Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad

A summer salad of cherry tomatoes, orzo pasta, cucumbers, feta cheese, oregano and green onions, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10 as a side

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces orzo pasta
  • Salt
  • 1 pint red cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Black pepper to taste

Method

1 Cook orzo pasta in salted water: Bring a large pot of well salted water to a rolling boil. Add the orzo, stirring it so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook, uncovered, at a high boil until al dente, cooked through but still a bit firm.

Drain the pasta (it helps to use a fine mesh sieve for this as the small orzo might pass through holes in a colander), and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking further.

2 Toss pasta with olive oil, tomatoes, feta, cucumber, green onions, oregano, lemon juice, pepper: Toss the pasta with the olive oil in a large bowl. At this point you can make ahead and chill until you are ready to serve (or transport to a party).

Toss with the rest of the ingredients, the tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumber, green onions, oregano, lemon juice, and black pepper. The feta is salty so you shouldn't need to add more salt.

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Comments

  • Lynn

    What would you use instead of lemon? Citrus allergies…….

  • Cindy

    Loved this recipe when I had ripe cherry tomatoes last Summer/Fall. Any suggestions of what to substitute for the cherry tomatoes during the Spring? Perhaps grapes? Dried cranberries?

  • Karen

    I want to try out this salad for a parish picnic. I am not the best at recipes, so I want to make sure I get this correct.

    In regards to the 8 oz of orzo pasta …
    Do I cook it and measure out 8oz OR
    Is it 8oz measured out and then cook it??

    This is hard to explain in a post, but hopefully someone will understand what I mean.

    Please let me know soon cause I wanted to make this today for tomorrows picnic. Thanks!

    Start with 8 ounces of dried orzo, before cooking. ~Elise

  • Courtney

    Great recipe, adding some pine nuts created some texture for me! love it thanks :)

  • Alan

    Looks like a nice salad. I do a similar orzo salad with a vinaigrette of Dijon mustard (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) mixed with 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar and olive oil to consistency. I put in halved cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered chopped cukes and red or green onions chopped. Dill goes in and it is delicious. This recipe is not dairy has even gotten my wife to eat tomatoes :)

    Can be served cold or at room temperature. Can add seafood on top if desired, or can add feta if desired. Thanks for the recipes. Yours will be next I try.

  • Val from PA

    What a beautiful salad, and a great way to feature fresh summer tomatoes! I just had this for dinner and it was great! I used small shell pasta and added a bit extra to stretch it further… And since I didn’t have oregano, I used some fresh basil and Italian parsley… Definitely will be eating more for a snack later tonight!

  • Meghan

    I just made this and I loved it! I only used 1/2 of a lemon though. I also used Feta with herbs so I ommitted the oregano. Next time I will only use either yellow or red tomatoes and reduce the recipe. But this is one of the best side dishes I have made in a long time!!!

  • Nicole Olsen

    looks delicious! we call the yellow tomatoes sun sugar tomatoes here in central virginia and our plant is the saving grace of our little square foot garden. they are a delight. thanks for the recipe!

  • Deidra

    This recipe is almost identical to one I came up with a couple years ago and make a variety of ways in the summer and early fall. I normally use couscous or quinoa instead of orzo. My fav way to use it is to stuff a roasted and halved zucchini (you know the monster sized ones you discover hidden under the leaves). Mix in the roasted zucchini you scoop out, add italian sausage and serve it warm with Parm sprinkled over the top. Delish! I love cooking from my summer garden!

  • Lori

    Sun Golds are the bomb! We stake our tomatoes using a ring of remesh, a material used when pouring sidewalks, etc. Seems to work better than anything else we’ve tried.
    Going to try your recipe for this salad tomorrow. It looks delish! I might try adding some sun golds that I’ve dried in our dehydrator, in addition to the fresh ones – one more level of flavor.

  • g3

    Wow, I made this for a Fourth of July cookout and it was DEVOURED. I only brought half the recipe and left the rest at home. I’ve been adding some poached chicken on top to make it a full meal, and it’s fantastic! Definitely going to become a regular dish around here!

  • Regina

    I just love tomatoes, but since having a health problem some years back, I am not allowed to eat any kind of seeds.
    Although my favotite are the grape tomatoes, I am going to make the salad with a roma or beefstake tomatoes.
    I just love all your recipes! Thanks.

  • Jeanine

    I’m not a big fan of oregano. Is there another herb or spice that I could use to replace the oregano? Otherwise, this sounds gorgeous!

    Try fresh, thinly sliced basil. ~Elise

  • Mel G.

    Hi Elise –
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made it for our Fourth of July party and it was a big hit – even with the 11 year old who doesn’t like cheese!

  • anonymous

    This recipe looks great, but what can you substitute for the feta (not a fan)?

    A salty, crumbly cheese is important for this salad. Cotija would work too. But if you don’t like that kind of cheese, just leave it out or make a different salad with the ingredients. Your guess with what to do is as good as mine. ~Elise

  • Tempy

    I love Orzo and cook it any possible way that I can. This is a very refreshing twist to what I am used to cooking, though and I cannot wait to try it. I probably will not add olives to it because this household is very anti-olive things.

    My favorite way to prepare orzo is with little slivers of beef (I buy the cubes and slice them thin and throw them in a skillet with oregano, parsley and garlic until golden brown), toss in the freshly boiled orzo and some pasta sauce and a few rich slices of yellow squash and coli four.

    It is always a winner here!

    Will try your salad and hope it goes just as well!

  • Tina

    Elise, this looks wonderful; I was sitting here contemplating food for my daughter’s wedding shower, and this will be perfect!

    By the way, for the person who commented that her cherry tomatoes split, this is usually caused by uneven watering. If the plants are permitted to get too dry, then watered heavily all at once, the fruits absorb too much water all at once, and they burst.

  • stacy

    Oh, Elise!
    I just made orzo last night and wish I had seen your post beforehand. I’ve only recently added orzo to my side dish repertoire, and even more recently, whole wheat orzo. But this recipe will be my next summer side — it sounds delish!

  • homegrown countrygirl

    What a beautiful recipe! I like the idea of trying it with quinoa. I giggled about “tomato candy” because that’s what I call cherry tomatoes, too. My coonhound likes tomato candy. But he is very polite about it… he’ll go and sit down by the tomato patch until you come along and pick a few for him.

  • Dawn

    Just made a higher fiber version of this using Farro in place of the Orzo. It was delicious! Will definitely make it again. Thank you for the recipe.

  • Jane

    I have been a Sungold worshipper for years, when I bought a plant on a whim. They used to be hard to find, but now they are very popular. I have grown them in pots, in raised beds, and through tomato blight (they still produced!) LOVE them! They don’t, however, have much of a “shelf-life,” so eat ’em as soon as you pick ’em!

    This recipe sounds dee-lish, except for the feta, which I just cannot abide. Not a fan of goat cheese, either. I think it would be fine without cheese, or, perhaps with some fresh mozzarella, giving it a caprese feel?

    Thanks, as always, for your dedication to doing such a fabulous job!

  • Kalyn

    I love this salad idea! I’ve recently been experimenting with whole wheat orzo and loving the results. Just made a whole wheat orzo salad that had roasted zucchini, roasted red bell pepper, and olives that also had oregano, so we’re kind of on the same wavelength.

    I don’t think I’ve ever grown Sungold tomatoes; hope I can remember that for next summer!

  • Susan

    This salad looks excellent and I happen to have some orzo for just this purpose! We planted the sweet one hundreds and some small pear shaped yellow tomatoes this year. My goodness, the vines are going crazy and the tomatoes, though still green, are numerous…and all in the face of barely any heat (live in San Jose, CA) The heat wave we’re expecting this week should help move the ripening along. You are in prime tomato growing land, so you should barely have to do anything and they’ll grow in spite of you!

  • bond

    My sungold tomatoes grew under bad conditions….unstaked and over crowded with lots of very tall and aggressive perennial plants competing for the light–they were prolific….but almost everyone cracked and split as they ripened. And then due to wet cool conditions….a tomato blight leveled them early in the season.

    This year I am trying “Sweet 100” altho I do see one sungold volunteer coming back in its original plot.

    I will definately give your recipe a try….most of the new and delicious things I have served in recent month have come from your site. Thank You.

  • Dianne

    Sounds delicious! I was trying to decide on a side dish for the 4th of July and my cherry tomatoes are just starting to come in. I have planted “sweet millions” tomatoes the past two years and am in awe of these plants. They are MONSTERS! Very high yield from July-November last year- which on Long Island is fantastic. They don’t split, are disease resistant, and have a wonderful flavor. Next year I’ll look for the sungold and see how they do – along side of my sweet millions of course!

  • EEBagby

    Looks nummy!

    My supervisor at work did a little experiment with tomatoes this year. She had her tomato plants and she set some in another area for her granddaughter to care for. She watered hers, leaves and all, and put a piece of pvc pipe in the ground for her granddaughter to water her tomatoes with a watering can, watering just the roots this way. She told me that her granddaughters look so much better than hers.

  • Nichole

    Is this something that can be served hot or should it be cold?

    Thanks for your time! :)

    It should be served at room temperature. ~Elise

  • rebecca h.

    Sounds lovely! I overdosed on Feta a few years ago and I still can’t really enjoy it yet. But that’s ok, I’m mad for goats cheese, which I think will work.

    I’ve never been good at keeping plants alive but this year I planted seeds on the roof of my apartment building, and now I have almost more lettuce and basil than I now what to do with. Almost. Too early for tomatoes in Vancouver but my plants are going MAD. Can’t wait until the cherry tomatoes come out!