This super easy lemon orzo salad with fresh tomatoes and dill comes together in just minutes and is the perfect summery side dish for grilled chicken or roasted shrimp.
Lemon orzo salad, made with fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, and fresh dill, is the simple pasta salad that I would choose to eat if I had my way all summer long.
While you can serve it as a light lunch all by itself, I also make it part of a heartier dinner by adding roasted shrimp or broiled chicken.
I personally love to eat this as a warm side dish fresh after it is mixed together but it tastes absolutely amazing served cold the next day, too.
Why This is the Best Recipe
I love easy pasta salads so much but I think this is the best lemon orzo salad because:
- Quick Prep: This easy recipe takes so little time to make! Perfect for a quick dinner.
- Fresh Ingredients: I love the use of fresh dill in the recipe and sweet juicy tomatoes.
- Side Dish or Main Dish: You could serve this as a super simple side dish or add your favorite protein and bulk it up for a light dinner.
- Warm or Cold: I've enjoyed eating it both fresh and warm after making it and chilled and cold the next day.
Take a peek at this ingredient list and tell me if that doesn't just scream "Summer" to you!
- Orzo Pasta
- Olive Oil
- Feta Cheese
- Fresh Dill
- Cherry Tomatoes
While the tomatoes are used raw in this pasta salad, the recipe would be just as delicious with a batch of my roasted cherry tomatoes stirred in, too.
If you're looking for a green leaf salad with very similar flavors, you should definitely check out this maroulosalata recipe!
And if you have plenty of fresh dill leftover, you might want to make my dill dip for veggies.
How to Make It
First, put a pot of water on to boil for the orzo. Add a pinch of salt to the water.
Meanwhile, prep the tomatoes.
Add the olive oil to a mixing bowl. Chop the tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl with the fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, fresh dill, and salt and pepper.
Stir them together and let them sit while you prep the pasta.
Cook the orzo pasta until al dente. Strain it and immediately add it to the bowl of tomatoes.
Stir everything together so the pasta starts to absorb the olive oil and lemon juice.
While the pasta is still warm, add the feta cheese crumbles.
They won't completely melt into the pasta but the warmth of the fresh cooked orzo will soften the crumbles a bit.
Stir the cheese in until well combined.
Transfer the lemon orzo salad to a serving dish and garnish with fresh sliced lemon wedges and scatter a few fresh dill sprigs over the top to make it pretty.
Make Ahead Tips
If you'd like to make this lemon orzo pasta salad ahead of time, you can assemble the recipe completely. Just be sure to store any proteins (cooked shrimp or chicken) separately until just before serving.
The orzo will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours.
It is likely that the pasta will absorb most of the liquid while it sits. To help restore the texture, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top to help brighten everything up.
If it is still too dry, a small drizzle of olive oil will help to moisten the salad.
You can serve this lemon orzo pasta salad either warm or cold, which makes it a great make-ahead dish.
You can also serve it as a side dish or an entree if you add some protein.
The shrimp complement the orzo salad perfectly. Even the Peanut devoured her dinner and requested a second helping of the fancy "chicken." Ha!
If you're kids just aren't into shrimp, you could easily substitute this fantastic chicken tenderloin air fryer recipe or even this crispy air fryer salmon.
More Easy Pasta Salad Recipes
Pasta salads make such a great dish for a healthy lunch or a light dinner. I love to serve them as a simple side dish, too.
Don't miss these other delicious pasta salads that can be served warm or cold:
Lemon Orzo Salad with Tomatoes & Dill
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup fresh dill chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1 ½ cups (6 oz) crumbled feta
- Toss together the tomatoes, olive oil, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Let the mixture stand ten minutes while you prepare the orzo.
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package.
- Drain the orzo and toss with the prepared tomato mixture. Add the crumbled feta and gently toss again.
- Can be served warm or chilled.
Serving Idea:This dish pairs well with sautéed or roasted shrimp or grilled chicken for a lovely summer dinner. The salad can be made ahead up to 24 hours in advance of serving and stored in the fridge. If the orzo absorbs too much of the liquid while it sits, add a squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of olive oil to help restore the texture of the dressing.
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