This Greek orzo salad with feta is a savory and scrumptious side dish that is the perfect complement to all of your gyro and grilled meat and vegetable dishes. It’s fresh, filling and colorful — a delight to all of the senses.
Perfect for barbecue lunches and dinners, it’s an extremely satisfying vegetarian side dish. With plenty of flavor, the salad has just the right amount of dressing.
It not only tastes incredible, but it looks stunning with all of those colors as well.
We have a Greek inspired menu that we enjoy on repeat, mostly during the summers but it is perfect any time of year.
It’s easy enough to make along with a few simple recipes (see the recipes below in What to Serve With).
And, before you know it, you have got an extremely flavorful meal, perfect for a gathering.
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Greek Orzo Salad With Feta Ingredients
And the nice thing is, you may already have several or most of these ingredients at home. Plus, most of these ingredients are common to many Greek recipes, so you can make a lot of food with them.
- Orzo — cooked orzo, easy to cook on stove top or even easier if you make Instant Pot orzo.
- Feta Cheese — Feta cheese can be diced, or crumbled. You can make the pieces as large or small as you like.
- Cucumber — cucumber can be kept with skin on or peeled if you prefer. You can use any type of cucumber.
- Tomato — It’s possible to use any tomato, but for a colorful presentation and added flavor it’s nice to have a mixed color variety of cherry tomatoes that you can cut each in half. Our grocery store sells packages of these called President’s Choice Mixiany cherry tomatoes, with a mix of yellow, red and orange cherry tomatoes.
- Onion — red onion or sub yellow or white onion, diced.
- Olives — Kalamata olives are the best choice for Greek salads, for their traditional flavor in dishes. You can also use black olives, pitted and sliced. We have both types in ours.
Greek Orzo Salad With Feta Dressing Ingredients
- Olive Oil — use a good quality, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
- Red Wine Vinegar — this adds an authentic flavor to the dressing.
- Lemon Juice — freshly squeezed lemon juice to add some fresh zing to this side dish.
- Greek Seasoning — You can use homemade or store bought for convenience.
- Salt — Himalayan pink salt, ground.
- Pepper — Freshly ground black pepper.
What is Orzo Pasta?
Orzo is usually made of semolina flour. It’s a small Italian pasta, called pastina, that is rice shaped and can be substituted for rice in dishes.
Popular in soups, it has a satisfying texture, similar in size to rice, but smooth like pasta.
Plain pastina, small pasta like orzo, is one of the first foods for a baby or toddler in Italy. Pastina in broth with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, is one of my first memories of food as a child. Kids also love it plain with some butter and parmesan.
And it’s one of the first meals our kids have enjoyed as well. It’s the perfect size for them and they totally approve.
It’s a comforting and versatile pasta that you can use in a variety of soups and side dishes.
Is Orzo Gluten Free
Traditional orzo, an Italian small pasta made from semolina flour, is not gluten free. However, there are gluten free varieties available.
Our local grocery store carries Red Lentil and Chickpea Orzo (PC President’s Choice Brand). This gluten free pasta is made of red lentil flour and chickpea flour, both gluten free.
It also has 20 g of protein per serving and is high in fiber.
This type of orzo has 50 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber (44 g net carbs) and 3 g sugars per serving.
How To Make Greek Orzo Salad With Feta
The first thing you’ll need to do is cook your orzo. You can do this with the stove top or Instant Pot. If you’d like to use the stove, just boil the orzo according to package directions.
We love to cook orzo in an Instant Pot. It’s super easy and you don’t need to tend to it as you would need to if it’s cooked on a stove.
Just toss in the orzo with some water, set the timer for two minutes at HIGH pressure and voila.
You can cook it in chicken broth and add some common ingredients into the Instant Pot to enhance the flavor. See our recipe card below or recipe for Instant Pot orzo for more details.
Perfectly cooked, al dente (tender, yet firm) orzo ready for your favorite pasta salad.
Once you have your cooked orzo, you can go ahead and add it to a large bowl.
Then, you can combine the ingredients for the Greek pasta salad dressing.
Pour the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Place the remaining ingredients into the bowl, along with the orzo pasta salad dressing. The cooked orzo is hidden underneath!
Mix well. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
What To Serve With Greek Orzo Salad With Feta
We love to serve Greek orzo pasta salad with a BBQ menu. It’s perfect for a potluck lunch to bring to the office or a party at someone’s home.
It’s so easy to do and it’s a crowd pleaser. If you’re the one hosting, this is a simple salad to make alongside the easy crowd pleasing menus below.
You will definitely want to make up an easy batch of tzatziki to go with this.
Serve orzo pasta salad with Instant Pot Lamb Gyros, in a gyro wrap or in a gyro plate. And one of the best ways to enjoy gyros is as part of a gyro salad.
I almost always whip up a quick spinach artichoke dip to serve alongside this Greek inspired menu. Spinach artichoke dip just goes so well with this menu. It’s fast and you can prep it ahead.
Plain cooked orzo and prepared orzo salad can be kept in the fridge, covered for three to five days.
You can freeze orzo in a freezer safe zip lock bag for up to three months.
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Greek Orzo Salad With Feta
For the Orzo
- 1.5 Cups Orzo, dry, uncooked
- 1.5 tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Salt
For the Vegetables and Feta
- 1 Cup Feta Cheese, diced into cubes
- 1 Cup Tomatoes, regular diced or cherry tomatoes, mixed colors if possible, cut in half
- 2 Cups Cucumber, diced
- 1 Cup Red Onion, diced
- 375 ml Olives, kalamata and/or black olives, pitted and sliced
For the Greek Orzo With Feta Salad Dressing
- 5 tablespoons Olive Oil, cold pressed, extra virgin
- 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoons Greek Seasoning, homemade or store bought
- 1 tablespoon Thyme, fresh, chopped
- ½ teaspoon Salt, Himalayan pink salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper, freshly ground black pepper
- Cook orzo on your stovetop according to package instructions or in an Instant Pot. The orzo needs to be cooked to al dente (tender, yet firm) and rinsed under cold water when complete to stop the cooking process. If using an Instant Pot, place orzo into the pot with 2.5 cups water, 1.5 tablespoons olive oil and a half teaspoon salt.
- Fasten lid, set the Instant Pot pressure valve to SEALING and set timer to 2 minutes on HIGH pressure. When the two minutes are complete, quick release the pressure (by moving the pressure valve to VENTING). When the pressure valve is all of the way down, open the lid and let the orzo sit uncovered in the pot until the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). After the water is absorbed, rinse under cold water in a colander.
Chop Veggies and Add To Bowl
- Meanwhile the Instant Pot is cooking orzo, prepare your vegetables and feta. Chop regular tomatoes if using or cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Dice feta, onions and cucumbers. Add prepared veggies and feta to the bowl with cooked orzo along with the olives.
Make the Greek Orzo Salad Dressing
- Pour the orzo salad dressing ingredients into a small bowl.
- Mix well to thoroughly combine.
- Add the prepared salad dressing to the bowl with cooked orzo, feta and vegetables. Mix well. Keep covered in fridge until ready to serve.
The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.