This summer lemon orzo salad features simple ingredients, bold flavor, and a satisfying texture. Vibrant, tangy, and full of nutrients, it’s a quick, high-protein comfort food the whole family will look forward to sinking their forks into.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a pasta all year round kind of girl. You just can’t beat the experience of biting into tender noodles drenched in a warm, flavorful sauce. While I love hearty winter dishes like baked goat cheese pasta and spicy vodka pasta, I try to lighten things up a bit when the weather gets warm.
Luckily, this loaded lemon orzo salad checks all the boxes. The refreshing lemon dressing helps lighten up the dish while the tender orzo provides the perfect amount of warm, comforting deliciousness. Combined with fresh veggies and slightly salty salami, this orzo salad will satisfy all your tastebuds.
Even better, it comes together in minutes for a family-friendly meal that will get you in and out of the kitchen in no time!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It comes together in minutes
- High-protein and full of nutrients
- Naturally nut free and gluten and dairy free-friendly
- Leftovers store well for easy meal prep
Ingredients & Notes
- Lemon juice - Fresh lemon juice is best to get a bold, vibrant flavor, but store-bought can be used in a pinch.
- Oil - I prefer to use olive oil for a rich, peppery base, but any oil like avocado oil will. work.
- Red wine vinegar - This adds a subtle, zesty tang. Don't use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, this needs to be red wine vinegar.
- Parsley - Provides a savory, slightly earthy taste to balance out the rest of the ingredients.
- Seasonings - Garlic powder and sea salt combine to add extra depth to the dressing.
Lemon orzo salad
- Orzo - This is the grain used for the base of the recipe. You can swap it out with quinoa instead if preferred.
- Feta cheese - Folded into the mix, this provides a soft texture and extra tang.
- Vegetables - Red onion and cherry tomatoes are included for crunch, a hint of bite, nutrients, and fiber.
- Salami - The Italian meat used in this summer orzo salad. You can also use Italian sausage or chopped pepperoni.
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a type of thin, oval pasta similar to rice in shape. A traditionally Italian ingredient, it is categorized as “pastina” or small pasta and consists primarily of semolina flour. Common in Italian soups, orzo can be used in a wide variety of recipes like skillet Greek chicken meatballs with lemon feta orzo and chickpea soup.
Is Orzo Gluten free?
Orzo is made from durum wheat semolina. So, it is not gluten free. If needed, swap it with quinoa for a gluten free alternative. Always make sure to check the ingredients.
This lemon orzo salad recipe comes together quickly with just a few simple steps. You’ll need a jar, a pot, and a large bowl.
Step 1: Make the dressing. Add all the dressing ingredients to a jar. Shake or mix them well to combine, and set the dressing aside.
Step 2: Prepare the orzo. Cook the orzo on the stove according to the package instructions.
Once fully cooked, run the orzo under cold water to cool it off and prevent it from clumping together.
Step 3: Combine the orzo salad. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top, and gently toss to combine. Serve right away, and enjoy!
- Add protein with sliced chicken, steak, or shrimp to make this a hearty meal.
- Omit the salami, and use chickpeas instead for a vegan alternative.
- Add pitted olives and roasted red pepper to make this more of a “Greek” orzo salad.
- Make sure to cook the orzo according to the package directions. Some packages take longer to cook. The orzo should be soft and fluffy when fully cooked.
- Before tossing everything together, run the orzo under cold water to cool it off and help loosen it up if it’s been sitting in a warm pot for too long.
- This lemon orzo salad is one of those salads that gets even better with time. So, don’t be afraid to make it ahead of time, and let it chill in the fridge before serving.
How to Store
Store the orzo salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, give it a little toss to distribute the ingredients, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, quinoa can be swapped 1:1 with the orzo in this recipe. Prepare the quinoa according to the package instructions.
No, orzo is not gluten free. Swap with quinoa, if desired, to make this gluten free.
This summer orzo salad is made with feta cheese, but feel free to swap it with a vegan option. Or, omit it entirely to make this recipe dairy free.
For more summer recipes, check out my:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Loaded Lemon Orzo Salad
- 1 Small Jar
- 1 Medium pot
For the dressing
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon parsley - finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the salad
- 8 oz orzo
- ⅓ cup feta cheese - crumbled
- ¼ cup red onion - diced
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes - halved
- 3 oz salami - sliced into strips
- Make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a jar. Place the lid on top and shake well or mix well with a spoon until the seasonings are well combined. Set aside.½ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoon parsley, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Prepare the orzo according to package directions.8 oz orzo
- Once the orzo is cooked, run it under some cold water to cool it off. Then add it to a large bowl along with the feta cheese, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and salami. Drizzle the dressing over the ingredients and toss well with large spoons until well combined.⅓ cup feta cheese, ¼ cup red onion, ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, 3 oz salami
- Serve the salad with a serving spoon and enjoy!
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!,