Recipe: Mediterranean Orzo Salad

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(Image credit: Shelly Westerhausen)

As soon as the weather begins to warm up, pasta salad becomes one of my go-to dishes. It’s what I make when I am tasked to bring something to a potluck or barbecue, when I am in need of something easy to dig into for lunch, and when it eventually gets so hot mid-summer that I only want to eat cold dinners.

This Mediterranean-style salad will be on repeat this year. It’s quick to assemble and full of bright, fresh ingredients I never tire of, like cucumbers, roasted red peppers, artichokes, and tangy feta. I have a feeling it will become your favorite, too.

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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

A Simple Pasta Salad for Potlucks and Beyond

This pasta salad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The combination of colorful vegetables, cheese, and orzo — all tossed in a simple oregano vinaigrette — is hard not to like. It’s the kind of make-ahead dish you’ll want to cart to the many potlucks, picnics, and barbecues you have lined up this spring and summer.

That being said, I love it just as much as a simple weeknight vegetarian main course for dinner or as a packable lunch I can prep on Sunday afternoon and eat all week.

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(Image credit: Shelly Westerhausen)
536 Ratings

Orzo Salad

Serves6 to 8

Prep time: 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cooking time: 7 minutes to 9 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons

    red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 12 ounces

    dried orzo pasta (about 2 cups)

  • 1 (12-ounce) jar

    marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

  • 1 (12-ounce) jar

    roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped

  • 1/2

    large English cucumber, diced

  • 1

    small red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup

    pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup

    loosely packed coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 6 ounces

    feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper together in a large bowl; set aside.

  2. Add the orzo to the water and cook until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and run briefly under cool water to cool the orzo down. Drain well again.

  3. Add the orzo, artichoke hearts, peppers, cucumbers, red onion, and olives to the bowl of dressing. Toss thoroughly to combine. Add the parsley and feta and toss again. Let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The pasta salad can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off before serving.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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