Fresh and so flavorful, this Italian Orzo Salad ought to find its way into your meal prep routine. Salami, feta, tomatoes, cucumber and dressed up in a light dressing, it's all of your favorites from an Italian Chopped Salad but made heartier in pasta form.
About this Salad
Barbecue season is rapidly approaching, and I don't know about you, but the first thing I make sure I get on my plate while the meat is finishing up on the grill is a nice hearty helping of pasta salad!
This Italian Orzo Salad combines some of my favorite ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, salami, and more - all tossed with Italian dressing. I love the texture of the orzo. Although small, it's quite the mighty pasta, packed with fiber to keep you feeling satisfied and full.
Whip this salad up in just 30 minutes our friends and family will eat it right up and ask when you're making more! Or make it for meal prep and enjoy all week long.
And if you're all about the pasta salads, you should also check out this Strawberry Quinoa Salad, Pesto Pasta Salad, Italian Quinoa Salad, Bruschetta Pasta Salad, or this Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad!
- Orzo: So quick to cook! A great pasta choice for getting lunch or dinner on the table fast.
- Veggies: I used cucumber, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and red onion for a variety of color and textures.
- Salami: One of my favorite Italian deli meats. So salty and flavorful! But you could easily swap with pepperoni, ham, chicken or another lunch meat if you prefer. Or leave it out to make this a vegetarian salad.
- Feta Cheese: Adds some creaminess. Mozzarella I think would be good, too.
- Italian Dressing: I love the slightly sweet but vinegary taste Italian dressing adds to the salad. The orzo pasta soaks it right up! I used store bought dressing for convenience.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Boil a medium pot of water and cook orzo according to package instructions. Then strain and rinse cooked orzo with cold water until completely cooled.
2. While pasta is cooking, chop and dice spinach, tomatoes, onions, and salami in pieces. Smaller is better to ensure a bit of each ingredient in every bite!
3. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients together and top with dressing. Toss and enjoy!
I made my Best Grilled Chicken recipe along with this Italian Orzo Salad for a well rounded meal.
Pasta salads are great for family barbeques, dinner parties, or lunch out on the deck or patio with friends! It pairs well with proteins like chicken, burgers, and steaks. Try it with my Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Kebabs or Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers!
Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Note: The orzo will absorb a lot of the dressing and moisture when left to sit. Simply toss with additional dressing prior to serving to ensure the flavor is all there.
Traditional pasta salad is served cold, as is the case with this Italian Orzo Salad, too. With all of the fresh veggies, it's important to let the orzo cool before mixing in order to keep them from getting wilted.
Absolutely. Penne, fusilli, or macaroni noodles would all work great. If you’re gluten free, use a chickpea noodle (I love Banza) rice noodle. I also think using Right Rice would be tasty and mimic the shape of orzo.
More Recipes You'll Love
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Italian Orzo Salad
- Sauce pot
- Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- 3 cups orzo, cooked
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 1 english cucumber, diced
- ½ cup salami, diced
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ⅓ - ½ cup Italian dressing
- ¼ - ⅓ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup olives, optional
- In a medium sauce pot, boil water and cook dry orzo according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, chop and dice spinach, tomatoes, onions, and salami in small pieces. I like to chop the ingredients in different shapes to add variety to the salad. For example, cut the salami in long strips, quarter the tomatoes, and finely chop the spinach so it’s easy to get in each bite.
- Strain and rinse cooked orzo with cold water until chilled.
- In a large mixing bowl, fold all the ingredients together. Add dressing and toss until everything is well coated.
- Serve cold and enjoy!
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If you're using MyFitnessPal, search 'A Paige Of Positivity' and find Orzo Pasta Salad calories and nutrition facts. Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved or just say hi!
Carly P says
I forgot how much I love pasta salad until I had this recipe, and now I am constantly craving it!! So great to bring as a dish for dinner parties and always a hit 🙂
I made this for my lunch meal prep this week! I could not wait and had a bowl for dinner. SO GOOD and SO EASY to make. The perfect summer side at a bbq that everyone will enjoy!! This will be my go to for boat days this summer! It is a must try!!
I love everything about this pasta salad and farro is a new favorite of mine. The flavors burst and adding the salami amps it up! I bought Italian dressing from target (good and gather brand) and it was perfect!
super easy to make and ABSOLUTELY delicious!!! I made this as my meal prep this week and it is perfect !! HIGHLY recommend :))
I regret not doubling the recipe! This went fast amongst my family and will definitely be making again. Perfect for a group but also looking forward to meal prepping it to have throughout the week. I made it with arugula instead of spinach because thats what I had, and wow just another bright flavor to add to this shining dish.
Made this for a float trip this past weekend and it was a crowd favorite! Even had someone who hates pasta salad say he loved it because it tasted so fresh. Most definitely will be making again!!
Samantha Lavey says
Made this for my family’s 4th of July party and it was a hit! Swapped out the orzo for banza pasta, but otherwise followed the recipe. Such a good side for any party or just for meal prepping for the week! Will be making again!
This is one of my favorite recipes to make in the summer! It is so refreshing and always a hit whenever I bring it as a dish to share! Absolutely amazing!
Made this recipe with leftover bow tie and it was so good! Will be making again
Miriam S says
This is my favorite go to for lunch!! Love it!!
I made this over the weekend for a family gathering and it was a big hit! So simple to make but full of flavor. Was good the next day as well!
Courtney Paige says
We made this for summer BBQs all the time. Such a crowd pleaser!
This was such a tasty pasta salad! I plan to make it again and again and again! Great flavor and oh, so pretty! Simply put, it was a hit.
Loved making this! I appreciated the advice to chop the adds on different ways. I made too much orzo so ended up doubling the recipe and loved it! Had it with brats for dinner, excited to make it in the summer as well.
Going to make this for Memorial Day! What dressing did you use to hit those macros?
Sydney Van Acker says
Hey sam! Macros for this recipe is calculated using Wishbone Italian Dressing. Enjoy!