Lemon Feta Orzo

5 from 26 votes

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My lemon feta orzo will blow you away. I served this dish to my mom and she said it’s one of the best recipes I have ever made. Although this is not a traditional Greek dish, it uses ingredients that are prominent in Greek cuisine, such as dill, olive oil, feta, and lemon juice; the flavors bring me back home! Of course, as with all simple dishes, it’s important to use the best quality ingredients you can find and afford. A rich, buttery olive oil, super fresh dill, feta purchased in brine (and never pre-crumbled), and fresh juice from plump lemons will make all the difference in this creamy, light, and bright Mediterranean pasta dish. Orzo is the perfect pasta shape here because it cooks quickly and, when combined with this simple dressing, it soaks up all the flavors and creates a silky, smooth texture that slides right off the spoon.

Table of Contents

shrimp on top is optional*

This recipe is perfect topped with any protein, such as grilled chicken, kebabs, or shrimp (as featured above). I reserved a few tablespoons of my incredible dressing and tossed it with shrimp before throwing them on the grill. This recipe is perfect for meal prep and can be made the night before. Every bite transports me to my childhood in Crete so I hope it makes it to your table too.

Lemon Feta Orzo

Although this is not a traditional Greek dish, it uses ingredients that are prominent in Greek cuisine, such as dill, olive oil, feta, lemon juice, and the flavors bring me back home! Of course, as with all simple dishes, it’s important to use the best quality ingredients you can find and afford.
5 from 26 votes
Servings: 2
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) orzo
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • juice and zest of 1 large lemon, (about 1/4 cup juice)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • feta, measured with your heart, (good quality feta sold in brine; not pre-crumbled please)
  • 10 jumbo tiger shrimp (optional)


  • Cook the orzo in salted water until al dente. Note: the water should be as salty as the sea as it's your only chance to flavor the orzo. Salt the water after it comes to a boil, stir, and add in the orzo.
  • In the meantime, work on the dressing by adding olive oil, lemon juice and zest, dill, mustard, salt, and pepper to a glass measuring cup. Stir until fully combined. If you're making shrimp, reserve a few tablespoons of this dressing to coat the shrimp.
  • Add the cooked orzo to a large bowl, and, while still warm, pour the dressing on top and stir. Crumble in some feta (measure with your heart) and stir again.
  • For the shrimp: I thawed peeled and deveined jumbo black tiger shrimp and patted them dry. I added some of the reserved dressing and tossed them into that dressing.
  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat. The pan should be hot before adding in the shrimp.
  • Add the shrimp making sure to space them apart. Cook on each side for 1 to 2 minutes. You do not want to overcook them so be sure to take them off the heat as soon as they turn pink and curl up.
  • Toss the shrimp in with the lemon orzo and enjoy!


This dish is best served warm but you can absolutely make it the night before and enjoy it as cold or at room temperature the next day. 
Feel free to use any protein of choice, such as chicken or any other seafood.
You can use other types of pastina (rice-sized pasta shapes) if you don’t have orzo on hand. Couscous would be lovely as well. 
Feel free to swap the feta for parmesan if you don’t like feta. You can also leave the feta out completely if you’re dairy-free
If you’re gluten-free, you will have to find a gluten-free pastina alternative instead that you prefer. 
If you don’t have honey Dijon, use regular Dijon and mix some honey into it. 
You can serve this as a pasta SALAD but make sure to cool the orzo down completely before adding in the dressing otherwise it’s served as a hot dish. 
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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    1. 4 cups of water to 1 cup orzo is fine. More is also okay. Orzo is just pasta (pastina) so it’s the same as boiling any other pasta shape and draining it.

  1. Great recipe. We really liked it. Allergic to shellfish so used chicken instead. Will absolutely make again!

  2. Making this for the second time, and printing out the recipe for safekeeping. Thank for you this delish recipe and easy to follow video!

  3. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight but made it with salmon instead of shrimp. It was STELLAR. We will definitely be adding this to the rotation.

  4. Made this tonight with shrimp and it was amazing! Family loved it! Served with sliced baguette. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. I made the recipe as listed however I thought there was too much sauce for 8 oz of pasta so I used 16 ounces of orzo and plenty of feta. It was delicious!!!!!! Everyone at the dinner table loved it

    1. Hi Susie! Love that you improvised, I definitely make extra sauce which can also be stored in the fridge 🙂