Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad

Quick and EasyGreekVegetarianOrzo

Orzo Salad - A fresh Greek-inspired summer salad with cherry tomatoes, orzo pasta, cucumbers, feta cheese, oregano and green onions, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. This quick and easy orzo salad is a delicious addition to a summer BBQ.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Tomato Garden Bright Spot: Sun Gold Tomatoes

I am not the most talented of gardeners. I over-water, under-water, over-fertilize, under-mulch. I plant little plants behind big plants, blocking out their sun.

I then transplant my poorly placed plants to what I’m hoping will be a better location and almost kill them in the process.

No, if a plant survives with me in charge it’s because it’s one heckofa sturdy plant, or just has a strong will to live.

I have been getting better at this over the years, but it still surprises me how difficult growing tomatoes can be, with the singular exception of the glorious Sun Gold tomato. Do you know about the Sun Gold? It’s a cherry tomato, or the size and shape of a cherry tomato, but brightly orange colored when ripe.

sungold-tomato-horiz-a-1600

Tomato Candy for Orzo Salad

It’s sweet, juicy, and sunshine in a bite. The plant scoffs at wilt. If nematodes bother it, you wouldn’t know. It grows like kudzu, faster than it can die from whatever may be killing our other tomatoes.

About this time of year, we have to reinforce our Sun Gold plant cages with rebar. This entails my father, a sledgehammer, and me holding on to the rebar praying that my dad’s aim is true.

Next year I’m going to plant more Sun Golds. I have one in my garden, and two at the garden I maintain at my parent’s house.

And it’s not enough.

One plant, even as prolific as it is, is just enough for tomato candy for one person throughout the growing season. You know, tomato candy: going out to the garden and picking the cherry tomatoes and eating them on the spot, like candy.

I picked a bunch of tomatoes from this plant (pictured) for the following salad. And then I ate the tomatoes and had to go buy more at the store. At least the oregano came from the garden!

Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad on plate

About this orzo pasta salad. It’s excellent! Like a Greek salad with orzo pasta and without olives. Though you could easily add olives to this orzo salad if you wanted to.

You could probably make this orzo salad into a with quinoa salad by using it instead of the orzo, though I haven’t tried it that way yet. And if you like this orzo salad, maybe you’ll want to plant some cherry tomatoes in your garden too. (I recommend Sun Golds.)

Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad Recipe

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  • 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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

Links:

Orzo Super Salad - from 101 Cookbooks

Mediterranean Orzo Salad - from Andrea's Recipes

Sesame Orzo Salad - from Sarah's Cucina Bella

Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad

32 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Carole M

    Just had a luncheon with some old friends and did this salad, but with a few changes..I used basil instead of oregano and added a splash of balsmanic vinegar and instead of feta I used cubes of fresh mozarella. They all loved it ! Oh and since it’s jersey tomato season here I used cut up beefsteak jersey tomatoes. It was delicious.

  • sunny sobol

    is it possible you supplied a recipe for orzo with shrimp and feta salad a few years ago ? i cannot find it but feel certain it was on your website-i made it and it was fabulous…would like to try it again.

  • 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

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