This Greek Orzo Pasta Salad features heaps of fresh veggies. Crisp English cucumber, spinach, and parsley are combined with al dente orzo, a simple red wine vinaigrette, and briny olives and feta. Fresh, crunchy, salty and briny, the perfect orzo pasta salad!

Ingredients in Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

  • orzo pasta
  • red wine vinegar 
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • oregano 
  • Dijon mustard 
  • honey
  • red pepper flakes
  • spinach
  • english cucumber
  • olives (I like a combo of castelvetrano olives and kalamata olives) 
  • parsley
  • shallot
  • feta cheese
cooked orzo, vinegar, feta, olives, spinach, parsley, cucumbers, and shallots prepped and measured out in bowls on a gray table

How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad

  1. Cook the orzo in boiling salted water. The water should be salty like the ocean. For this recipe I fill a large saucepan with water, bring it to a boil and add a tablespoon of kosher salt.
  2. While the pasta cooks, whisk together the vinaigrette in a large bowl. You’ll be adding all of the salad ingredients to the vinaigrette, so make sure the bowl is large enough to toss the salad.
  3. Drain the pasta well then transfer to the bowl with the vinaigrette; stir to combine.
  4. Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine. Season the salad with salt and additional red pepper flakes to taste. 

FAQ About this Greek Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

How long does orzo pasta salad last?

This Greek Orzo Pasta Salad will last up to 5 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The quality will be best if eaten within 3 days.

Can you freeze orzo pasta salad?

I do not recommend freezing pasta salad, especially one made with cucumbers and leafy greens. Once thawed, the cucumbers will take on an unpleasant watery texture.

Is orzo pasta salad good for you?

This pasta salad is packed with more veggies than most, which makes it healthier in our book. It’s also made with heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil which gives it a leg up on most pasta salads. And, if you can find whole-wheat orzo pasta that will up the nutritional value even more.
The only thing to keep an eye on in this mediterranean pasta salad is the sodium. The olives, olive brine and feta do make this a bit saltier than most. If you’re watching sodium, hold off on seasoning with additional salt until after you give it a taste. Though I do think this salad needs some salt for seasoning, olives and feta can’t do it all. 

What to Serve with Orzo Pasta Salad

Serve this Orzo Pasta Salad as a side dish with…

Variations:

  • Add halved grape or cherry tomatoes.
  • Add chopped fresh basil right before serving.
  • Skip the olives and add capers.
  • Swap the shallot out for red onion.
  • Add chopped sundried tomatoes.
  • For added texture and plant-based protein, add rinsed and drained canned chickpeas.
  • Make this a full meal by adding chopped rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken or marinated and cooked tofu.
orzo pasta salad with spinach, olives and cucumbers in a large white bowl

Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Yield 8 ½ cups
Category Side Dish
Cuisine Greek/Mediterranean
Author Lauren Grant

Description

A veggie-filled orzo pasta salad that’s bursting with the fresh flavors of cucumber, parsley, and shallot. Salty feta, briny olives, and fresh oregano round out the flavors. 

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (1 ¼ cups dry) dry orzo pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups chopped spinach or arugula
  • 1 English cucumber, diced (about 2 cups)
  • ¾ cup sliced pitted olives (I like a combo of castelvetrano and kalamata + 2 tablespoons olive brine)
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (½ cup)
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente according to package directions. 
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, oregano, Dijon, honey, and pepper flakes.
    vinaigrette in a large glass bowl with veggies set around
  • Drain pasta well then add to bowl with vinaigrette; toss to coat.
    cooked orzo pasta in a large glass bowl
  • Add spinach, cucumber, olives, olive brine, parsley, and shallot; toss until well combined. Gently stir in feta, reserving some for garnish. Season salad with salt and additional red pepper flakes to taste.
    olives, shallots, cucumber, spinach, and feta piled into a large glass bowl
  • Transfer salad to a large serving bowl and sprinkle reserved feta over top.
    orzo pasta salad in a large glass bowl
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Dairy-free: to make this dairy free leave out the feta. 
Gluten-free: to make this gluten-free, use any shape of gluten-free pasta you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6.5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 746mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3g
Keywords greek orzo pasta salad, mediterranean pasta salad, orzo pasta salad
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
orzo pasta salad with spinach, olives and cucumbers in a large white bowl

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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