Meet the pasta salad of the summer! This lemon orzo salad with feta is so light and fresh and full of summer-y ingredients like herbs, sweet corn, and a light lemony dressing. This is a zesty pasta salad recipe that is sure to be on repeat.
This is one of those dishes, that as soon as I finished photographing it, I was eating it right out of the serving dish. It's so good! This quick salad is a cinch to prepare and is a great way to get in your veggies.
The feta cheese has a nice salty creaminess to it, the celery adds crunch, the green onions give a good flavor without being overpowering, and the orzo? Well you can't go wrong with pasta!
Next time I make this, I think I'll use some midwest corn that I cut straight off the cob.
Looking for more pasta salad recipes?
What is orzo?
Orzo is a great, under utilized pasta shape in my opinion. The name "orzo" means "barley" in italian. The shape is similar to rice or barley, but it is a different texture. Also called risoni, orzo pasta is just another delicious pasta shape that is good to have in your pantry for recipes like this one!
It is so comforting to eat, as the small pasta just melts in your mouth. I use orzo sometimes when making chicken pastina with egg, as it is a similar size to stelline pasta.
Ingredients in risoni salad
- dry orzo
- feta cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- cherry tomatoes
- frozen or canned corn
- green onions
- fresh parsley
- garlic cloves
How to Make Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta
Cook orzo pasta according to packaging instructions.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add minced garlic.
Drain and pour hot pasta over minced garlic to take away from of the bitterness.
Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Enjoy warm or cold.
- Place minced garlic into your mixing bowl first, and then pour the hot orzo pasta over top. This helps cook the garlic just a tad, and take away some of the bitterness raw garlic can have.
- When refrigerated, the pasta with soak up the acids and oil. If you are chilling and serving later, you may want to wait until right before you serve to add in the liquids.
Variations and Substitutions
- Top with grilled chicken for a protein-packed lunch
- For a pescatarian option, this salad would be bomb with the addition of salmon. Simply cook up one or two filets, break up into bite-sized pieces with a fork, and stir in.
- Add red bell pepper for color, flavor, and crunch.
- Add in other fresh herbs like dill or basil. Whatever you have on hand would work great, the ingredients in this salad are very versatile.
- If you happen to be gluten free and still want to try this salad, try substituting the orzo for rice!
- Add ½ tsp. of cumin and ½. teaspoon of chili powder for a little added spice.
Store any leftover risoni salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
The pasta will soak up the liquids the longer it sits. If you want to serve this pasta salad for a party, I would wait to add the lemon juice and olive oil until just before serving to have it be as fresh as possible.
Lemon Orzo Salad with Feta
- 1 cup dry orzo
- ½ cup feta cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 4 green onions diced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lemon juiced
- ½ tsp. salt
- Cook orzo pasta according to packaging instructions.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add minced garlic.
- Drain and pour hot pasta over minced garlic to take away from of the bitterness.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Enjoy warm or cold.