This is my, “crap summer is here and my wedding is 70 days away” post. Well, not really…it’s actually more about one of the best summer salads you’ll ever make. I first made this salad years ago, and I can’t quite remember how I found it, or what even gave me the idea to try to find a Greek Orzo Salad. The only thing you need to know is every time I make it people love it! Plus, it’s relatively guilt-free when you compare it to other mayo-laden pasta salads out there.
The other great thing about this Greek Orzo salad? It’s easily adaptable. Don’t like onions? Leave ’em out! Prefer black olives over Kalamatas? Go for it! This recipe is so easy, I probably make it a little different each time, but with the same end result: delish.
You can easily make this a day in advance. I like to make the orzo and add the onion, olives, artichoke hearts, herbs and oils a day before then throw in all of the veggies right before serving so they are super fresh and crunchy. Adding the cheese on top and a few more herbs will make initial presentation pretty, but I totally forgot (shocker). This salad is great for leftovers and keeps for a few days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Greek Orzo Salad
Adapted from allrecipes.com
serves 6-12, depending on whether eating as a main or a side
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
- 2 (6 ounce) or 1 (12 ounce) can/jars marinated artichoke hearts
- 1-2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped (I like to cut mine in sliced then quarter them)
- 1/2 – 1 red onion, depending on how large the onion and how onion-y you like things
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 (12 oz) jar pitted kalamata olives
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
- salt to taste
- splash of olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- splash of red wine vinegar
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add Orzo and cook for 8 – 10 minutes (or according to box instructions); drain.
2. In a large bowl combine artichoke hearts and liquid, tomato, cucumber, onion, feta, olives, green pepper, parsley, oregano, lemon juice, and lemon pepper. Taste for seasoning, add a splash of olive oil, red wine vinegar, a sprinkle of salt. Repeat until you get desired flavor. Toss and chill for 1 hour in refrigerator.
Make Ahead: In a large bowl combine the cooked orzo, artichoke hearts and liquid, onion, olives, parsley, oregano, lemon juice, lemon pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt. Let sit in fridge overnight then add tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, and feta right before serving.