Greek inspired ingredients and flavors turn simple orzo pasta into a delicious and fresh pasta salad that’s a perfect side dish for summer!
As the head chef in my house, I don’t really mind cooking dinner every night. That’s until I spend some time outside in the summer sun, start feeling hot and sticky, and become completely drained by dinner. That’s probably why I don’t mind making big batches of pasta salad that we can enjoy all week during the summer. My go-to recipe is my family’s favorite Italian pasta salad. But after making it over and over again lately, I’m getting kind of sick of it.
Our garden has really taken off this year, so I decided to make a different pasta salad this week using fresh ingredients. I pulled an onion from my in-law’s garden (as well as a bunch of other goodies) and picked herbs from my own garden to make this salad. Soon enough, I won’t have to go to the store for cucumbers and tomatoes for a while! They’re beginning to pop up left and right in the garden, too!
I love Greek-inspired flavors. I can’t actually say that I’ve eaten a lot of Greek food aside from spanakopita and the occasional gyro. But I do love to bring a lot of Mediterranean flavors to my dishes. I had a box of orzo in my cabinet and a bunch of fresh veggies in the fridge, so I made a Greek Orzo Pasta Salad to have with dinner (or as lunch) for the week. This pasta salad is a great make-ahead dish. Add grilled chicken or other protein to make it a meal!
Besides the fact that pasta salads are pretty easy to throw together, I love the fact that they seem to get better as they sit! The orzo in this salad will soak up the dressing over time, leaving you with a delicious, light, and lemony salad.
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1-2 small pepperoncinis, or other mild pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 small sprig fresh mint
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Cook orzo according to package. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, and pepperoncini.
- Add orzo to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix together dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing onto bowl with pasta and combine.
- Season pasta salad with salt and pepper.
- Add crumbled feta just before serving. Serve with more feta, if desired.
- Enjoy pasta salad cold or at room temperature.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days.