Home > Dinner > Vegetarian > Orzo Pasta Salad Orzo Pasta Salad August 21, 2019 | 30 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Mediterranean-inspired Orzo Pasta Salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, sweet corn, parsley, feta cheese, and a delicious lemon dressing. Serve this as a main dish salad or with grilled chicken or grilled steak on the side! Orzo Pasta Salad Orzo Pasta Salad is fresh, light, flavorful and healthy. It’s the perfect dish when the weather is hot and you need something that won’t heat up the kitchen! It’s also one of those dishes where you’ll feel great after eating, thanks to the fresh vegetables and vibrant lemon vinaigrette. QUICK TIPWhat is orzo? Although orzo looks a bit like rice, it’s not a grain. Orzo is a type of short-cut pasta that looks like larger grains of rice. It also goes by the names risoni and risi, but they’re all the same thing: small durum and semolina wheat pasta. In Italian, orzo means barley…and that’s what it looks like, too! Because of its small size, orzo is a kid favorite and goes well in soups and salad. Orzo can be found on the pasta aisle of most grocery stores. How to use orzo Orzo is prepared just like most pasta — boiled in salted water! For this pasta salad, we boil it to al dente and then drain it. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, it’s ready to be added into this lemony Orzo Pasta Salad. Orzo Pasta Salad variations Italian Orzo Pasta Salad: For more of an Italian flavor, use the dressing in this Italian garbanzo bean salad. Orzo Pasta Salad with mozzarella: Replace the feta cheese in this recipe with mozzarella! Either cube a block into small pieces or use small mozzarella pearls. Add some protein: add a drained can of chickpeas to this salad. Another great protein addition would be some grilled chicken or steak or some chopped pepperoni or salami. Orzo Pasta Salad for a crowd: This recipe easily doubles or triples for a large group. Add some fresh herbs: Besides the parsley, add in some fresh basil. How long does orzo salad last in the fridge? This salad can last 3-5 days in the fridge as long as it’s stored separately from the dressing. If making this orzo pasta salad to enjoy throughout the week, make sure to separate the actual salad from the dressing and add the dressing only to the portions you’ll be enjoying right away. Note that the longer this salad sits, the more intense the flavors become — the rest of the salad really takes on the flavor of the olives and red onions. While not necessarily bad, I do prefer this salad best the first day it’s made. More delicious salads recipe: Chickpea Salad Mediterranean inspired Quinoa Salad with avocado Cucumber Salad reader favorite Chicken Salad with pecans and cranberries Strawberry Salad with a citrus vinaigrette FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Orzo Pasta Salad 4.84 from 12 votes - Review this recipe Mediterranean-inspired Orzo Pasta Salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, sweet corn, parsley, feta cheese, and a delicious lemon dressing. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Orzo Pasta Salad 4.84 from 12 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Mediterranean-inspired Orzo Pasta Salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, sweet corn, parsley, feta cheese, and a delicious lemon dressing. Course Dinner, Salad, Side Dish Cuisine Mediterranean Keyword orzo pasta salad Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 9 minutes Total Time 29 minutes Servings 6 servings, as a side Calories 369kcal Cost $7.35 IngredientsSalad12 ounces orzo pasta1 and 1/2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes1 and 1/2 cups (1 pint) yellow grape or cherry tomatoes3/4 cups Kalamata olives, halved1 and 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (and more for topping if desired)1/2 cup finely diced red onion (Note 1)2 ears fresh sweet cornFine sea salt and freshly ground black pepperDressing1 large lemon (zest and juice)1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic1 teaspoon Dijon mustard1 teaspoon white granulated sugar InstructionsDRESSING: Start with the dressing so the flavors have time to meld and intensify. Zest a lemon to get 2 teaspoons zest. Juice the lemon to get 3 tablespoons juice. Place zest and juice in a large Mason jar. Add the olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Put the lid on the jar, shake to combine and refrigerate while preparing the salad.SALAD: Bring a pot of water to a boil, generously salt the water, and cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and allow to cool thoroughly.VEGGIES: Meanwhile, prep the veggies. Halve the tomatoes and olives, finely dice the red onion (See Note 1), and the parsley. Add all the veggies to a large bowl. Add in the feta cheese. If desired, grill corn (See Note 2). Cut the kernels from the cob (you don't have to cook the corn; you can add it in raw too for a nice crunch!). Pour dressing over salad and toss. Taste and season as needed with additional salt and/or pepper. Store in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Toss right before serving. This salad is best enjoyed the same day it is made. Recipe NotesNote 1: To take away the "bite" of the red onion, soak the diced onions in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before adding. Note 2: Preheat a grill to medium-high, around 400 degrees F. Once hot, clean the grill grates. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Pour about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil on each corn cob and rub the oil into all the sides. Very lightly sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Place corn on grill grates (nothing needs to go down first/don't wrap in foil) and close grill. Cook (temps remaining at 400F) for about 3 minutes per side undisturbed. Using tongs, rotate and continue cooking, for about 12 minutes total. When all sides are browned, remove from the grill onto a plate. Nutrition FactsCalories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 716mg | Potassium: 494mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 2mg DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.