This Mediterranean salad with orzo is easy to make and comes together in less than 20 minutes. It's so versatile, and is the perfect side to any family dinner!
During the winter, my orzo mac and cheese becomes a religion. But when the summer rolls around, this Mediteranean salad takes the spot. It's packed with crunchy vegetables, soft orzo, and salty feta cheese, all coated in a tangy lemon vinegarette.
It can easily be made vegan and dairy-free by switching the greek feta cheese with a vegan one. It's pretty versatile and you can modify it by what's in season, or what you have in your fridge.
What is Orzo?
Ingredients You Need
Orzo. Use whole-wheat for more fiber!
Spinach. You can use any green leaf vegetable such as rocket, lettuce, or swiss chard.
Cucumber. For freshness and crunch.
Red onion. When thinly sliced, it brings deep flavor and tastes so good in a salad.
Olives. We like kalamata olives, but green olives work fine too.
Sun-dried tomatoes. Swap them with cherry tomatoes for more freshness.
Feta cheese. Use vegan feta cheese for a dairy-free option.
Fresh herbs. Such as basil, parsley, dill, etc. (optional)
Olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is an essential part of this recipe, as it is the base of the dressing.
Balsamic vinegar and lemon juice bring tanginess to the vinegarette.
Sweetener of choice. We like honey, but maple or agave syrup will also do the job.
Mustard. We are love grainy mustard, but for a spicier alternative, use Dijon mustard.
Spices. Salt and black pepper to taste and dried oregano for an authentic Mediterranean flavor.
Pan-fried chickpeas. If you want to add more protein to this recipe, add 1 cup of fried (or regular) chickpeas.
Cherry tomatoes. About ½ cup of cherry tomatoes will work excellent.
Quinoa. Sometimes I like to add 2-3 tablespoon of cooked quinoa for a bit more protein and whole grains. It keeps me fuller for longer as well!
Peppers. Use either red or yellow peppers for crunch and color.
How to Make It
My Best Tips for Making This Recipe
Prepare the orzo and chop the veggies in advance to make this recipe even faster. You can refrigerate the orzo in a covered container for up to 4 days.
Use vegan feta cheese, if you need to make this recipe dairy-free.
Add any additional vegetables that you like and leave out whatever you don't like. Don't like raw red onions? No problem. Make this recipe fun and satisfying by adding whatever you do like.
Use orzo made from whole-wheat flour to add more fiber to this recipe.
More Easy Salad Recipes
Mediterranean Salad with Orzo
- Mixing bowl
For the salad
- 2 cups orzo, cooked ( ~1 cup uncooked)
- ½ cucumber chopped
- 1 small head red onion thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives chopped
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (use vegan feta if needed)
- ⅓ cup fresh herb of choice such as basil, parsley, dill, etc. (optional)
For the dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook orzo in boiling water according to the packaging. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
- To prepare the salad, add all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- To a small bowl or jar, mix all of the ingredients for the dressing until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and give it a good stir until everything is coated.
- If needed, taste and adjust the flavor. Add more salt for saltiness, lemon juice for tanginess, or add more of any ingredient that you like, such as cheese, olives, etc.
- Enjoy immediately. Save in a covered container in a refrigerator for up to 2 days.