Where are my orzo fans?? I really think it is the most underrated pasta shape, especially when it comes to pasta salads. It has the perfect texture, and just the right amount of “pasta” if you know what I mean. I am not huge fan of pasta salads where all you can taste is the cold pasta. This Mediterranean orzo pasta salad is full of fresh ingredients like basil, spinach, and bell peppers, as well as sun dried tomatoes, feta, and Kalamata olives.
The dressing is very simple and compliments the flavors in the salad really well. The secret ingredient is rice wine vinegar. Just trust me. It’s not just for Asian dishes. And do not skip this important ingredient. You’re probably going to look at the recipe and say, “But there are only 2 tsp in the dressing. Can it really make that big of a difference?” The answer is, “YES,” or I wouldn’t have used it as an ingredient. But really, it adds so much depth and roundness to the rest of the flavors.
It really is the perfect pasta salad. I eat it for lunch, dinner, and alongside meat or fish. It pairs great with your favorite grilling recipes, like my Greek chicken burgers (hint hint), and it is ALWAYS a hit when I bring it to potlucks or parties. A winning recipe for sure!Print
This orzo pasta salad is full of flavor and the perfect side dish for BBQs and parties.
- 1 cup (uncooked) orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions, about 3 1/3 cups when cooked
- ½ cup feta cheese cubes
- ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup packed spinach leaves, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)
- ¼ cup packed basil leaves, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Allow orzo to cool.
- Prepare the dressing in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. It should be about 1/3 cup total. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add the feta, sun dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, spinach, basil, and two kinds of peppers to the cooled orzo.
- Pour the dressing over top and toss gently to thoroughly coat and mix the salad.
- Serve chilled.