It’s all Greek to me.
This easy Greek orzo salad with feta recipe makes a perfect pasta salad side dish for summer — though I’d also gladly serve it as a main course, all year ’round.
Meet this orzo salad with feta recipe
Once upon a time — specifically, the 1980s — humble orzo pasta was “A Thing.” And then orzo kinda went off the radar. But like most trends (molten chocolate lava cake, sun-dried tomatoes, wide-leg pants), what goes around comes around.
And I say that orzo deserves to be back and better than ever.
This easy Greek orzo with feta recipe makes a perfect pasta salad side dish for summer — though it’s also great as a main course and all year. Best at room temperature, this pasta combines tomato, lots of fresh herbs, seasoning, and briny crumbled feta for the ultimate easy orzo dish.
What is orzo? A pasta or rice?
Orzo may look like a grain, but orzo is a type of small, oval-shaped pasta. Orzo is not rice. Orzo is made with wheat flour (unless you’ve found a gluten-free version, of course) into a shape that resembles fat, long-grain rice.
How do you cook orzo?
Orzo cooks like any other pasta. You cook orzo by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. Then, add the pasta to the pot, and give it a good stir. Orzo takes about 8 to 10 minutes to cook. You’ll know orzo is cooked to al dente when you can bite through it easily, but is neither mushy and soft nor hard.
Be careful with the cooking time. Overcooked orzo is fairly unforgiving, and will taste mushy.
Greek Orzo Salad With Feta Ingredients
This easy orzo pasta salad recipe requires only a few, easily-available ingredients but delivers a big punch of fresh flavor.
You will need the following ingredients:
- Orzo pasta (of course)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Cumin powder
- Crushed tomato
- Lemon juice
- Fresh dill and parsley
- Feta cheese, preferably Greek
Orzo Pasta Salad With Feta Recipe Steps
The recipe starts with a simple tomato sauce with tomato, onion, salt, garlic, cumin, and a bit of water.
- Cook the tomato sauce for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the tomato sauce cooks, cook the pasta. Drain, then toss with olive oil.
- Combine the tomato sauce, half of the herbs, and half of the feta to the orzo. Stir to combine.
- Spoon the orzo onto a serving platter. Top with the remaining herbs, feta, and lemon juice.
Orzo Pasta Salad With Feta Recipe Tips
This orzo feta pasta salad recipe is very low maintenance. The main things you want to do to get it right are:
- Cook the pasta correctly to al dente
- Cook the tomato sauce down until it is no longer watery. Season it well.
- Be generous with your fresh herbs. You can add some mint as well.
- Use a high-quality feta cheese. Instead of pre-crumbled, try to find a block of Greek feta in brine, then break it into crumbles yourself.
In about 20 minutes, you will have this lovely summer side dish full of fresh Mediterranean flavor.
Love this easy orzo salad recipe? Check out these other easy pasta salads and dishes:
- Feta Pasta With Creamy Yogurt Sauce
- Chicken Zucchini Pasta With Mint
- Chinese Peanut Sesame Takeout Noodles
Orzo Salad With Feta
- 12 ounces orzo pasta
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced small
- 1 14-ounce can no-salt crushed tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 24 turns fresh-cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced dill, divided
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley, divided
- 6 ounces good-quality Greek feta in brine, drained and broken into crumbles
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the orzo pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (between 8 and 10 minutes). Drain, then pour the orzo into a large mixing bowl. Toss the orzo with a tablespoon or so of olive oil to prevent clumping.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a wide-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil, onion, crushed tomato, garlic, cumin powder, salt (you may want to add less, then adjust later), pepper, and a glug of water used to swish out the tomato can. Stir.
- Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced into a nice sauce, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.PRO TIP: If your sauce tastes a bit acidic, stir in a pinch of sugar.
- Add the tomato sauce into the bowl of orzo, along with half of the dill, parsley, and feta. Toss to combine.
- Spoon the tomato and orzo onto a serving platter or bowl. Top with the lemon juice and remaining feta and fresh herbs. Serve at room temperature.