This orzo salad with lemon is the perfect easy meal. It’s fresh, packed with juicy vegetables and bursting with rich flavor. Make it ahead of time and serve it as a side to grilled meats and other barbecue faves.
Boil orzo according to package instructions. Drain excess liquid and transfer orzo to a large mixing bowl.
While the orzo is still hot, add feta, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, oregano, garlic, black pepper, and salt to the orzo and mix until everything is evenly distributed.
Add tomato, cucumber, olives, red onion, and green onion to the bowl and mix together.
Place the salad in the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.
I sometimes find that orzo sticks to the bottom of certain pots and burns a bit when boiling. If this happens to you, it’s okay. Simply allow the orzo to finish cooking as usual. Drain the excess liquid and transfer the orzo to the large mixing bowl without scraping any burnt bits. Then, you may choose to scrape 1
Tablespoon of the charred orzo from the bottom and include that with the rest of the orzo. This is completely optional but I find it gives the orzo salad a nice hint of smoky flavor. Be sure not to overdo it, otherwise the salad will taste burnt. Just a Tablespoon is enough.
To increase flavor, try boiling the orzo in chicken or vegetable broth. Just be sure to use low sodium and adjust the added salt if desired.
This salad is great without any meat, but grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp or lobster would be really lovely here as well.
Minimum chill time is 2 hours, but the flavors really come together overnight. I find it has the best flavor the day after making it. Plan ahead if serving this at a party or gathering.
For presentation, you may choose to reserve a few tablespoons of the feta, parmesan, and vegetables. Set them aside and mix the rest into the orzo salad per the instructions. After plating, sprinkle the portions you’ve set aside on the top of the bowl or plate and garnish with some additional parsley.