small detail and no one but me would probably notice, but I always add the tomatoes the day of even if I make the salad the day before.
Some More Greek Salad Recipes:
- Traditional Greek Chopped Salad
- Spring Radish and Snap Pea Greek Salad
- Greek Buddha Bowl with Chickpeas and Squash
If you try my recipe for Greek orzo salad, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Greek Orzo Salad with Feta and Peas
- 8 oz orzo
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 medium cucumber, diced, and peeled if needed
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 12 small tomatoes, halved, grape tomatoes or similar
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the orzo. Cook the orzo according to package directions. Just before draining, stir in the peas. Then drain the orzo and peas.
- Transfer the orzo and peas to a large bowl. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour it over the warm orzo. Toss to combine and then set aside the orzo until it cools to room temperature. (You can put the salad into the refrigerator or just leave it on the counter and stir it occasionally.)
- Once the orzo is cool, add the cucumber, olives, onion, tomatoes, basil, and feta. Toss again to combine and serve.
- If you are using fresh, shelled peas, add them along with the rest of the vegetables since you don't need to cook fresh peas at all.
- Grape tomatoes are great in this salad when tomatoes are out of season. If you have in-season tomatoes switch out the grape tomatoes for one or two full size tomatoes. (Depending on how huge they are!)
- Other ideas include: using gluten-free orzo, adding some mint or parsley, or entirely switching out the orzo for a whole grain like brown rice or farro.