This super easy lemon orzo pasta salad with fresh tomatoes comes together in just minutes and is the perfect summery side dish for grilled chicken or roasted shrimp.
Our container garden is overflowing after just a few weeks of growing. I honestly am having trouble keeping up with the herbs I planted and am constantly on the look out for recipes to use them in.
My dill is working out much better this year than last and I was super excited to toss it into one of my favorite summery side dishes.
I got this recipe from my friend Jodie a few years ago and it has been part of my luncheon rotation every summer since.
With my fresh harvest of dill to use, I decided to make this part of a dinner by adding roasted shrimp.
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.
You can serve this 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.
You could add my favorite roasted shrimp recipe here but this lemon garlic shrimp with roasted veggies would also be delicious with this pasta salad side dish.
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.
Make Ahead Tips
If you'd like to make this orzo pasta salad ahead of time, you can assemble the recipe but store any protein additions separately until just before serving.
If the pasta absorbs too much of the liquid, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will help to brighten everything up.
Lemony Orzo & Tomato Salad
- 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.
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I love orzo pasta. It has such a great shape and smooth terutxe that goes well with all kinds of add-in's. I've never tried umeboshi vinegar before but have seen it on the shelves. I am a vinegar pack rat and at this moment I have 5 types of vinegars in my cupboard: red wine, white wine, brown rice, balsamic and apple cider. One more won't hurt, right?
Oh, now I know what it is! And I confirm you that I love it! It has a very Italian name, but not common here. Usually it is called 'risoni', literally meaning 'big grains of rice'.
lol! I think maybe this is another situation like our "fusilli" shaped pasta. Orzo is a pasta but refers to the shape--very similar to rice. For this recipe, it wouldn't be the same with any other shape pasta. Even funnier is that my package of orzo specifically said "Made in Italy!"
This is strange... 'orzo' is the Italian word for the English word 'barley'. What is 'orzo' for you: a special type of rice, barley or something else? Looking at your wonderful picture, your orzo does not look like barley.
Anyway, congratulations! I would also like to taste this fancy "chicken"!