Everyone loves this delicious Mediterranean Orzo Salad! Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives and tangy feta cheese in a zippy lemon vinaigrette. Perfect for a light lunch or as an easy side dish. A favorite at our house.
Have you heard how good the Mediterranean Diet is? Other diets seem to come and go or feature lots of eat this, don’t eat that. What I love about the Mediterranean Diet is that it’s easy to follow and it makes sense.
You avoid red meats, processed foods and sweets and eat more fruit, vegetables, grains, beans and legumes and lean protein.
My other favorite thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it includes all the flavors of Greece. I love Greek food and it’s ingredients. Cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, lemons, feta cheese – yes to it all!
I also love the Moroccan flavors with warming spices like cinnamon. You don’t have to have a tagine for this Easy Chicken Tagine.
Ingredients in this Tomato and Cucumber Salad
- Lemons – you’ll need the juice and the zest.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Fresh Oregano – can substitute dry.
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Orzo – whole wheat if possible.
- Kalamata Olives – other black or green olives.
- Red Onion
- Cherry Tomatoes
How to Make this Greek Orzo Salad
Step 1 – gather your ingredients.
Step 2 – In a large bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Tip – microplane grater and zest the lemon right into the bowl.
Step 3 – Tip – if you want to make your raw onions a little pungent, add them at the beginning to the dressing so that they can pickle a bit while you prep the other ingredients, or you can substitute these Quick Pickled Onions.
Step 4 – Cook orzo according to directions and drain and rinse with cool water. This helps the pasta stop cooking, stay separate and not get clumpy.
Step 5 – Cut cucumbers in half crosswise and then again lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Tip – I use a grapefruit spoon to easily seed cucumbers.
Step 6 – Cut cucumbers into thin slices, halve the cherry tomatoes and slice the Kalamata olives.
Step 7 – Add the orzo to the bowl and toss to combine.
Step 8 – Add the vegetables to the salad and toss to combine, taste and adjust seasoning. To serve top with crumbled feta.
This Mediterranean Orzo Salad is so Good!
We loved this orzo salad! I served it as an accompaniment to a store bought rotisserie chicken and it was perfect. It refrigerates well and was just as good, if not better the next day. I could have also shredded the chicken and added it to the salad to make a one bowl meal.
You could easily change up this salad:
- Instead of orzo – you could use whole grains, rice or even quinoa.
- Add roasted red peppers or jarred artichokes.
- Stir in canned or cooked tuna or salmon.
- Add cooked chickpeas.
Looking for more Mediterranean Salad Recipes
Greek Orzo Salad
- zest from one lemon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons oregano fresh, finely chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 10 oz orzo dried
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives pitted and sliced
- 1/3 cup red onions thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cucumbers seeded and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- Prepare the vinaigrette in a large bowl by whisking together the zest from one lemon, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Dice or thinly slice red onion and add to bowl.
- Cook orzo according to directions and drain and rinse under cool water.
- Seed and thinly slice cucumbers, halve cherry tomatoes and slice kalamata olives.
- Add pasta to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to combine.
- Add cucumbers, tomatoes and olives to bowl and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve topped with crumbled feta cheese.
- Add cooked shredded chicken.
- Add roasted red peppers.
- Add jarred, marinated artichoke hearts.
- Add canned or cooked tuna or salmon.
- Add canned chickpeas.
This week I am sharing this with: