Orzo Pasta Salad

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This orzo pasta salad is packed with Mediterranean flavors and it comes together in less than 20 minutes! It’s made with cherry tomatoes, artichokes, cucumber, olives, and vegan feta, all tossed in an easy lemon herb dressing. 

orzo pasta salad in a white bowl with a wooden spoon on a marble countertop

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a type of short-cut pasta that resembles a large grain of rice. It’s typically made from white flour, but you can also find whole grain versions. It’s also know as risoni. 

It can be used for salads, soups, or in casseroles, or as a side dish on its own. 

Why This Recipe Works

This Greek orzo salad is one of my favorite pasta salads! The recipe is incredibly easy and it’s ready in under 20 minutes. It makes such a great lunch and it’s also perfect for picnics and potlucks.

You just can’t beat the combination of fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumber, artichokes, and olives. Red onion slices and freshly chopped parsley add even more flavor to the salad. 

Homemade vegan feta cheese tops this salad off and adds the typical salty and tangy Greek flavor. I think it’s really hard to find satisfying vegan feta at the supermarket, but this homemade version is a real star. It’s incredibly easy to make and it tastes authentic. 

For my vegan feta cheese, I marinated tofu in apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, which mimic the tangy and sour taste of feta. For more flavor, I added dried thyme and lots of garlic.

The recipe for this salad is super versatile. You could add other veggies or legumes like chickpeas or bell pepper as an addition or as a substitute. 

The dressing couldn’t be any easier. It comes together in just 2 minutes and it bursts with flavor. 

What Goes Into This Recipe 

ingredients that go into this recipe on a marble countertop with labels

  • Parsley – use fresh parsley. 
  • Lemon Juice – I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of store-bought lemon juice. It really makes a difference. 
  • Olive Oil – I use organic extra virgin olive oil. 
  • Artichokes – I used marinated artichoke hearts in oil for this recipe. You could also use canned artichoke hearts without oil if you want. 
  • Vegan Feta – I like to use homemade vegan feta made from tofu. Up to now, I haven’t found store-bought vegan feta that I really like. 
  • Vinegar – for the dressing, I used white wine vinegar. You could also use red wine vinegar instead. 

How to Make This Recipe 

a collage of four photos showing how to make this recipe

1. Step: The night before making the salad, cut the tofu into small cubes. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Fill the tofu and the marinade into a ziploc bag and store it overnight in the fridge. 

2. Step: Cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package. After cooking, drain it with a colander and run it under cold water. It will quickly cool it down and it will prevent it from clumping together. 

3. Step: Roughly dice the cucumber. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and the red onion into thin slices. 

4. Step: Make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, the white wine vinegar, the dried oregano, basil, thyme, the lemon juice, the salt, and pepper. 

5. Step: Place all of the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. 

a preparation photo that shows how to make this recipe

6. Step: Add the freshly chopped parsley and toss with the dressing to serve immediately or store it in the fridge for later. 

a photo that shows how to make this recipe

Recipe Notes

  • If you don’t have much time, you could also get away with marinating the vegan feta for about 4 hours. But it’s definitely better if you marinate it for a longer time. Also make sure that you’ve got very firm tofu. It makes the best texture!
  • The orzo salad is also great without the vegan feta. You could replace them with canned chickpeas if you want for an even quicker version. 
  • For a gluten-free version, you could replace the orzo with gluten-free pasta or even with brown rice. 

Variations

This orzo salad is also great with: 

  • chickpeas
  • bell pepper (red, yellow, orange, or green) 
  • green onions
  • roasted pine nuts
  • capers
  • fresh basil
  • baby spinach

FAQs:

Where Do I Find Orzo?

Usually, you can find orzo in the dry pasta aisle. Some stores might also place it in the grain aisle or in the bulk area. 

Could I Use Any Other Kind Of Pasta? 

Yes, the pasta salad also works well with rotini pasta. 

How Long Does This Salad Last?

If you store the dressing and the salad ingredients in different containers in the fridge, this salad will last 3-5 days. 

If you’ve already added the dressing, it will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

close-up photo of orzo salad in a white bowl with parsley in the background

Related Recipes: 

  • Greek Pasta Salad 
  • Southwestern Pasta Salad 
  • California Pasta Salad 
  • Vegan Ravioli Salad 
  • Easy Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Basil 

I Love to Hear From You!

I hope you like this orzo pasta salad as much as we do around here.

If you give it a try, I’d love to know what you think about them. Just leave me a comment and a star rating below. Your comments really make my day!

You like my recipes and want to see more? Then follow me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest

Sina 

orzo pasta salad in a white bowl with a wooden spoon on a marble countertop

Print

Orzo Pasta Salad

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This orzo pasta salad is packed with Mediterranean flavors and it comes together in less than 20 minutes! It's made with cherry tomatoes, artichokes, cucumber, olives, and vegan feta, all tossed in an easy lemon herb dressing. 
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 447kcal
Author Sina

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 7 oz orzo
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 7 oz marinated artichoke hearts in oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 20 black olives
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the Vegan Feta:

  • 8 oz very firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • The night before making the salad, cut the tofu into small cubes. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Fill the tofu and the marinade into a ziploc bag and store it overnight in the fridge.
  • Cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package. After cooking, drain it with a colander and run it under cold water. It will quickly cool it down and it will prevent it from clumping together. 
  • Roughly dice the cucumber. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and the red onion into thin slices. 
  • Make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, the white wine vinegar, the dried oregano, basil, thyme, the lemon juice, the salt, and pepper. 
  • Place all of the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. 
  • Add the freshly chopped parsley and toss with the dressing to serve immediately or store it in the fridge for later. 

Notes

  • If you don’t have much time, you could also get away with marinating the vegan feta for about 4 hours. But it’s definitely better if you marinate it for a longer time. Also make sure that you’ve got very firm tofu. It makes the best texture!
  • The orzo salad is also great without the vegan feta. You could replace them with canned chickpeas if you want for an even quicker version. 
  • For a gluten-free version, you could replace the orzo with gluten-free pasta or even with brown rice. 
  • If you store the dressing and the salad ingredients in different containers in the fridge, this salad will last 3-5 days. If you’ve already added the dressing, it will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1190mg | Potassium: 553mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1334IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Orzo Pasta Salad appeared first on Vegan Heaven.





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