Easy Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Once you make this Easy Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad, it will be on your rotation ALL THE TIME!! Orzo is tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and fresh herbs, then dressed with a tangy, delicious lemon dressing. This salad has no mayo so it’s perfect for summer picnics and grill outs.

Perfect Orzo Salad in a bowl with fresh herbs, olives and sun dried tomatoes.

If there is one thing I am asked to bring to a party (especially backyard BBQ’s!) it is this easy lemon orzo salad! It’s such a fresh take on regular old pasta salad (which I LOVE, by the way!!) because it’s loaded with fresh herbs and a lemon-based dressing.

It’s a fantastic side dish with pretty much any meat/protein, but it also makes a perfect light meal…enjoyed with a glass of crisp white wine!

Need some more ideas for a great summer salad?! Try my Orzo Salad with Roasted Tomatoes or this amazing BBQ Chicken Macaroni Salad!


  • Fresh flavor from lemon and fresh herbs in every bite!
  • No mayo, so this easy lemon orzo salad is perfect for backyard BBQ’s and picnics!
  • A fresh, non-traditional take on your typical pasta salad.
  • Easy to customize and add your favorite summer ingredients!


Orzo: Orzo is a type of pasta that is small and rice-shaped and can be found in the pasta section at the grocery store. If you can’t find it, Israeli couscous or another small pasta would work just fine! See 15 Great Substitutes for Orzo here.

Fresh Basil and Mint: FRESH is key in this recipe! Do not substitute dried herbs!


Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

Step by step Orzo Salad: orzo, orzo and sun dried tomatoes and olives, with herbs and tossed with dressing.

Step 1: Boil orzo to al dente according to package instructions. Drain and run under cold water. While orzo cooks, whisk together lemon vinaigrette dressing ingredients.

Step 2: Add cooked orzo to a large bowl and add sun dried tomatoes and kalamata olives.

Step 3: Add fresh herbs.

Step 4: Toss with lemon dressing! Top with Parmesan cheese (if using). Serve immediately or refrigerate, if you are making ahead of time.


  • Don’t waste the oil that comes with the sun dried tomatoes! Toss a little in the dressing, in place of some of the olive oil!

  • Start by adding about half the dressing, toss and taste. Continue adding dressing until it’s to your liking. I typically use ALL the dressing!

  • If you are making this ahead of time, reserve a little of the dressing to toss in the salad right before serving.

  • I prefer serving this salad at room temperature vs. straight out of the fridge. Pull it out about 30 minutes before serving.

  • This is typically perfect side dish. However, I love it as a main meal, too! Stir in some chopped, grilled chicken or even some rotisserie chicken!


This orzo salad keeps in the fridge beautifully! You can store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days (these are my favorite glass storage containers!). Freshen it up with a bit of lemon juice before enjoying leftovers. 🙂


There are so many yummy additions to this salad! Some of my faves include:

  • Artichoke hearts (roughly chopped)
  • Cherry tomatoes/grape tomatoes
  • Red bell pepper
  • English cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh dill or fresh parsley


What do you serve with this salad?

This orzo salad is a delicious side dish with almost ANYTHING! It goes particularly well with grilled steak, chicken and shrimp.

It’s perfect for potlucks, picnics and backyard BBQ’s!

I can’t find orzo. Can I use another pasta instead?

Yes! You can use a smaller pasta such as ditalini or stelline (star shaped). You can check out 15 Delicious Substitutes for Orzo here!

In a Dinner Rut?

Grab your 7-Day Meal Plan + 3 Bonus Recipes!

Sceenshots for free meal plan.
Perfect Orzo Salad in a bowl with fresh herbs, olives and sun dried tomatoes.


I hope you love this Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Easy Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

Casey Rooney
Once you make this Easy Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad, it will be on your rotation ALL THE TIME!! Orzo is tossed with sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and fresh herbs, then dressed with a tangy, delicious lemon dressing. This salad has no mayo so it's perfect for summer picnics and grill outs.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 459 kcal


For the salad

  • 1 16 oz. package of orzo pasta
  • 1 8 oz. jar sun dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 12 oz. jar kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • parmesan cheese, to taste optional

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste


  • Boil orzo according to package directions (usually about 9 minutes).
  • While the orzo is cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowk, whisk lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and honey. Season with salt.
  • Drain orzo, run under cold water and allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, toss cooled cooked orzo with the dressing, sun dried tomatoes, olives, basil and mint (See Note 1).
  • Stir in some parmesan cheese, if you like!
  • Enjoy right away or cover and refrigerate. I like serving this salad at room temperature, so pull it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving.


Note 1: Start by adding half of the dressing, toss and taste. Keep adding dressing until it’s perfect! I usually use ALL of the dressing, but just use whatever suits your taste.
Nutrition information is only an estimate. Info is based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator.
Save this recipe form

💌 Save to your inbox!

Enter your email and send this recipe straight to your inbox. As a bonus, you’ll receive more easy recipes every week!


Calories: 459kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 10.3gFat: 16.6gSaturated Fat: 2.1gSodium: 829mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 7gSugar: 13.5gCalcium: 54mgIron: 7mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. What a fun twist on pasta salad – and that dressing is divine! Next time I’m doubling the dressing so I have more for other things!

  2. The flavors and texture of this orzo is just perfect. It’s so wonderful with a nice grilled chicken breast, which is what I served it with!

  3. I absolutely loved the zestiness from the lemon and sundried tomatoes in this orzo pasta! It was easy to make – perfect for a quick lunch!

  4. 5 stars
    Love how light and bright this salad is! I’m not a big sun dried tomato person so will swap those for some artichoke hearts next time (thank you for the substitution ideas – super helpful!) This is such a great blank canvas recipe and I’ll definitely add it to the rotation.

  5. 5 stars
    I had this pasta salad for lunch yesterday and oh my goodness was it delicious! Thanks so much for sharing such an amazing recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Loving this orzo salad with lemon and fresh herbs. I’ll be saving this to make for our bbq’s this summer!

  7. 5 stars
    I find it sundried tomatoes add so much flavor to any dish. They really pack a punch with such a small amount. I love the addition of lemon to the orzo. What a perfect side dish!