This healthy and hearty orzo salad is loaded with mediterranean flavors like sun-dried tomatoes, olives and feta. It’s a total crowd-pleaser that you’ll want to bring to every summer cookout and potluck.
Oh my goodness, I’ve found the perfect side salad for summer cookouts, barbecues or backyard dinners. It’s a hearty, healthy mediterranean salad with orzo, cannellini beans, olives, feta and sun-dried tomatoes. I love the fact that it’s super flavorful and delicious, but also loaded with nutrient-rich toppings.
Most pasta salads aren’t the healthiest, but this salad actually does a good job of packing a ton of nutrition into one dish!
What is Orzo?
Orzo looks kind of like rice, but it’s actually pasta! It is made from wheat so steer clear if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy. You can cook it like rice (where the orzo absorbs the liquid) or more like a pasta where you boil the orzo and drain the extra liquid after cooking. It can be eaten hot or cold and is a super versatile ingredient!
Ingredients in Orzo Salad
orzo pasta – I like to buy whole wheat orzo because it contains more fiber than regular.
baby spinach – baby spinach has a mild flavor and texture that works perfectly in this orzo salad.
sun-dried tomatoes – these are a must! They add a ton of flavor.
cucumber – for some added crunch.
Kalamata olives – make sure you’re buying pitted olives so you can easily chop them up.
cannellini beans – the perfect ingredient to add bulk protein. I used canned cannellini beans but you can cook your own if you want.
dried oregano, salt and black pepper – to really bring all the flavors together!
feta cheese – this adds such a good flavor to the salad so I wouldn’t recommend omitting it. If needed you can use a vegan feta.
balsamic dressing – a super simple dressing made with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, garlic, sea salt, and olive oil.
Notes & Substitutions
Cannellini – Like I mentioned, I used canned cannellini beans because they’re super easy to use! If you don’t like cannellini beans you can substitute for another white bean like chickpeas or Northern beans.
Avocado – Want to add a little creaminess and healthy fats to your salad? Add in some chopped avocado!
I love that this salad pairs well with just about any protein. It’s delicious served with my grilled apple cider vinegar chicken. I think the flavors go really well together. It’s also a perfect side for cookouts and potlucks.
To make it in advance: You can prep the salad the night before and let it chill in the fridge until serving. I recommend serving at room temperature.
To store leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
If you make this easy Mediterranean orzo salad, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.
Easy Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This healthy and hearty orzo salad is loaded with mediterranean flavors like sun-dried tomatoes and feta. A total crowd-pleaser that you'll want to bring to every summer cookout and potluck.
Cook orzo: Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add orzo and cook according to the package directions until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until the pasta cools to room temp. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
Prep dressing: While orzo cooks make the dressing by using a blender or whisk to combine all ingredients.
Mix ingredients: Add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, beans and oregano to the orzo and toss to combine.
Add dressing: Add half of the balsamic dressing and toss again. Taste it and add more dressing if needed. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Serve: Serve at room temperature, sprinkled with feta.
Cannellini – If you don’t like cannellini beans you can substitute for another white bean like chickpeas or Northern beans.Avocado – Want to add a little creaminess and healthy fats to your salad? Add in some chopped avocado!Dressing – I love the balsamic dressing I created for this salad but any dressing would work if you’re in a pinch. Some options: Greek Salad Dressing, white balsamic vinaigrette or lemon vinaigrette.
Serving: 1/6 of recipeCalories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 7gFat: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 7g