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 Greek orzo salad recipe!
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!
This Greek orzo salad recipe relies mostly on fresh ingredients mixed with cooked orzo. While the full list of ingredient quantities is in the recipe card, here's a quick breakdown of what you need to make this vegan Mediterranean pasta salad:
- Orzo pasta
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red pepper
- Red onion (optional)
- Fresh dill
- Fresh parsley
- Vegan greek dressing (I used Primal Kitchen, but any greek dressing will do!)
- Salt & pepper
- Lemon juice
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.
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 the pasta 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 in advance and actually tastes just as good the next day!
While you can totally eat the orzo salad with chickpeas and spinach 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:
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.
To keep things as easy as possible, I used my favorite vegan greek dressing from Primal Kitchen. However, you can totally use any brand you want! Here is a recipe I like for a homemade vegan greek dressing.
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 pasta 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.
I am personally not a fan of cucumber, 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 vegan orzo pasta 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 orzo pasta
- 4 cups loosely packed spinach
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained, about 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 ½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 cup olives pitted & sliced if desired
- ½ red onion diced (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons fresh dill
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
- ¼- ⅓ cup vegan greek dressing
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- 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, chop up all the veggies into bite sized pieces and finely chop the herbs. If desired you can add in additional veggies like red onion, cooked artichoke hearts, or cucumber.
- Add the cooked orzo, spinach, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, olives, dill, parsley, salt, pepper, & lemon juice to a large bowl. Then, pour on the Greek dressing as desired. Mix everything together until all the ingredients are coated in dressing. Add additional lemon salt & pepper as needed to season.
- 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.