Lemon Orzo Salad – Eating Bird Food

This easy Lemon Orzo Salad is loaded with fresh greens and herbs and tossed with a simple lemon dressing. It comes together in 20 minutes and is the perfect side dish or light lunch.

Light, refreshing, and bursting with lemon flavor, this Lemon Orzo Salad recipe is the perfect side dish for your next summer gatherings.

With a combination of tender orzo pasta, crunchy cucumbers, sweet snap peas, and tangy feta, this salad is sure to become a summer favorite.

Lemon orzo salad with fresh lemon wedges in a white bowl with metal serving spoons.

What is Orzo?

Orzo looks like rice, but it’s actually pasta! It is made from wheat so steer clear if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy. You can cook it like rice (where the orzo absorbs the liquid) or more like pasta where you boil the orzo and drain off the extra liquid after cooking. It can be eaten hot or cold and is a super versatile ingredient!

Orzo, being a type of pasta, offers a good source of carbohydrates for energy and, when prepared with whole grains, can also provide dietary fiber and essential nutrients such as B vitamins and iron.

Lemon orzo salad with fresh lemon wedges in a white bowl.

Why you will love this recipe

  • quick and easy: With minimal ingredients, this salad comes together in no time.
  • Versatile: Perfect as a side dish for a summer potluck or barbecue, but can also be eaten for lunch or dinner. Add your favorite protein to make it a complete meal!
  • Refreshing: Lemon, cucumber and fresh herbs give this salad a refreshing taste.
  • Ideal for preparing meals.: Do it ahead of time to prepare the food. The flavors get even better when it sits!
  • delighted the public: The delicious mix of flavors and textures is sure to impress at any gathering.
Ingredients for Lemon Orzo Salad: Orzo pasta, cucumbers, frozen peas, parsley, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Ingredients needed

  • barley paste – orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta that is ideal for salads. It cooks quickly and absorbs the flavors perfectly. I like to buy whole wheat orzo because it contains more fiber than regular orzo.
  • frozen peas – Thawed frozen peas add a nice sweetness and texture to the salad. They are also a great source of fiber and protein.
  • cucumber – fresh cucumber provides a crunchy texture and a refreshing flavor. Feel free to use a regular cucumber or an English cucumber.
  • curly parsley – freshly chopped parsley adds a hint of green and a mild herbal flavor. You can also use flat leaf parsley if you prefer.
  • feta cheese – the crumbled feta adds a spicy and salty dimension that pairs perfectly with the lemon.
  • lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice is key to making this salad vibrant and vibrant. It is always recommended to use fresh lemons for the best flavor.
  • olive oil – Olive oil adds richness, healthy fats and helps tie all the flavors together.
  • sea ​​salt and ground pepper – to season
A 4 collage chart showing how to make Lemon Orzo Salad.

How to do

Cook Orzo: Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until al dente and just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta cools to room temperature. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Make dressing: While the orzo is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to make the dressing.

Combine: Add snap peas, cucumber, parsley, and feta to the orzo. Mix to match. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again to mix well.

Attend: Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Lemon orzo salad with fresh lemon wedges in a white bowl with metal serving spoons.

Substitutions and Notes

The beauty of this Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad is that it is totally customizable. You can make various substitutions or add other ingredients based on what you have on hand or your personal preference. Here are some substitutions and notes:

  • Don’t have orzo on hand? Swap it out for farro, quinoa, or another small pasta shape like farfalle or fusilli.
  • Do you want to use a different oil? Go for it! My personal favorite for salads is extra virgin olive oil, but avocado oil would be a good substitute.
  • Do you want to use different vegetables? No problem! Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Some good additions would be cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, garlic, kalamata olives, broccoli, or zucchini. You can also add some chopped greens like baby spinach, kale, or arugula.
  • Change the parsley: Another fresh herb like fresh basil, dill, or mint would be delicious in this salad.
  • Change the feta cheese: If you need this salad to be dairy-free, skip the feta or use a vegan feta option. Or if you’re not a fan of feta, swap it out for goat cheese or another creamy cheese of your choice.
  • add protein: To make this salad heartier, you can add shredded chicken, grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp. For a vegetarian or vegan option, add chickpeas, white beans, or chopped nuts like almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, or walnuts.
  • add a vinaigrette: I love how light this salad is thanks to the use of lemon juice and olive oil as a dressing, but if you want to enhance the flavor of this salad, feel free to serve it with a different dressing. A few ideas: balsamic vinaigrette, lemon vinaigrette, or red wine vinaigrette.
Lemon orzo salad with fresh lemon wedges in a white bowl.

how to serve

Honestly, this Lemon Orzo Salad goes well with just about anything! It’s delicious on its own as a side, but it’s also the perfect accompaniment to cookouts and summer potlucks. Here are some pairing ideas:

Lemon orzo salad with fresh lemon wedges in a white bowl with wooden serving spoons.

How to Store Lemon Orzo Salad

This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It’s best to give it a good stir before serving if it’s been sitting out for a while, as the dressing can settle to the bottom. This salad can also be made ahead, making it perfect for meal prep or to bring to your next potluck.

Be sure to check out all the pasta salad recipes as well as the complete collection of salad recipes on EBF!

Service: 1/6 recipe | Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 47gram | Protein: elevengram | Fat: 10gram | Saturated fat: 2gram | Polyunsaturated fat: 1gram | monosaturated fat: 5gram | Cholesterol: 7milligrams | Sodium: 316milligrams | Potassium: 213milligrams | Fiber: 3gram | Sugar: 3gram

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.

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