Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

A bright, fresh, and delicious Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad that makes the perfect side dish or light meal. This dish is packed with fresh vegetables, orzo pasta, and topped off with a homemade lemon-herb dressing for the perfect Greek-inspired salad.

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greek orzo salad in a bowl with greek dressing on the side

When I was working in retail one of my go-to meals was a Greek pasta salad at the mall. I knew once I left that job I would have to try and recreate the salad at home, and I finally nailed it. I love to make this salad in the summer when I have fresh vegetables from my garden, but it’s also easy to make any time of year with basic ingredients.

The part of this recipe that took me a while to figure out was the dressing that pulls the whole thing together. I finally found a delicious combination of herbs, fresh lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil that not only works perfectly in this dish but is also just a great salad dressing to have in your arsenal. Check out my Lemon Herb Salad Dressing or find the link in the recipe card.

ingredients for lemon orzo pasta salad

Ingredients Needed to Make Lemon Orzo Salad

Below is a photo of the salad ingredients as well as the Lemon Herb Salad Dressing ingredients. You really only need a handful of ingredients to make this orzo salad.

  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • green bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • greek olives
  • boxed orzo pasta
  • feta cheese
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • dried oregano
  • garlic clove
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
a bowl of greek lemon orzo pasta salad

How to Make This Greek Lemon Orzo Salad Recipe

  1. Cook the orzo pasta according to the box instructions. Give the pasta a quick rinse with cold water and set it aside.
  2. Clean and cut the cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and greek olives.
  3. If you haven’t made or bought the dressing yet, make the lemon herb salad dressing.
  4. In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta and all of the prepared vegetables. Pour in ¼ cup of the dressing and stir to combine. Continue to add the dressing to taste.
  5. Pour in the crumbled feta cheese and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. Overnight is best to allow all of the flavors to blend together.
greek lemon salad dressing
lemon herb salad dressing

Substitutions and Variations to this Lemony Greek Pasta Salad

  • Although I highly recommend making your own dressing, you can use store-bought dressing and save yourself a step. And if you don’t want the lemon flavor, you can use red wine or balsamic vinegar. Add to taste in place of the lemon juice.
  • If you don’t have or like greek olives, you can use black olives.
  • Cherry tomatoes work so well in this salad because they are nice and sweet and the perfect size for slicing. But, you can also use any tomato and still have a delicious salad.
  • Orzo pasta works well in this dish because of its size. The small pasta makes it possible to get more of the other flavors in each bite. However, you can also make this with other types of pasta like bowtie or elbow to name a few.
lemon orzo pasta salad recipe
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greek orzo pasta with lemon dressing

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

A bright, fresh, and delicious Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad that makes the perfect side dish or light meal.
5 from 37 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 353kcal
Author: EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • 1 large bowl
  • plastic wrap or cover for the bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounce box orzo pasta, cooked
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • pound greek olives, halved or quartered
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • lemon herb salad dressing

Instructions

  • Cook the orzo pasta according to the box instructions. Give the pasta a quick rinse with cold water and set it aside to continue to cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  • Prepare the cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and greek olives. Depending on the size of the tomatoes and olives, you can cut them in half or quarter them. You want everything to be similar in size and small enough to be able to get all of the goodies in one bite.
  • If you haven't made or bought the dressing yet, make the lemon herb salad dressing.
  • In a large bowl, add the cooked pasta and all of the prepared vegetables. Pour in ¼ cup of the dressing and stir to combine. Continue to add the dressing to taste.
  • Pour in the crumbled feta cheese and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. Overnight is best to allow all of the flavors to blend together.

Notes

  • Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for 4-5 days. 
  • Although I highly recommend making your own dressing, you can use store-bought dressing and save yourself a step. And if you don’t want the lemon flavor, you can use red wine or balsamic vinegar. Add to taste in place of the lemon juice.
  • If you don’t have or like greek olives, you can use black olives.
  • Cherry tomatoes work so well in this salad because they are nice and sweet and the perfect size for slicing. But, you can also use any tomato and still have a delicious salad.
  • Orzo pasta works well in this dish because of its size. The small pasta makes it possible to get more of the other flavors in each bite. However, you can also make this with other types of pasta like bowtie or elbow to name a few.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.8g | Protein: 10.6g | Fat: 17.4g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 4.6g | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 2mg

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

Did You Make this Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

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