This greek orzo pasta salad is the refreshing cold pasta dish perfect for the hot summer months, parties, even meal prepping. This easy pasta salad with orzo pasta, vegetables, in a lemony oregano vinaigrette is a crowd favorite.
Why this recipe works
There’s nothing better on a warm day than cold pasta salad. Orzo pasta is cooked al dente, then chilled with greek ingredients of: kalamata olives, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, and juicy tomatoes. The pasta salad marinates in a lemony oregano vinaigrette, for maximum flavor. Even without warm weather, this orzo pasta salad is perfect for travel or work since you don’t need to heat it up!
Pasta salad ingredients
There are endless options with ingredients when making pasta salad. I love greek flavors and knew they would be great in a pasta salad. You can use any type of pasta for this recipe, but I used orzo pasta salad. The small size of the orzo incorporates well with the additional greek ingredients.
Pasta salad prep
How-to prep ingredients: Another reason I love this pasta salad recipe, is it’s easy and quick to make. I chopped up my cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber, and parsley. I sliced my red onions on the mandoline for them to be more uniform, but please be careful and use the guard. If you do not have a mandoline, you can easily just thinly slice with a knife.
Lemony oregano vinaigrette
Pasta salad marinade: My favorite part of any pasta salad is the dressing or vinaigrette that it’s in. When the pasta soaks up all that flavor, every bite is so delicious. Lemony oregano vinaigrette: olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon, oregano, salt, and black pepper. These basic ingredients come together to make such a bright vinaigrette.
Cooking pasta: I cooked my orzo al dente, you do not want to overcook it because when it soaks up all the vinaigrette it will get soggy. Once al dente, I remove from the pot, drain, and run cold water over it before adding it to the dish. You don’t want the orzo to be hot when adding to the other ingredients.
I allow the dish to “marinate” for minimum an hour in the refrigerator before enjoying it. This will allow all the ingredients to get cold (for that refreshing bite) and most importantly to give the ingredients a chance to meld with the vinaigrette. This pasta salad gets better the longer it sits in the refrigerator!
Once the greek orzo pasta salad is done marinating, you are left with a bright and refreshing pasta salad. An easy pasta salad recipe perfect for picnics or to enjoy throughout the week.
Other delicious side dishes:
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- 8 oz Orzo pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup English cucumber, diced
- ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, freshly squeeze juice
- 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- In a small pasta pot, cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Remove from heat, drain, rinse the pasta, then set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients including the vinaigrette. Toss to ensure all the ingredients are combined.
- Place in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to marinate.
- You can use any type of pasta for this recipe
- Ensure pasta is cooked al dente, you do not want to overcook it because when it soaks up all the vinaigrette it will get soggy.
- Orzo should be cooled before adding the rest of the ingredients
- Allow the dish to "marinate" for minimum an hour in the refrigerator before enjoying it. This will allow all the ingredients to get cold (for that refreshing bite) and most importantly to give the ingredients a chance to meld with the vinaigrette. This pasta salad gets better the longer it sits in the refrigerator!
- Store in refrigerator
- Can drizzle a little olive oil when enjoying leftovers if needed.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g
*Note: Nutrition information is an estimate. Values vary based on different brands and ingredients*