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Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta

5 from 6 votes
Time: 15 minutes
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This 20 minute Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta is perfect for summer entertaining! It is packed with crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs, salty feta, and coated in a rich lemon dressing.

You’ll love it for boat days, potlucks, meal prepping, or serving as a dinner side dish. Guess what? It tastes even better the next day, so go ahead and prep it in advance.

For more fresh side salads, try my English Pea Salad and Italian Pasta Salad. If you’re loving this flavor combination, try my Lemon Feta Fries or this 20 minute Spinach Lemon Pasta.

Big bowl of pasta salad with vegetables, herbs, and a lemon dressing ready to be served.

This pasta salad recipe is my go-to dish to pass.

In a sea of macaroni salads, potato salads, and coleslaws, this Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta always stands out from the rest. And you’ll get at least 2 or 3 people asking you what the pasta is, it’s a conversation piece. HA!

But anyways, it’s unique, flavorful, and I can almost guarantee nothing like it will be on the table. This pasta salad has a 4 kinds of vegetables, 3 different herbs, a fresh lemon, and salty feta cheese. It also…

  • does well sitting out at room temperature, thanks to the olive oil and lemon based dressing
  • lasts up to 7 days in the refrigerator with absolutely zero problems (a meal-preppers dream)
  • is nourishing and filling at the same time, your body will feel good eating it

You’re going to have leftover orzo, so try my vegetable orzo soup or this one pot chicken mushroom orzo.

Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta Ingredients

This pasta salad is a myriad of colors, textures, and flavors. Keep reading for notes on each ingredient and potential substitutions.

  • Orzo Pasta: You’ll need a half a box of orzo, but if you are serving a crowd definitely double the recipe. I have seen gluten free or whole wheat orzo that you can use too.
  • Green Onions: These are also known as scallions in some regions. We will only be using the green tops, so save the remaining onion for another recipe.
  • Cucumbers: Small cucumbers work best because there are less seeds and you can slice them into rounds. If you have a larger cucumber, slice it lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon before chopping into half-rounds.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Cut in halves. Feel free to use a medley of small tomatoes or just red cherry tomatoes.
  • Red Onion: Diced into into small, bite-sized pieces. Red onions are best for fresh salads but you can also use shallots for a mild onion flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs: We will use a combination of dill, parsley, and mint. They should all be finely chopped and mixed together. I do not recommend swapping them out for dried herbs, the flavor just isn’t the same.
  • Feta Cheese: Stick with traditional feta (not flavored varieties) so you don’t overwhelm the pasta salad with additional flavors. Use crumbled feta like I did or chop a block into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Lemon: We will be using the lemon for its zest and juice. Don’t forget to give it a good wash before zesting.
  • Oil: Use your favorite neutral flavored oil, I recommend light tasting extra virgin olive oil. You could also use avocado oil or sunflower oil.
  • Salt and Pepper: Feel free to season to your taste preferences, or follow the measurements given.
Ingredients. Orzo pasta, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red onion, green onions, parsley, dill, mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

How to Make Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta

You are going to love how quick and easy this recipe is! Keep reading for a brief overview, the recipe card further down will have complete instructions.

1. Cook the orzo pasta as indicated on the box and rinse with cold water. Rinsing keeps the pasta salad from becoming gummy and sticky. Add orzo to a large bowl.

2. Whisk the lemon dressing ingredients (oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, black pepper) in a large bowl until it is emulsified together.

3. Add the cooked orzo, vegetables (green onion, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion), herbs (dill, parsley, mint), and crumbled feta cheese.

4. Toss together the salad until it is well combined and serve! Side note, store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Serving Options and Ideas

Make it ahead of time. This is completely optional but recommended! Orzo takes time to absorb flavors, and refrigerating it for at least 3 hours, or overnight does the trick. Always give it a good toss before serving and eating.

Add a protein and make it a meal! I love adding steak, blackened salmon, or popcorn chicken to this recipe. Other options are grilled shrimp, crispy tofu, chickpeas and other beans, or whatever proteins you like.

Swap the vegetables and herbs for things you have hanging out in the refrigerator. Try asparagus, spinach, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, basil, or cilantro. Basically any fresh produce that pairs well with lemon would taste delicious.

Lemon Orzo Salad with feta and toppings mixed with dressing made of lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

2 Tips for The BEST Pasta Salads

Pasta salads are pretty brainless, but there are two things that can take them from a zero to a hero.

1. Wash your vegetables and herbs. I cannot stress this enough! We do not know what our produce goes through before it reaches our table… dirt, chemicals, potential germs and bacteria, YUCK! I like to spray mine with equal parts of vinegar and water, let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water. If there is still debris on them you may have to lightly scrub and rinse again.

2. Keep things uniform. There is nothing worse than scooping into a pasta salad where you do not get all the flavors. Chopping your vegetables and herbs into small, even sized pieces is the secret. It not only looks better, but it tastes better as you’re eating too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is orzo?

Orzo is a cute and tiny rice shaped pasta. It is perfect in cold salads, casseroles, risottos, hot soups, and pan pastas. If it’s something you do not have or cannot find at the store, you can substitute it for elbow macaroni, ditali, or other small shapes.

Why is my Lemon Orzo Salad dry?

This can be for a couple reasons. (1) the orzo absorbed the dressing, or (2) there just wasn’t enough dressing. Both of these things can be easily fixed by making more lemon dressing to toss your pasta salad in.

Pasta salad served on plates, ready to eat, with a big bowl of it in the background.

More Fresh Lemon Recipes You’ll Love

If you love lemon like I do try any of these recipes. From mouth puckering lemonade to chicken wings and lemon flavored cookies, there is something lemon flavored for every meal!

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta, fresh vegetables and herbs topped with a lemon dressing, black pepper, and a few lemon slices. Spoons for tossing and serving the salad on the side.

Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta

Elizabeth Swoish
This easy Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta is tossed in a lemon dressing and is loaded with fresh vegetables and herbs. It's a go-to salad for summer celebrating!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 10
Calories 187 kcal


  • 8 ounces Orzo pasta - I use Barilla
  • 2 lemons - zested and juiced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cup cucumber - thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes - halved
  • cup green onions - green tops only, thinly sliced
  • cup red onion - finely diced
  • cup dill - fresh, minced
  • cup parsley - fresh, minced
  • cup mint - fresh, minced
  • 3 ounces Feta cheese - crumbles


  • Boil 8 ounces of orzo pasta as specified on the package. Once fully cooked, pour orzo into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
  • To a large bowl add the lemon juice, lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Whisk together until it is emulsified.
  • Add the cooked orzo pasta, vegetables (sliced cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes, green onion tops, diced red onions), minced herbs (dill, parsley, and mint), and feta cheese. Toss until everything is well coated and combined.
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight to allow the dressing to soak into the orzo and the flavors to further develop. Toss again before serving.
    NOTE: This salad can also be served immediately.



Storing Information:

  • Refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 7 days. 
  • Freezing and long term room temporary storage is not recommended. 

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on April 30th, 2022
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About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

7 thoughts on “Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta”

  1. 5 stars
    This was perfect for meal prep! I made it at the beginning of the week and enjoyed it for lunches. The orzo had a lovely chew to it and I loved the fresh zesty lemon.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this ahead of time for my brother’s party, and it was one of the stars of the party! So great and delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    Love everything about this salad. Love how easy it is to make and how much everyone enjoys it when I prepare it. Sure makes my life easy when in need of a good salad.
    Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    The salad was so vibrant and delicious! I love the excuse to eat pasta, but have a feeling so virtuous. Even my kids loved this easy dish. A definite winner!

  5. 5 stars
    Best pasta salad I’ve ever made! Thanks so much for this recipe, definitely making this one all summer long!


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