Greek Orzo Salad is the perfect summer make-ahead salad for a barbecue or picnic! Simple orzo pasta is tossed with cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, olives, feta, and drizzled with a homemade greek dressing.
For Canada Day weekend, my friend hosted a great backyard BBQ party. It was the perfect summer evening to sit out with friends and catch up. She was taking care of the burgers, buns and fixin’s, but I wanted to bring a simple side dish that I could put together quickly. It was the day my family was painting our pool deck (can’t wait to share the pictures) and I knew I wasn’t going to have much time to make anything, so a simple summer salad like this was exactly what I needed.
I love this Greek Orzo Pasta recipe so much that I recreated it again two nights later when we had company coming over. This simple side dish has all the flavours of a Greek salad, combined with orzo, a rice-shaped pasta that feels lighter than a traditional pasta salad.
It was easy to prep the ingredients ahead and then toss before company arrived. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour to get all the flavours working together.
I was excited to set the table with our new dishes and cutlery we were given as wedding gifts. Something about having real dishes (not just what I found on clearance when I moved out) makes me feel all grown up in a good way (vs. the bad way…like having to paying my taxes).
I served up the salad with chicken kebabs from a local butcher, a romaine lettuce salad…and that brownie skillet for dessert (with vanilla ice cream on top, please-and-thank-you). Not too bad for a weeknight dinner with friends!
- 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
- 1-1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt and add orzo. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. (If you don't have a food processor, you can also whisk the dressing in a small bowl, although I swap out the clove of garlic for 1/8 tsp garlic powder so I know it's all combined well)
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo, tomatoes, cucumber, feta olives and parsley. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.