This Greek orzo with creamy lemon dijon dressing is the perfect summer salad. It highlights fresh produce, citrus, herbs and salty olives and feta. Make it for your next cook-out and enjoy the leftovers as a light lunch.
I love pasta salad season.
Once the weather gets warm, I’m all about the cold side dishes and this Greek orzo is one of my all-time favorites! It pairs well with fish or grilled chicken but can totally stand on it’s own thanks to the addition of beans.
The colors are beautiful and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t go crazy for the mediterranean combo. A total classic! Here’s what you’ll need to make it.
- Orzo. Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta that works great in pasta salad because of it’s small size (which works well with other ingredients that are chopped small).
- Cannellini beans. Also known as Great Northern Beans or simply “white beans”, these sort of just melt in your mouth. So delicious.
- Grape tomatoes. My go-to since they always seem to have good flavor. You could certainly use another type, but might want to remove seeds and juices before adding.
- Red onion. Just a touch, minced small so it doesn’t take over the entire dish.
- Kalamata olives. If you’re an olive person, these are a must! The salty/briney flavor really elevates this dish.
- Feta cheese. Crumbly cheese permeates the salad so you get some in every bite.
- Dill & mint. I went double on the herbs here because they add such great flavor. If you only use one, go for the dill.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, homemade dressing is so much easier than you think and makes a huge difference in salads like this. As long as you have oil, and some sort of acid (like citrus or vinegar) you’ll always be able to throw together a simple vinaigrette.
The ingredients for this one are simple and include: dijon mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil. Small mason jars like the one pictured are perfect for shaking it up. You’ll use all of it (so no leftovers lingering in your fridge).
If you wanted to add additional fresh or dried herbs to the dressing, that would be totally delicious too. Make a double batch if you want extra for topping other salads for the next several days.
Sample Summer BBQ Menu
If you’re wondering what to pair this with, I’ve got you covered!
Here’s a sample summer BBQ menu that would go perfectly with this salad if you’re grilling, enjoying some time outside and want to avoid turning on the oven:
I know this classic will become a regular in your rotation once you try it. It’s a staple in my house, so much so that I don’t even follow a recipe anymore. And THAT is the definition of relaxed summer cooking.Print
Greek Orzo Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
Make this Greek orzo for an easy, fresh and interesting summer side dish. It’s full of seasonal produce, juicy kalamata olives and salty feta cheese. A bright lemon dijon dressing pulls it all together.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups 1x
- Category: Side Dishes
- Cuisine: Greek/Mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1, 14.5 oz can cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup finely minced red onion
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1/3 cup fresh dill, rough chopped
- Mint chiffonade (optional)
- Cook orzo per package directions, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by adding the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, and a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper to a small jar. Screw on the lid tightly and shake until well combined and creamy. Set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a medium bowl, pour the dressing over the top and stir to evenly distribute. Garnish with extra tomatoes, olives, feta, herbs and lemon wedges.
- The equipment section above provides affiliate links to tools/appliances I use often in my kitchen and love!
- Store pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 199
- Fat: 8 grams
- Carbohydrates: 25 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
Keywords: greek orzo pasta salad, mediterranean pasta salad, feta cheese, olives, dill, mint, summer side dishes
This post was originally published on January 15, 2019 and was updated on June 1, 2020.
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