This Vegan Mediterranean Orzo Salad is the perfect fresh & filling grain salad! Filled with plenty of greens, crunchy veggies, chickpeas, & greek dressing for a delicious vegan orzo salad recipe!
*Recipe originally shared January 2021 and updated July 2022*
I like to consider myself a proud member of the "no boring salad" club. No, it's not a real thing. However, I will proudly say that a sad salad has not graced my kitchen in years.
So what constitutes a really good salad? Well, I personally think it comes down to a few things- filling ingredients, a good dressing, a mix of fresh & cooked ingredients, and my favorite trick- adding in grains!
Two of my favorite grain-based salads I've made to date are my Vegan Farro Salad with snap peas and arugula and my Chickpea Quinoa Salad. While this cold orzo salad recipe is similar to a pasta salad, it still has a refreshing & crisp flavor because of the raw veggies & spinach mixed in!
How to make a Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Cook the orzo pasta
Orzo is actually really easy to prepare. While it may look like rice, it's actually made from semolina flour and cooked the same way you cook any pasta.
To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Then, add in the dried orzo and cook until al dente. Finish by straining and adding the cooked orzo to a large bowl. By the way, 1 cup dried orzo will give you approximately 2 cups of cooked orzo.
Make the vegan greek dressing
This is a super simple vinaigrette actually adapted from the dressing I use in my popular Artichoke Tomato Salad!
Simply add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, dijon mustard, salt, & pepper to a jar and whisk together to combine.
Chop the veggies & herbs
While the orzo is cooking, chop up the veggies into bite-sized pieces. This includes olives, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, and red onion.
We also want to finely mince the fresh dill & fresh parsley so they get evenly distributed throughout this greek orzo salad.
Toss everything with greek dressing
Add the cooked orzo, chopped veggies, spinach, fresh herbs, and chickpeas to a large bowl. Then, add the greek dressing on top and mix everything together.
Optional: chill in the fridge
The best part of this vegan orzo pasta salad? It can be made a few hours in advance and actually tastes just as good the next day!
While you can totally eat this orzo salad right away, I like adding it to the fridge for a few hours so the orzo and veggies can soak up the flavor of the herbs and dressing. Then, add a garnish of fresh lemon and serve cold!
FAQ & Substitutions:
Can I make this orzo salad gluten-free?
Orzo is not gluten-free since it is made from flour, but you can sub it with any gluten-free pasta 1:1.
The texture and shape of the orzo truly work best for this recipe, but a smaller gluten-free pasta noodle would also work great. Alternatively, you can totally sub the orzo for cooked quinoa.
What dressing works best for this Mediterranean salad?
I decided to make my own greek dressing for this salad, however, a store-bought dressing also works great like this vegan greek dressing from Primal Kitchen.
Also, if you check out my Vegan Quinoa Arugula Salad, there is a lemon garlic dressing recipe in that post that would be AMAZING with this veggie orzo salad.
As a final option, a healthy drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice mixed with salt & pepper is a nice light way to dress this vegetarian orzo salad.
Can I add additional veggies to this dish?
Of course! I am personally not a huge cucumber fan, but for those of you that are, it's a great addition. Cooked artichoke hearts, red onions, and avocado would also be great add-ins.
If you're able to find a vegan feta cheese that would be another amazing option to add to this Mediterranean orzo spinach salad.
I truly hope you love this Vegan Mediterranean Orzo Salad. It's easy to whip up in 30 minutes or less, so fresh, and full of healthy veggies, spinach & protein-packed chickpeas. Enjoy!
More easy & healthy vegan recipes you will love:
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Vegan Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- 1 cup dried orzo pasta makes about 2 cups cooked pasta
- 4 cups loosely packed spinach
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained, about 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 ½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 red pepper chopped
- ½-1 cup olives pitted & sliced if desired
- ½ large red onion diced (optional)
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh dill
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
- salt & pepper to taste optional, add as needed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½-1 teaspoon salt start with ½ and add more if needed
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add in the dried orzo pasta. Cook for 7-10 minutes until al dente. Then, strain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the greek dressing. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, & pepper to a small jar or bowl. Whisk everything together until combined and set aside.
- Once the dressing is prepped, chop the veggies into bite-sized pieces and finely chop the herbs.
- Add the cooked orzo, spinach, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, olives, dill, and parsley to a large bowl. Then, pour on the greek dressing. Mix everything together until all the ingredients are coated in dressing.
- If desired, you can chill the orzo salad in the fridge for a few hours before serving, Then, garnish with additional fresh herbs or a lemon slice and serve!
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 24-48 hours if the dressing is already on the dish. If the leftovers do not have the dressing on them yet store each in separate containers for 3-5 days and mix together with dressing when ready to eat. This dish cannot be frozen.
- If desired you can add in additional veggies like red onion, cooked artichoke hearts, or cucumber to this orzo salad.
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