Light, Fresh Orzo Salad

This Orzo Salad recipe is light, fresh, and filled with veggies, chickpeas, and fresh herbs.

I love making and taking pasta salads to potlucks, barbecues, and get togethers. They are the perfect side dish for sharing. This Easy Orzo Pasta Salad is a summertime favorite. It’s a versatile and delicious side that everyone loves! I always bring an empty bowl home–no leftovers!

This Orzo Pasta Salad is the MVP of my spring with chickpeas, cucumber, arugula, cherry tomatoes…all coated in a delicious and bright homemade dressing! It’s a seasonal favorite, but is good all year around. You can’t go wrong with this recipe, anytime of the year.

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a really tiny, short pasta. It’s shaped like large grains of rice, but a little thicker. It’s easy to cook and is great in salads or with served with pesto or marinara sauce. You can buy orzo at most grocery stores, look for it in the pasta aisle.

I love it for this pasta salad because the pasta is so small you can get it in every single bite!

Variations

Feel free to customize this pasta salad to your liking!

  • Instead of arugula, use spinach, kale, or your favorite greens.
  • Add chicken or shrimp!
  • Instead of feta cheese, use goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, or even blue cheese. You can also omit the cheese if you need the salad to be dairy-free.
  • Toss in almonds, pecans, pistachios, pepitas, or sunflower seeds.
  • Bring on the veggies. Feel free to stir in extra veggies!
  • Add in fresh mint or Italian parsley.

 

Can I Make the Salad in Advance?

Yes! Up to 3 days in the refrigerator. This is a great recipe to make in the morning and have on hand for an easy side dish or even to eat for lunch.

You can make and keep the dressing in the fridge for up to one week. Give it a good whisk before drizzling it over the salad.

Orzo Salad

This Easy Orzo Salad is light, fresh, and filled with veggies, chickpeas, and fresh herbs. It will quickly become a go-to pasta salad in your house!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Orzo Salad

  • 12 oz orzo pasta
  • 2 cups heaping cups, arugula or baby spinach
  • 1 english cucumber, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 15 oz chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbl lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 1 tbl golden balsamic vinegar or champaign vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and cook the orzo until al dente, according to package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Drain the orzo in a strainer and rinse well with cold water. Pour the cooked orzo in a large bowl.
  • Add the arugula (or spinach), cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, onion, feta, and basil to the orzo and gently stir. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and stir again. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve

Notes

The salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Keyword Orzo, salad, side dish

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