Our Greek orzo pasta salad is absolutely delish – and it makes for an incredible side dish. We love making this recipe because it is both easy and decadent. Whether we serve it to our families alongside a key protein, or bring it to a potluck, we know this pasta salad recipe is a hit!
What is orzo?
Well, if you’ve been following us for a while, you know we love orzo. We feature it in some of our Greek inspired dishes and it was a childhood staple for us in dishes like Lesan El Asfour and Shorbet Lesan El Asfour.
Surprisingly, orzo is a type of pasta noodle. You may be in shock, because orzo looks so much like rice! But you’re not alone. Interestingly enough, orzo directly translates to mean barley. This is because it looks so similar to the popular grain.
We love using orzo for pasta salad because it is extremely versatile, fast cooking and the shape lends itself well to mixing with other ingredients! The tiny little pieces of pasta cook in about 7-9 minutes depending on your elevation level. The shape is truly perfect for our Greek orzo pasta salad because it matches the size of the rest of the pasta salad ingredients.
Since it is typically made from a combination of whole wheat flour and semolina flour, this dish is not gluten free. But! You can make this a gluten free pasta salad by swapping the orzo for gluten free orzo.
How to make Greek orzo pasta salad
Prepare your ingredients:
- Cook the orzo and set aside.
- Chop up your cucumbers, red onions and tomatoes.
- Roughly chop your herbs.
- Pit the olives.
- Rinse the spinach.
Make the dressing for pasta salad:
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to a dressing mixer or a blender. Follow by adding lemon juice from half of a lemon along with olive brine.
- Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and dry oregano.
- Add in a couple scoops of tahini and mix it together until fully smooth.
Assemble the pasta salad:
- Get a large bowl, pour the cooked orzo pasta into the bottom of the bowl.
- Top the orzo with the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, pitted green olives and pitted kalamata olives.
- Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top and add the spinach.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well
Serve as a meal or as a side dish!
How to store Greek orzo pasta salad
This Greek orzo pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, with the quantity of ingredients, we recommend eating this as close to when you made it as possible! That’s because each ingredient has a different optimal freshness. For example, while this dish will still taste good on the 3rd day, the spinach and herbs may be a bit soggy.
We do not recommend trying to freeze this recipe.
Other Food Dolls Salads you are going to love!
We really enjoy a solid salad, so of course we have a few for you to try out. Here are a few of our favorites:
- If you’re looking for a great summer salad, this Cucumber Thai Crunch Salad recipe is perfect for you. It is made with fresh veggies and a honey sesame dressing for the perfect appetizer, side dish, or entree.
- Once we saw the green goddess recipe go viral, we had to hop on the trend! Our Green Goddess Salad is so light and refreshing, you have to try it.
- For something a bit heartier, our Whipped Feta Chicken Salad is low carb yet filling. It has all of our favorite flavors packed into a healthy bowl of goodness.
- Finally, we absolutely love the simplicity of our Egyptian Cucumber and Tomato Salad, also known as Salata Baladi. With just a handful of ingredients, this salad comes together to make for the perfect side dish!
Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- 1 pound dry orzo pasta
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 english cucumber
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives (pitted)
- 1/2 cup green manzanilla olives (pitted)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 juice of lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive brine (or vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Cook the orzo and set aside.
- Chop up your cucumbers, red onions, red bell pepper, and roughly chop your herbs.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to a dressing mixer or a blender. Follow by adding lemon juice from half of a lemon along with olive brine. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and dry oregano.
- Add in a tahini and mix it together until fully smooth.
- In a large bowl, pour the cooked orzo pasta into the bottom of the bowl. Top the orzo with the cucumbers, red pepper, onions, pitted green olives and pitted kalamata olives.
- Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top and add the spinach. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.