Things have really heated up here in Phoenix, so we’re constantly on the lookout for light, fresh, and cold meal options. This is a regular summer staple in our house. Originally based on a salad I saw in the deli at LaRocca’s Country Market in Connecticut, I changed it up a bit with simple and easy ingredients.
What You’ll Need
The ingredients for this dish could not be any simpler. For the sake of minimal prep time, most of the ingredients in this salad are canned or jarred
First, you will need a 16 ounce package of orzo. If you can’t find orzo, other small noodles like pastina or pearl (a.k.a. Isreali) couscous would work as well.
Next, you will need a 6 ounce jar of marinated artichokes, a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, a small can of sliced black olives, and a 6 ounce package of crumbled feta cheese.
The only 2 ingredients that aren’t canned or jarred are fresh basil and juice from a fresh lemon. That said, you could technically use bottled lemon juice if you don’t have a lemon on hand. I personally think the fresh lemon has a slight flavor advantage, but both options make for a tasty salad.
How To Make Lemon Orzo Salad
First, you will cook the orzo according to package directions until al dente, or a consistency that is not hard but has a little resistance to it. As soon as it is done cooking, drain the orzo in a colander and rinse well with cold water.
Add orzo to a large mixing bowl, then add all other ingredients and mix well. The feta and lemon provide a lot of flavor, so you likely won’t need to add salt, but add fresh cracked black pepper to your liking. Cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
This Mediterranean style Lemon Orzo Salad will keep well for up to week in the refrigerator. Just store it in a covered container and enjoy throughout the week!
Unfortunately, this dish will not freeze well, but you likely won’t have any leftovers to freeze anyway!
This light and refreshing salad makes a perfect side to your favorite protein – grilled chicken, fish, or baked tofu would all make it a great meal.
You could also make Lemon Orzo Salad the main dish by adding chickpeas or lentils, canned tuna or salmon, or chopped chicken. The possibilities are endless!
Other Recipes You’ll Love
Lemon Orzo Salad, Mediterranean Style
- 1 pkg (16 oz) orzo pasta
- 1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts drained
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes drained
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives drained
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 med lemon, just the juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Cook orzo per package directions until al dente. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- Roughly chop basil and artichoke hearts.
- Add all ingredients to large bowl and mix well.
- Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.