Orzo Pasta Salad

5 from 13 votes

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There’s a secret to making the most refreshing summertime orzo pasta salad! My secret ingredient is freshly squeezed orange juice. The orange juice gives this salad the lightest most refreshing taste with a hint of sweetness. For an even more citrusy flavor, I encourage you to also add orange zest to this dish.

Table of Contents

This salad has crunch from summery produce, like bell pepper, cucumber, and onion, creaminess from feta, and salt and flavor from olives, fresh parsley, and dried oregano. It is the perfect summer dish. This holds up well in the fridge for 1 to 2 days, and is best when served at room temperature.

Whenever I serve this salad, I’m bombarded with questions on how to make it. Now that you know my secret, please give it a try this summer when you’re hosting or bring it along if you’re being hosted. I promise, this salad will be first to disappear from the table. This recipe is the perfect side for meal-prep and you can make it ahead of time.

Orzo Pasta Salad

This salad has crunch from summery produce, like bell pepper, cucumber, and onion, creaminess from feta, and salt and flavor from olives, fresh parsley, and dried oregano. It is the perfect summer dish.
5 from 13 votes
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 bag orzo (340 grams or 12 ounces), boiled in salted water to al-dente
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or more or less, to taste)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 mini cucumbers, finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced
  • ½ bell pepper, finely diced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced, (I soaked mine in water for 20 minutes to make it milder, then drain)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley (or more or less to taste)
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • salt to taste
  • crumbled feta, measure with your heart
  • sliced olives (optional)

Instructions 

  • Boil the orzo pasta in boiling salted water as per the package directions.
  • Strain the orzo and let it cool completely. Add the olive oil, orange juice, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, parsley, and oregano to a large bowl. Add the cooled pasta. Stir well and season with salt. Mix in the feta and olives, if using.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

You can use any small pasta shape/pastina, tortellini, or even couscous as well.
For a higher-protein alternative, this salad will work beautifully with quinoa too.
Feel free to measure everything with your heart and taste and adjust for flavor and seasoning as you go.
The boiling water should be as salty as the sea as it’s your only chance to flavor the orzo.
Any herbs of choice can be used if you don’t like parsley. Basil, thyme, and mint are all great options. 
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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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23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love this! Easy to make, refreshing and just the right amount of veggies! Will be making this more often. Thank you again for sharing!