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!
Table of contents
Ingredients in Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- orzo pasta
- red wine vinegar
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- red pepper flakes
- english cucumber
- olives (I like a combo of castelvetrano olives and kalamata olives)
- feta cheese
How to Make Orzo Pasta Salad
- 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.
- 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.
- Drain the pasta well then transfer to the bowl with the vinaigrette; stir to combine.
- 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
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.
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.
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…
Chicken & Turkey
- 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.
Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- 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
- 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.
- Drain pasta well then add to bowl with vinaigrette; toss to coat.
- 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.
- Transfer salad to a large serving bowl and sprinkle reserved feta over top.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.