Greek Orzo Salad: Simple Ingredients, Big Flavor

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Allow me to share with you the Greek Orzo Salad, a dish that’s filled with cherished memories, incredible flavors, and a whole lot of love.

As an avid pasta enthusiast and a lover of Mediterranean cuisine, I couldn’t resist creating a dish that marries bold flavors with simple ingredients. That’s the story behind this delightful Greek Orzo Salad, a crowd-pleaser at picnics, BBQs, and family gatherings. This guilt-free dish is a symphony of satisfying flavors that’s sure to please.

The real magic of this Greek Orzo Salad lies in its adaptability. It’s perfect for meal prepping – whip it up in advance, and you have a Mediterranean-inspired meal ready to brighten your week. I’m genuinely excited to share this recipe with you, and I hope you’ll savor it as much as I do!

Ingredients for Your Greek Orzo Salad

  • Orzo Pasta: The star of the show, orzo pasta brings a delightful chewy texture and mild flavor, making it the perfect base for this salad.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: These juicy and sweet cherry tomatoes provide bursts of fresh flavor and vibrant color to the salad.
  • Cucumber: Diced cucumber adds a refreshing crunch and a mild, watery contrast to the other ingredients.
  • Red Onion: Finely diced red onion offers a crisp bite and a hint of sharpness, balancing the salad’s flavors.
  • Kalamata Olives: Pitted and sliced Kalamata olives bring a briny and savory note, contributing to the Mediterranean essence.
  • Feta Cheese: Creamy and crumbled feta cheese provides a salty and tangy element that elevates the salad’s creaminess.
  • Fresh Herbs (Mint and Parsley): Fresh mint and parsley infuse the salad with a herbaceous aroma and a bright, leafy freshness.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil adds richness and a smooth, fruity depth while enhancing the salad’s texture.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice offers zesty acidity, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the salad.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic cloves provide a gentle, aromatic kick and a subtle hint of spice.
  • Dried Oregano: Dried oregano imparts earthy and herbal notes, enhancing the Mediterranean flair.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings bring balance and depth to the salad, enhancing all the flavors.
  • With these ingredients, we’ll create a vibrant and flavorful Greek Orzo Salad that’s perfect for any occasion.

Customizing Your Greek Orzo Salad

This salad is wonderfully adaptable to your preferences. While the original recipe is already a flavor-packed delight, you can tailor it to your liking. Craving more protein? Grilled chicken complements the existing ingredients wonderfully, and garbanzo beans provide a vegetarian protein alternative. If you’re a veggie enthusiast, consider adding grilled vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant for an extra dimension of flavor. And when it comes to herbs, while the recipe features fresh mint and parsley, feel free to experiment with dill or basil for a unique flavor infusion. The possibilities are as limitless as your culinary imagination! Pro Tips for the Perfect Salad

How to Perfect Your Orzo Salad

  • Cook the Orzo Al Dente: The orzo should be tender and fully cooked yet retain a slight chewiness.
  • Rinse Under Cold Water: After cooking, drain the orzo and give it a quick rinse under cold water. This stops the cooking process and cools it down swiftly.
  • Keep Vegetable Proportions Balanced: Slice your vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces to ensure a harmonious blend in every mouthful.
  • Embrace Fresh Herbs: Incorporating fresh herbs adds a vibrant burst of flavor that beautifully complements the other ingredients.
  • Dress Right Before Serving: To maintain the freshness of your orzo salad and prevent it from becoming soggy, add the dressing just before serving.
  • Extra Orzo Pasta? Freeze It!: If you cook more orzo than required for the salad, don’t fret. You can freeze the leftovers for later use!

Pairing Your Greek Orzo Salad

The Greek Orzo Salad pairs well with a variety of main courses. It’s the perfect side for a flavorful Kofta Kabab, and seafood lovers will enjoy it with Panko-crusted Halibut. Vegetarians can pair it with a slice of Ricotta Peas Pie for a satisfying meal. And let’s not forget about the classic chicken – oven-baked chicken drumsticks or a juicy roasted chicken breast, which would be delightful partners for this salad.

How to Make Greek Orzo Salad: Simple Ingredients, Big Flavor

Preparation

1.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, drain the orzo and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly.
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2.
While the orzo is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber, finely dice the red onion, and slice the olives.
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3.
Combine the cooked and cooled orzo, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, crumbled feta cheese, fresh mint, and parsley in a large salad bowl.
In a small bowl/ jar make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well mixed.
Mark as complete
4.
In a small bowl, make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well mixed.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is well combined and coated in the dressing.
Mark as complete
5.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Depending on your preference, you might want to add a bit more salt, pepper, or lemon juice.
Ideally, let the salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together.
Enjoy your Greek Orzo Salad!
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Ingredients:

1X 2X 3X
Adjust Servings
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, diced
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation

1
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, drain the orzo and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly.
2
While the orzo is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, dice the cucumber, finely dice the red onion, and slice the olives.
3
Combine the cooked and cooled orzo, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, crumbled feta cheese, fresh mint, and parsley in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl/ jar make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well mixed.
4
In a small bowl, make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well mixed. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is well combined and coated in the dressing.
5
Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Depending on your preference, you might want to add a bit more salt, pepper, or lemon juice. Ideally, let the salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together. Enjoy your Greek Orzo Salad!

Recipe Tips & Suggestions

Storage Tips:

Air-tight Containers: Store your Greek Orzo Salad in an air-tight container to keep it fresh. This will prevent any moisture loss and keep the ingredients crisp.

Separate Dressing: If you're making the salad in advance and plan to store it for a few days, it's best to store the dressing separately. This will prevent the salad from becoming soggy. Simply drizzle and mix in the dressing just before you serve.

Refrigeration: Keep the salad refrigerated if you're not consuming it immediately. It'll stay fresh for 3-4 days. If stored with dressing, consume within 1-2 days for optimal freshness.

Avoid Freezing: Freezing the salad can affect the texture of the ingredients, especially the vegetables. It's best to enjoy this salad fresh!

Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
See our full nutrition disclosure here.

rana

By Rana

Thanks for visiting my Mediterranean food blog and welcome to my virtual kitchen! Here, you’ll find mouth-watering, wholesome, and nutritious Mediterranean recipes that will change the way you view cooking.

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