Easy Orzo Salad

Quick Summary

This Orzo Salad recipe is light, fresh, and filled with veggies, chickpeas, and fresh herbs. It will quickly become a go-to pasta salad in your house! Enjoy for a light lunch, dinner, or take to a potluck!

I love making and taking pasta salads to potlucks, barbecues, and get togethers. They are the perfect side dish for sharing. This Easy Orzo Pasta Salad is a summertime favorite. It’s a versatile and delicious side that everyone loves! I always bring an empty bowl home–no leftovers!

This Orzo Pasta Salad is the MVP of my summer with chickpeas, cucumber, arugula, cherry tomatoes…all coated in a delicious and bright homemade dressing! It’s a summer favorite, but is good all year around. You can’t go wrong with this recipe, anytime of the year.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Orzo?
  2. Salad Ingredients
  3. Simple Dressing
  4. How to Make Orzo Salad
  5. Variations
  6. Can I Make the Salad in Advance?
  7. What to Serve with Orzo Salad
  8. More Orzo Salad Recipes
  9. Orzo Salad Recipe

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a really tiny, short pasta. It’s shaped like large grains of rice, but a little thicker. It’s easy to cook and is great in salads or with served with pesto or marinara sauce. You can buy orzo at most grocery stores, look for it in the pasta aisle.

I love it for this pasta salad because the pasta is so small you can get it in every single bite!

Salad Ingredients

The ingredients are fresh, simple, and oh so delicious! For this salad, you will need:

  •  Orzo pasta– if you can’t find orzo, you can use another small pasta. Farro or quinoa would also be good!
  •  Arugula (can use spinach or chopped kale)
  •  English cucumber
  •  Grape tomatoes
  •  Chickpeas (white beans or shredded chicken would be good too)
  •  Red onion
  •  Feta cheese (can use goat cheese or Parmesan cheese)
  •  Fresh basil (feel free to throw in extra herbs like parsley or mint)

Simple Dressing

Homemade salad dressings are actually SO simple to make and they really take your home cooking to the next level. Don’t be intimidated–it’s just measuring and whisking!

In a medium bowl (or even a Mason jar!), combine:

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice (make sure you use fresh lemon juice)
  • Golden balsamic vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
  • Honey (can use maple syrup)
  • Minced garlic 
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make Orzo Salad

Just a couple steps to the most delicious Orzo Pasta Salad ever!

  • Start with boiling a pan of salty water. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until it’s al dente.
  • Drain and rinse! Give the pasta a rinse in cold water and move it into a large bowl.
  • Add the arugula (or spinach), cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, onion, feta, and basil to the orzo and stir it gently, then drizzle the dressing over the top and stir it again. 


Feel free to customize this pasta salad to your liking!

  • Instead of arugula, use spinach, kale, or your favorite greens.
  • Add chicken or shrimp!
  • Instead of feta cheese, use goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, or even blue cheese. You can also omit the cheese if you need the salad to be dairy-free.
  • Toss in almonds, pecans, pistachios, pepitas, or sunflower seeds.
  • Bring on the veggies. Feel free to stir in extra veggies!
  • Add in fresh mint or Italian parsley.
  • My basil vinaigrette and balsamic vinaigrette are also really good with this salad.

Can I Make the Salad in Advance?

Yes! Up to 3 days in the refrigerator. This is a great recipe to make in the morning and have on hand for an easy side dish or even to eat for lunch.

You can make and keep the dressing in the fridge for up to one week. Give it a good whisk before drizzling it over the salad.

What to Serve with Orzo Salad

This simple salad is a great side dish to really any meal, but here are a few of our favorites.

  • Honey Mustard Chicken
  • Steak Kabobs
  • Greek Turkey Meatballs
  • Lemon Butter Chicken
  • Pistachio Crusted Baked Salmon
  • Soy Ginger Chicken
  • Greek Chicken Kabobs

More Orzo Salad Recipes

  • Roasted Cauliflower Feta and Orzo Salad
  • Greek Tortellini Salad
  • Orzo Salad with Grapes, Arugula, & Feta
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad
  • Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Cucumbers, Lemon, Dill, & Feta

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