Greek Pasta Salad with Orzo

Greek food?  Lately I’ve been obsessed with it.  Could it be all those gorgeous tomatoes sitting on the window sill?  So today’s Aegean-inspired recipe is a Greek Pasta Salad bearing the last of fall’s tomatoes and cucumbers. 

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

But before I start, I must confess a deep dark secret (shhh). I am a die hard pasta salad hater, one of a tiny minority.  I’d sooner eat store bought white bread.  Plain.  

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad Served

But since I was thinking Greek, the thought crossed my mind—what if I tried a pasta salad using the Greek pasta orzo?  Orzo is small, almost rice-like—and could be engulfed in flavor in the right mix, right?  

Um, yes! 

Ugly Tomato

Ugly tomato

I mixed a combo of tomato, feta, cucumber, Kalamata olives, plus a homemade Greek salad dressing to liven things up.  My tomatoes were orange because the orange tomatoes I had were scarred and going fast. 

No orange heirlooms?  Feel free to use any tomato you like–or to mix in other ingredients.  I forgot to add red onion and was this close to adding julienned spinach.  So go wild.  

Greek Pasta Salad ingredients

Greek Pasta Salad ingredients

The one crazy thing I did was to add a bit of anchovy paste.  The salad seemed to need a little more punch—and the Greek salads I grew up eating had anchovies, so I

Greek Pasta Salad Closeup

Greek Pasta Salad Closeup

unami-ed it up a bit. I was pretty sure I could sneak this in and no one would be the wiser (just happier).  If anchovies aren’t your thing, you might achieve the same with a spoonful of miso paste. 

Of course this salad did set my mind wandering. Fall is beautiful and I love the harvest.  But a friend recently posted Facebook pictures of her vacation (currently in Greece)—and the combo carried my thoughts off to clear blue seas and warm sandy beaches.  Perhaps I’ll have to curl up in bed with a nice episode of New Scandinavian Cooking as a counterpoint!

Greek Pasta Salad
Serves 6
Greek Pasta Salad is the perfect finale for fall's tomatoes and cucumbers--along with some orzo, feta and kalamata olives.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
213 calories
12 g
17 g
17 g
4 g
5 g
161 g
455 g
7 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
161g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213
Calories from Fat 149
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 5g
23%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 455mg
19%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 7g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
13%
Vitamin C
15%
Calcium
11%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Dressing
  1. • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove fresh garlic)
  2. • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  3. • juice from 1 large lemon, about 3 tablespoons
  4. • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  6. • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (Greek if you have it)
  7. • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 1 mashed anchovy fillet (or white miso to taste, or omit)
Salad
  1. • 1/2 cup orzo pasta (whole wheat if you can find it)
  2. • 2 large tomatoes, cubed and drained (about 2 cups)
  3. • 1 cup cucumber cubes (about ½ English cucumber or 1 large regular)
  4. • 4 ounces feta cheese, cubed
  5. • ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. When done drain and rinse to cool.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended.
  3. Combine chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and orzo in a salad bowl and toss with dressing. Top with olives and feta.
beta
calories
213
fat
17g
protein
4g
carbs
12g
more
Art of Natural Living http://artofnaturalliving.com/
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8 thoughts on “Greek Pasta Salad with Orzo

  1. David

    Nice and fresh! And you aren’t alone, Inger – neither Mark nor I are big pasta salad fans either! If we do make a pasta salad, it tends to be more like yours than the standard gloppy mess!

  2. Barbara

    My daughter doesn’t like pasta salads either! Using orzo is a fun way to get around that… great idea, Inger! Love your healthy salad and it makes a beautiful presentation.

    1. Inger

      Thanks Barbara! I am weak on starchy sides, so I was happy this worked. Sometimes you have to have a side you can just pull from the refrigerator!

  3. Beth

    I actually like pasta salads, but I think most recipes have way too much pasta. If I put half the amount of pasta called for, it lets the vegetables shine, and I like it much better!

  4. grace

    pretty enamored of all of these ingredients, except those pesky olives! as much as i love salt, i just can’t make myself like olives. still a great dish, obviously! 🙂

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