Our orzo salad with feta cheese is perfect for cookouts. It’s light-hearted yet carries a biblical amount of flavor. The combination of orzo, veggies, and cheese tossed with honey olive dressing will steal your heart.
Let’s learn more about this salad.
Is Orzo Salad Healthy?
Absolutely. Not only is orzo salad easy to make but it’s also nutritious.
Approximately 833 IU of vitamin A can be extracted from 3.5 oz of fresh tomatoes, making them a great source. Meeting the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A may be beneficial to your eyesight and immune system. Besides, adding tomatoes to your daily routine also helps increase Lycopene intake. Lycopene with its long list of health benefits makes a great addition to a healthy eating pattern.
For all the nutrients it provides, orzo salad only contains 214 calories. Moreover, our chefs made sure the amounts of sodium and saturated fat fall within healthy limits (at 285.4 mg and 2 g, respectively).
Ingredients You Will Need
In today’s recipe, all the ingredients are kept straightforward. With a quick ride to your local grocery, you’ll easily have a basket full of these goodies.
Orzo: Orzo is the heart and soul of this Italian salad. Once cooked al dente, this rice-shaped pasta will perform as a perfect base for your toppings.
Cherry tomatoes: Snappy on the outside and juicy on the inside, cherry tomatoes bring a burst of umami flavor to the dish.
Cucumber: Cucumber is low in calories and high in water content, making it a must-have ingredient for your diet. With a crunchy texture and refreshing taste, cucumber makes this salad the perfect remedy for hot days.
Olives: The tanginess and zestiness of olives make this salad stand out.
Cheese: Feta cheese mixes a bold, rich, and slightly savory flavor into our salad.
Herbs: Basil and parsley add the aromatics to our salad not to mention a pop of green.
Onion and garlic: Sweet onion and slightly spicy garlic work harmoniously together in our salad.
Dressing: Our salad is served with the all-time favorite honey olive oil dressing. Moreover, with different choices of honey, the dressing can underline a unique aftertaste (floral, fruity, woody, or smokey).
Should You Rinse Orzo?
The answer is yes.
Unlike long-shaped pasta, orzo needs a rinsing step to prevent any bumps and lumps during tossing. Moreover, running orzo under the faucet also stops the cooking process. Hence, we don’t have to worry about mushy and overcooked pasta.
Now that everything is clear, it’s cooking time.
Tips for Making
Here are some tips to prepare Orzo salad to perfection:
Don’t add too much salt: While cooking orzo, you shouldn’t season the water as the pasta tends to soak it up and become too salty.
Cook the pasta a little past al dente: Pasta can dry out quickly. With this trick, it will stay tender after cooling. However, make sure you do not make the mistake of overcooking the pasta.
Let time do the trick: Allowing your salad to rest in the fridge before serving will enhance the flavor of your dish.
Options for vegan: If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute feta with a plant-based cheese. Though the taste of this cheese might be milder and less visible, our salad will stay just as rich.
How to Serve
Orzo salad with feta cheese makes a great lunch on its own. As a side dish, you can enjoy this salad with grilled chicken breasts, BBQ steaks, or toast.
How to Store the Leftovers
If stored properly in an air-tight container, your salad should last up to 4 days in the fridge. However, we strongly suggest finishing up your leftovers on day one or two. The longer it stays there the less appealing it tastes.
Our orzo salad with feta cheese is perfect for cookouts. It's light-hearted yet carries a biblical amount of flavor. The combination of orzo, veggies, and cheese tossed with honey olive dressing will steal your heart.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
It's a versatile salad that can be enjoyed as a light lunch or a side dish for any occasion.