Mediterranean Orzo Salad

By Kate Riley May 23, 2011

Hey there folks, so happy the Home May’d parties continue this week, Tuesday’s event is hosted by the most gracious hostess in the South and my dear friend, Ms. Rhoda of Southern Hospitality

What a perfect opportunity to share my favorite summer pasta salad with you!  It’s made with orzo, which falls under the pasta category, but in my opinion, orzo wants to crossover and be like rice.  There’s some sort of meaningful and deep analogy there, but I can’t think of it right now, I’m too distracted by the feta.  As you know, cheese is my Kryptonite

This pasta dish couldn’t be easier to make, and it’s so delicious!  It has cheese, awesome.  Kalamata olives too, oooh, Greek infusion!  Sundried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts add to its savory goodness, I just love it. 

This dish is wonderful when the orzo is warm and the feta gets all crumbled and a little bit melty, but it’s really good served cold on a warm summer evening, and is the perfect gourmet treat for your next summer picnic.  This is one easy recipe!

mediterranean orzo salad on plate


Mediterranean Orzo Salad


½ lb orzo

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

6 oz pitted & sliced kalamata olives

4 oz diced sundried tomatoes (dry or jar)

8 oz cubed feta

2 oz toasted pine nuts

small handful of fresh diced parsley

salt + pepper to taste

squeeze of lemon (optional)


Slice your kalamata olives in half, cube your feta, and dice your sundried tomatoes.  Toast your pine nuts in the oven for a few minutes at 375 degrees, it enhances their flavor.  Chop a small handful of parsley, and set aside. 

fet olives tomatoes


Cook your orzo according to the directions on the box, strain, and place in a bowl.  Immediately pour the EVOO over the orzo to keep it from sticking, then stir it all around. 

drizzle with olive oil


Add the feta, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and parsley on top. 

mixed in bowl


Toss the ingredients together, then add freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste. 

cracked black pepper and salt


Chill for an hour.  Serve with cold cuts, grilled vegetables, or any other favorite summer main entrée.  Serves 6 to 8 people. 

mediterranean orzo salad crop


Printable recipe available here.

(click on the second link for ‘mediterranean orzo salad’)


Linking up this recipe to Rhoda’s ‘Summer Recipes’ party







  1. I have a similar Greek orzo salad that is my summer staple. When I was pregnant, it was an addiction! I’ll have to give yours a try… sounds delish :)

  2. I make a similar salad except I omit the sun dried tomatoes (sorry not a fan!) and I add chopped roasted red peppers and some red onion! It’s always a request and I’m happy to make it because its super easy and no one knows it!! Going camping this weekend with the family and friends…..looks like I’m gonna bring this one out of hibernation! Thanks Kate

  3. YU – UM!!! Thank you! I am definitely going to treat my family to this awesome dish for our Memorial Day picnic! I think some chicken, marinated in red-wine vinaigrette and grilled, will be the perfect accompaniment.

  4. Looks yummy! Thanks for this Kate. Your recipes are all to die for.

    FYI: I was not able to use the “print recipe here” link. I had to cut and paste.

    Thanks for all your great ideas, keep them coming!

  5. Drooling! This looks amazing and it’s something I know I would love! Adding to my recipe list!

  6. Oh, that looks delicious. Orzo confuses me. It looks like rice but…it’s pasta? WHY? And you need to come visit me! We could drive to France (I’m 45 minutes from Strasbourg, or 5 hours from Paris) and order nothing but cheese plates and wine. It would be fab.

  7. Looks delicious! I’m a feta lover so I am printing this recipe out as we speak. This will be a wonderful dish to bring when invited to all those summer get togethers.

  8. That looks delicious! I’m not a huge fan of feta cheese (which was bit challenging when I lived in Turkey! Ha!), so I wonder what I could use in its place. I’m not really good with food and flavors, so I have no idea how to make changes to recipes. But maybe I can figure something out…or learn to love feta. :) The rest looks fantastic, though!

  9. Kate, this is right up my alley! I love all of these ingredients. I usually add the juice from 1/2 a lemon and it gives the salad a little zing that balances out the salt from the feta and olives. All of the sudden, I’m starving ;)

  10. Oh Mom in High Heels, why must you tempt me so? I would love to spend all day in France lounging around eating cheese all day!

  11. Oooh, that looks like a pretty simple recipe with some big taste! I can do this!
    Lila Ferraro

  12. Hello, I can’t eat cheese but make a similar salad with orzo, artichoke hearts, olives and red peppers. I recommend anyone who can’t eat the cheese try substituting the artichoke hearts for a nice alternative. Next time I make mine I’m going to try and add some sundried tomatoes and pine nuts for variation. Thanks for the ideas.

  13. Looks delicious and it has all of my faves; olives, feta, and pine nuts! Thanks for sharing. Definately bookmarking!

  14. I made this LAST night too! You inspired me because I am just at a loss for sides sometimes! I added cucumber’s and omitted the pine-nuts (I had major sticker shock as a little jar was $15.00!!) and it was De-Lish. I added the extra grill chicken for left-overs today for lunch!

  15. I just made this for dinner tonight (with a few slight changes) and it was delish!! I used what I had on hand, so I didn’t use pine nuts or parsley and used regular olives and a garlic & herb feta. It was so good! Thanks!!

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