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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad – Packed with flavor, this Greek-inspired orzo recipe features healthy veggies for color and texture and makes a quick and easy vegan side dish or main meal!

top down view of vegan Mediterranean orzo salad in a large serving bowl with spoon.

With plenty of ingredients left over from making this Mediterranean Mashed Chickpea Salad, I decided to pull together this healthy Mediterranean style orzo pasta recipe.

I absolutely love the shape and texture of orzo, and it’s great for pasta salads!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s a healthy summer orzo salad, using simple ingredients that are easily accessible and comes together in 30 minutes.
  • You can cook and drain the orzo, then assemble the salad in the same pot, making it a super easy one-pot vegan recipe.
  • It makes enough to feed a crowd or will leave you with plenty of leftovers for meal prep!

When you have a craving for orzo, this quick and easy vegan pasta dish is perfect!

For variation, try this Greek Pasta Salad or Greek Quinoa Salad, both of which are delicious!

top down view of ingredients used to make healthy vegan Mediterranean orzo salad.

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients are easily accessible. If you need to skip one or two of the ingredients, you’ll still have a delicious Mediterranean-inspired orzo salad!

Here is everything you will need:

  • Orzo – Use regular, whole wheat or spelt (I used this Spelt Orzo from Amazon (affiliate link), it was pricy but good!
  • Chickpeas – Garbanzo beans add protein and texture, but you can omit them if preferred.
  • Cherry tomatoes – Adds color and juiciness.
  • Artichoke hearts – Use whole or halved, preferably packed in water instead of oil.
  • Kalamata olives – Green olives, or a combo of the two would be great.
  • Red bell pepper – Adds color and a bit of sweetness. Feel free to omit them.
  • Red onion – Adds just the right amount of onion flavor and pop of color.
  • Parsley + dill – Dill adds a cool, refreshing flavor, but you may opt to substitute that for some fresh oregano.
  • Pine nuts – Pine nuts have a wonderfully distinct flavor. If you don’t care for them, try adding 1/4 cup of hemp hearts instead for healthy omegas!
  • Lemon – Ties it all together, adding brightness and juices.
  • Salt + pepper – Season to taste – using enough salt just to bring out all the flavors.
top down view of orzo cooked and ingredients prepped before mixing orzo salad together.

How To Make Mediterranean Orzo Salad

(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)

  • Cook the orzo.
  • While the orzo is cooking, prep the veggies.
  • In a large bowl add the cooked orzo, red bell pepper, onion, chickpeas, artichoke, olives, tomatoes, pine nuts, parsley, dill, lemon pepper and salt.
  • Add the lemon juice and optional oil over top, toss well to coat. Add more lemon-pepper and salt to taste.

Top Tips

  • Add cucumber for a cool and refreshing flavor, or use it as a substitute for one of the other ingredients.
  • Add a little zing. Lemon juice is used to dress the salad (with the option of adding olive oil). Try adding a few splashes of red wine vinegar for even more zestiness.

top down view showing the process of making best Mediterranean orzo salad.

How To Store

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to 5 – 6 days.
  • Make ahead: Orzo salad can be made a day ahead for ease and kept in the refrigerator until serving time.
  • Meal prep: Try it for weekly meal prep, storing serving-size portions in containers for a quick lunch or grab-n-go meal.

Serving Suggestions

side angle view of vegan Mediterranean orzo salad in a large serving bowl with spoon.

More Easy Mediterranean Recipes

The flavors of the Mediterranean are varied and delicious. Here are a few more ideas for the meal rotations!

serving of mediterranean orzo salad on a small plate

If you try this orzo pasta recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad is a flavorful greek inspired orzo salad with chickpeas, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, red bell peppers, tomatoes, dill, parsley and plenty of lemony flavor and nutty pine nuts.

  • Author: Julie West
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Category: Pasta, Entree, Side
  • Method: boil, mix
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 16 oz package orzo (pref. whole wheat)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 can (14oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half or quartered
  • 1 pint (8oz) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill fronds or 2 teaspoons dried
  • mineral salt + pepper (or lemon pepper), or to taste
  • 2 lemons, juice of (about 34 tablespoons)
  • 34 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional

Instructions

Orzo: Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions.

Assemble: In a large bowl add the cooked orzo, red bell pepper, onion, chickpeas, artichoke, olives, tomatoes, pine nuts, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and optional oil over top, toss well to coat. Season to taste.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Salad is great alone. Also, try adding a small handful of leafy greens such as arugula to your serving for added freshness and fiber. It’s delicious!

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to 5 – 6 days.

Serves 8

Notes

For a healthy option, look for artichoke hearts and olives packed in water, instead of oil.

Diced cucumber would be great in this salad. Simply substitute any vegetable or add it as an extra ingredient.

Use couscous as a replacement for the orzo if you like.

A little red wine vinegar would also be nice here, use 3 – 4 tablespoons.

Looking to change up the herbs? Oregano would be a great addition.

Updated: This recipe was originally published in August 2018. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in June 2020.

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4 Comments

  1. So simple and so delicious! This is my new go-to side to bring to cookouts where I know there won’t be many vegan options. 5 stars!

  2. Sheri Nix says:

    Beautiful salad! I doubled the amount of Kalamata Olives, used lemon zest as well as the juice, & added cucumbers. Such a refreshing salad! I’m also going to serve it with Arugula.

  3. Easy, delicious. Great for a potluck Added arugula, cause I love arugula.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Sounds wonderful, arugula is perfect with this orzo salad! Cheers :)

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