Greek Orzo Salad is the perfect potluck, picnic or barbecue salad! Tender orzo pasta is tossed with fresh spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, olives, feta and drizzled with greek dressing.
At the request of my daughter, today I’m sharing with your the best orzo greek salad recipe!
As you nmay remember, Haileigh works at a local market that has a deli counter with a plethora of picnic salads. In fact, this macaroni salad was inspired by theirs. With that said, this greek orzo salad with spinach is H’s favorite and she has it for lunch on the weekends when she works on the regular. With fresh veggies like tomatoes, peppers, onions with brine-y olives and salty feta with the brightness of fresh herbs, it’s no wonder she loves it so much.
Because this salad is phenomenal and perfect with grilled chicken or fish!
To Make This Greek Orzo Salad You Will Need:
- orzo pasta – A fun rice shaped pasta that works great in pasta salad.
- sea salt – For seasoning pasta while it cooks.
- cherry tomatoes – Adds a burst of sweetness and acidity.
- bell peppers – To add color, crunch and flavor.
- red onion – Consider soaking in ice water to remove a lot of the bite.
- spinach – For a pop of deep green and added vitamins.
- kalamata olives – Gives this pasta salad that salty briny flavor.
- feta cheese – This adds a salty, tangy and creamy texture.
- fresh parsley – Adds an earthy herby flavor.
- dill – Adds a fresh herby flavor.
- homemade greek dressing – Rounds out this salad by adding lemon, garlic and richness from the olive oil.
First, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, stir in a palmful kosher salt (about 2 tablespoons) and add in the 1 pound of orzo pasta.
Follow package directions for cooking times, then drain and rinse under cold water. Doing this rinses off any of the starch clinging to the pasta, which in turn keeps the pasta from sticking together. It also halts any further cooking and cools the pasta down so you can quickly make the salad.
I only ever rinse pasta for cold salads. I believe it’s considered a culinary sin otherwise.
Meanwhile, prep the vegetables! Dice a small red and yellow bell pepper, finely dice 1 medium red onion, cut 1 pint cherry tomatoes in half, do the same with 1 cup pitted kalamata olives. Chop up 2 heaping cups of baby spinach and measure 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill herbs and crumble the feta cheese to get 1 cup.
Next, in a large mixing bowl, add the pasta, tomatoes, peppers, onions, kalamata olives, feta cheese, spinach and fresh parsley and dill, tossing to combine.
Then drizzle with some of the greek dressing, toss again and then cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Right before serving, drizzle with more of the dressing, taste-test and season with salt and pepper.
This orzo salad is so fresh and flavorful AND simple! It makes a lot which is great for feeding a crowd or meal prep!
How Long With This Greek Orzo Salad Last?
Store this salad in a container with a tight fitting lid in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Greek Orzo Salad
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- sea salt, for pasta water
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced small
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced small
- 1 medium red onion, diced small
- 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 cup feta cheese, freshly crumbled, more or less to preference
- 2 (heaping) cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 recipe greek salad dressing
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dill, chopped
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Season the water with a small palmful of sea salt and add in the pasta. Stir and follow the package directions for cooking times. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta with halved cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, olives, feta, chopped spinach and fresh herbs.
- Drizzle with some of the dressing, toss to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Right before serving, toss with more dressing as desired. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
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