Quick & Easy Orzo Salad


February 6, 2014 by branchingfig

orzo salad recipe

When I was working at the bakery, most days I didn’t have time to warm up food or eat a big lunch. I’d get in early, work late, and get hungry. Like all-caps hungry. Like want-to-shove-the-cake-I-was-working-on-into-my-mouth-even-though-I’d-just-spent-hours-decorating-it hungry. Luckily, the bakery made an insanely good orzo salad that I’d shovel into my mouth almost every day. I’m not usually a big fan of pasta salads – they tend to be too oily or too dry or too drenched in mayo. But this orzo salad hit the spot. It was light yet filling, refreshing yet nourishing. And so simple to make.

bowl of orzo

These days, I throw together a similar dish when I don’t have time to make a big dinner – like last night. It’s an easy one bowl dish, packed with flavor. This is a great basic recipe, which you can adjust depending on what you have in your fridge. Don’t have (or like) feta? Substitute grated parmesan. Have broccoli or zucchini you want to use up? Roast ’em and toss ’em in. Want to dress it up and take it to a party? Add chopped artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Like it spicy? Add red chile flakes. Presto! Dinner is served.

orzo salad ingredients


  • 2 cups cooked orzo
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 diced Persian cucumber (about ½ cup)
  • ½ diced pepper
  • 10 slices chopped salame
  • 2 cups loosely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 leaves diced basil
  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl, and toss.
  2. Enjoy!

orzo and tongs

What’s your favorite quick dinner dish?

2 thoughts on “Quick & Easy Orzo Salad

  1. Rachel says:

    Yum! Looks delicious! If you’re looking to make it vegetarian, you can swap the salame for a few garbanzo beans to make a full vegetarian dinner. I eat orzo salads all the time!

    PS: I kind of miss those all-caps-I-NEED-CHIPS-AND-SALSA kind of days!

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Hi there! I'm Karen. A few years back I was a pastry chef and specialty cake decorator. Now I hope to share tricks of the trade and how-to's, as well as recipes and DIYs from my newlywed adventures, through this blog. Drop by to say hello.

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