Spring has sprung and it’s time to eat everything green, like this Greek Orzo Salad! Don’t get me wrong, I love winter comfort food, but it’s definitely time to get back into lighter fare for spring and summer. This orzo salad was absolutely amazing for dinner and made me forget that it’s still going to snow at least one more time this spring, because I live in Alberta.
How to Make an Orzo Salad
Using orzo in a salad is super easy! All you have to do is replace the pasta that you usually use in your favourite pasta salad recipe and replace it with orzo.
- Cook the orzo according to the package directions
- Drain and cool the orzo
- Toss with your favourite salad ingredients and dressing
What is Orzo?
Orzo is actually a pasta, not a rice like one might believe from the size and shape of it. Orzo is a small, flat disk pasta that does resemble arborio rice, so it’s an easy mistake to make. Orzo is also known as “risoni”, so if you see that name on a package it’s the same thing, although orzo can be slightly larger than risoni.
How do I Cook Orzo?
It is a little different to cook than other pastas simply because it’s so small, you would think it cooks for less time. Nope! Orzo needs around 10 minutes cooking time and should be treated like any other pasta when cooking. Salted water brought to a boil, then rinsed at the end in cold water to stop the cooking process. Not only that, you need to rinse the starches off the orzo since it’s going into a cold salad.
Tips & Tricks for Making the Best Greek Orzo Salad
- Like most pasta salad, this Greek Orzo Salad is eaten cold and needs to be refrigerated.
- Don’t make this a day ahead of time, no matter how tempting it is. The tomatoes will weep and make for a soggy salad. This is best made the morning of, perhaps even an hour or two before serving.
- You CAN make the orzo ahead of time, prepare it and then toss it with some olive oil and refrigerate. This is a great tip for busy Mom’s! Make everything ahead of time, even slicing the vegetables and refrigerate. The tomatoes will actually drain in the container in the fridge, making it less soggy. You just have to wait to combine the ingredients.
- You can substitute in more of any one vegetable that you see fit. I like a ton of cucumbers in everything that I eat!
- Make sure to rinse the orzo well in cold water right after cooking. The starches left on it after boiling will absolutely affect the texture of the salad.
Are you looking for some other great pasta salad recipes? Try these:
Happy cooking! Who else is thrilled that spring is finally here?
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Greek Orzo Salad- tomatoes, orzo, black olives feta and purple onions combined with orzo and a Greek olive oil vinaigrette makes this a healthy and delicious dinner!
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 (12-14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained well and chopped
- 1 large tomato drained, seeded and chopped
- 1 English cucumber seeded and chopped
- 1 purple/red onion chopped
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice to your taste
- 1-2 tsp Greek Seasoning
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Add in the orzo and cook until al dente, around 8-10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and rinse the starches off. Once drained well, place in a large serving bowl.
- Add in the artichoke hearts, tomato, cucumber, onion, feta, olives and parsley.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, then pour over the salad.
- Toss the ingredients until coated, then chill for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
You can use orzo to replace any pasta in your regular pasta salad