Orzo Summer Salad

June 21, 2011

Author Notes: I've been making this recipe for years -- it's one of the most popular dishes at any Picnic or BBQ, I think because of the perfect combination of the sweet tomatoes with the salty cheese and lemony dressing. It also doesn't hurt that it's just so darn pretty and colorful to look at. The best part about the orzo salad is you can make it ahead of time (it gets better as the hours pass) and you can feed an army of picnic-ers. If there happens to be any leftovers, it's wonderful the next day too. cdilaura

Serves: a lot!
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 7 min


  • 1 pound Orzo
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3 pieces scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound feta
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook orzo according to package instructions (approx. 7 minutes).
  2. While the orzo is cooking, roughly chop baby spinach and add to a large bowl.
  3. Juice and zest 1 large lemon and add 1/4 cup olive oil to a separate small bowl and whisk together.
  4. When orzo is done cooking, drain thoroughly and add to the large bowl, pouring over spinach leaves. {TIP: Adding the orzo while warm will slightly cook the spinach so you get softer, brighter spinach leaves}
  5. Pour the lemon-olive oil dressing over the orzo, crumble the feta and add the chopped green onions and halved grape tomatoes. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready -- this salad gets better with time as the orzo soaks up all the lemon and olive oil {TIP: Remove salad 15 minutes before serving if chilled to allow the olive oil to come back to room temperature.}

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