Cold Salad,  Pasta,  Quick,  Vegetarian

Light & Loverly Orzo Salad

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I refrained from calling it “Mediterranean Orzo Salad” because some food bloggers seem to think that dried oregano immediately makes something Mediterranean. “Tangy Orzo Salad” lacked appeal. Then I thought – what almost rhymes with orzo? “Funzo Orzo Salad” seemed like… well, fun but you know, as much as I like getting cease and desist letters….

So… Eliza Doolittle it is.

Easily made vegetarian with a veggie stock instead of chicken. Easily made vegan by making a different dish. Love ya!

Light and Loverly Orzo Salad

Kenny MacKenzie
Those magical tiny pasta bits with garbanzo beans, feta cheese, roasted red peppers and more funzo ingredients in a loverly tangy lemon vinaigrette!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean


  • 12 oz orzo pasta (1 1/2 cups + 2 TBSP)
  • 6 cups liquid – stock, water or a mix
  • 1/4 cup red onion diced
  • 1 cucumber seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup roasted red peppers chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 15 oz can of garbanzo beans drained & rinsed
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
  • sliced kalamata olives, arugula optional


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • Zest of 1 decent sized lemon
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp instant Mediterranean leaves (dried oregano)


  • In a medium size pot, bring the 6 cups of liquid to a boil.
  • Add orzo and cook until al dente (lower the heat a smidge)
  • Meanwhile chop your veggies and herbs and set aside.
  • When cooked, drain orzo (but don't rinse). Transfer to a large bowl. Fluff with a fork to help cool the pasta a bit.
  • Add your vegetables and herbs and combine.
  • Put all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar, seal, and shake the daylights out of it. Don't forget the sealing part…
  • Pour over pasta salad and stir til completely combined.
  • Serve warm or cover and store in fridge for at least an hour.


In the video I soaked the red onions but in this dish I think I prefer them original strength. I exaggerated the prep time a little coz I ran out of fingers.
Keyword chick peas, chicken club pasta salad, cold, lemony, orzo

Music to cook by: Brother Jack McDuff “A Change Is Gonna Come”

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