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Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta

Ina Garten orzo salad with feta makes a delicious side dish that is in demand for potlucks, picnics, and parties. It’s also hearty enough for a light lunch or dinner on its own.

This Salad is easy to make, full of a rainbow of colors and textures, and you can make it ahead of time for the ultimate stress-free meal!

Why You’ll Love This Salad:

  • Lemony Orzo: Aside from the bounty of fresh ingredients, one thing that sets this Ina Garten orzo salad with feta apart is that the orzo cooks in chicken broth and lemon juice, making it a stand-alone bright and lemony dish. Because the orzo is already flavored, you will need less dressing.
  • Charred corn: You do not want to skip the charred, caramelized sweet corn that enlivens the entire orzo pasta salad.
  • Texture heaven: Ina Garten orzo salad with feta features vegetables with contrasting textures, so each bite is a symphony of flavor and texture!
  • Quick: You can have this Ina Garten orzo salad with feta on your table in 30 minutes!
  • Easy: You can make this orzo salad with feta if you know how to stir and chop. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients – it’s as easy as dumping the orzo into a pot and simmering it.
  • Healthy: Ina Garten orzo salad with feta tastes like an indulgence because it is unbelievably tasty, but it is actually healthy! So give in to your cravings and eat up.
  • Customizable: Your Ina Garten orzo salad with feta recipe can be customized with any of your favorite add-ins or omitted based on what you have on hand.
  • Make it dinner: Orzo salad with feta is a great side or dinner! Chickpeas provide added protein, but you can also add rotisserie chicken, Greek chicken, shrimp, etc.
  • Make ahead: For stress-free entertaining, lunch, or dinner without the last-minute rush, prepare this Ina Garten orzo salad with feta in advance and serve it when it is time to serve.
  • Scale Up or Down: You can double or triple this Ina Garten orzo salad with feta recipe according to your needs.
  • Potluck pleaser: For all of the reasons listed above, this orzo salad with feta is a great potluck dish. We suggest you bring it to potlucks, pool parties, and picnics, but please don’t wait for a special occasion – it just needs to be made soon. And often.
  • Great leftovers: The Ina Garten orzo salad with feta is delicious served immediately or as leftovers. You will not be able to eat it all.

What Is Orzo?

Orzo is typically made from white flour, but can also be made from whole grains. Rice and orzo are both cereal grains, but orzo is not gluten-free. This Ina Garten recipe calls for traditional white-flour orzo.

How Do I Use Orzo?

Like all pasta, orzo is cooked by boiling in water (in this case chicken broth and lemon juice) until al dente. Orzo can be substituted for rice or pasta in many dishes. Rice pilaf, soups, and sides often feature orzo.

Here are a few recipes to make with orzo, a favorite of mine:

  • Mushroom Orzo Pasta in Asiago Cream Sauce
  • Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Greek Orzo
  • Italian Chicken Orzo Pasta
  • Parmesan Meatballs and Orzo
  • Southwest Orzo Salad

Ingredients That You’ll Need:

For The Orzo Pasta:

  • Orzo: I love orzo pasta for its wonderful texture. Rice-like in taste, but harder to overcook and become mushy. Our grocery store carries orzo in the pasta section.
  • Olive oil: Make sure your oil is an extra virgin to get the best flavor.
  • Butter: Make sure your butter is unsalted so we can control the salt.
  • Chicken broth: We will use low-sodium chicken broth so we can control the salt.
  • Red onion: We will use half a red onion. Red onion is sweeter and complements the lemon juice better than yellow onion, so I recommend not substituting it with yellow onion.
  • Lemon juice: As the orzo is cooked in both chicken broth and lemon juice, it absorbs the lemon juice and becomes delightfully bright and lemony. If possible, use fresh lemon juice.

For The Salad:

  • Tomatoes: For the best texture, use ripe cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are inherently sweeter than grape tomatoes, so choose cherry if you can.
  • Cucumbers: You may also substitute a peeled, slicing cucumber for the English cucumbers, so you won’t have to peel them.
  • Corn: You’ll love the sweet corn in this Ina Garten recipe! The corn can be charred on the grill or in the skillet (instructions included) for a sweet and smokey addition, or you can slice it straight off the cob into the orzo pasta salad if you’re short on time.
  • Bell pepper: It is better to get a red, orange, or yellow bell pepper than a green one because they are sweeter.
  • Olives: Instead of black olives, use Kalamata olives for their dark, rich, intensely fruity flavor. Pitted Kalamata olives hold together better than jarred sliced olives and are juicer when sliced.
  • Chickpeas: These nuts, which are optional, add a nutty, earthy, creaminess to dishes, and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Feta cheese: There is nothing better than a cheese that is creamy, salty, and tangy! Cheese comes in crumbles or blocks. If you can get your hands on chunked feta, it is also fantastic! I usually keep a large container of feta crumbles in my fridge from Costco, so that is what I use.
  • Sliced Almonds: It adds a delightful crunch that I wouldn’t skip, but you could substitute chopped almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, etc.
  • Basil: Pepper, anise, and mint hints add a touch of aromatic herb goodness to fresh basil. If you don’t have fresh basil, you can substitute 1 tablespoon dried basil in the dressing.

For The Dressing:

  • Olive oil: Choose extra virgin olive oil for superior flavor.
  • Red vinegar: Do not substitute any other vinegar.
  • Lemon juice: The orzo is already bursting with lemon flavor, so we don’t need much lemon juice.
  • Herbs: Alternatively, you can use 1 teaspoon each of dried dill, parsley, and oregano.
  • Dijon mustard: It adds a subtle tanginess.
  • Sugar: It balances the vinegar, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In dressings, I prefer garlic powder since it disperses evenly and doesn’t leave a residue

Can I Make This Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta Ahead?

You can make almost 100% of this Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta in advance. You can make this salad ahead by gently tossing all the ingredients together with only half of the dressing, covering, and refrigerating. Add the remaining dressing to the salad when you are ready to serve. Using all the dressing at first may result in your pasta absorbing all the dressing and tasting dry.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap orzo: Although orzo is particularly delicious in this Ina Garten recipe, you can substitute any small pasta shape, quinoa, or couscous in its place.
  • Add protein: You can make this orzo salad with feta a meal-in-one by adding rotisserie chicken, lemon basil chicken, Greek chicken, lemon garlic shrimp, salmon, pork, steak, or crispy bacon. You can also add chopped pepperoni, summer sausage, or salami to make it more Italian.
  • Roast bell peppers: By roasting your bell peppers, you can add a depth of sweet smokiness like in my Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. The peppers will become softer, as a result, so don’t skip the other crunchy elements of the orzo pasta salad.
  • Add artichokes: Artichokes are soft, slightly sweet, and nutty. Buy artichoke hearts in water, not marinated. The marinated ones often have an acrid taste.
  • Add avocado: Add just before serving or to individual portions if there will be leftovers. Avocados should be ripe but still firm so they don’t get mushy in the pasta salad.
  • Add mozzarella: You can swap the feta for mozzarella or better yet, add the soft, buttery mozzarella in addition to the feta. Fresh mozzarella balls, cut into bite-sized pieces, are my favorite. You can find them in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store. A fresh mozzarella log can also be used. If this mozzarella is too expensive or you don’t want to make a separate trip, you can substitute regular mozzarella and cut it into cubes.
  • Pepperoncini: The sweet tangy heat with an Italian flair is explosively delicious. You can find pepperoncini with relishes and other pickled condiments. You can also use banana peppers if you already have them on hand. They are tangier and have a bit more kick than banana peppers.
  • Capers: Add salty, lemony punches of flavor. Capers can be found by the olives at your grocery store.

How To Make Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta?

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk, or put in a jar and shake. Store in the refrigerator.
  2. Melt butter and olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add orzo and red onions to melted butter and sauté until red onions are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook orzo until al dente, 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently in the last couple of minutes to prevent burning. Drain orzo if there is leftover liquid. Transfer to a large bowl and place in the refrigerator while you chop your vegetables.
  4. Mix the orzo with all the salad ingredients, followed by the dressing. Mix well.
  5. To taste, add additional lemon juice or salt and pepper as needed.

What To Serve With Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta?

This Ina Garten orzo salad with feta is perfect with anything – just be aware it takes center stage. It goes well with:

How To Store Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta?

  • In The Fridge: Cover leftover Ina Garten orzo salad with feta with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. Refrigerate it for two to three days.
  • In The Freezer: Ina Garten’s orzo salad with feta is not recommended for freezing. It will get too dry and the orzo will get mushy.

Note: If your leftovers are too dry, drizzle with additional olive oil to taste. You may want to add a squeeze of lemon juice to the salad as well.

Recipe Tips

  • Grill Corn: Brush each ear of corn lightly with olive oil. Grease and heat the grill to high heat (450 degrees). Put the corn on once the grill is hot. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, rotating the corn every 10-12 minutes and closing the lid between rotations until all sides are lightly charred. Let the corn cool slightly before handling. Cut the kernels and place them in a salad bowl.
  • Skillet Corn: Slice the kernels off the cob. One tablespoon of olive oil should be heated in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Cook the corn, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5-7 minutes until it starts to char. Transfer the kernels to a salad bowl.
  • Don’t overcook orzo: It’s important not to overcook your orzo – you want it al dente so it can hold its shape when it’s mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Don’t burn orzo: As opposed to draining off excess water at the end, orzo pasta absorbs all of the liquid it is cooked in. As a result, you will have to pay attention to the orzo toward the end of cooking and stir often so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add water if needed: Adding water, 2 tablespoons at a time to the skillet will suffice if all the water is gone and the orzo isn’t done cooking.
  • Cool orzo: As soon as the orzo is cooked, transfer it to the large serving bowl you will be using immediately to stop it from cooking.
  • Microwave lemons: Ever since I discovered this tip years ago, I use it constantly! When you microwave your lemons for 15 seconds, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to juice them (and how much more juice you get)!
  • Use fresh corn immediately: Corn used within the first 1-2 days is the sweetest and juiciest. As soon as the corn is harvested, the sugars begin to convert to starch. Keep your corn in the refrigerator to prevent this from happening.
  • Purchase shucked corn: You can save some time by purchasing already shucked corn – no more dealing with silk!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to char my corn?

In addition to getting sweet and juicy corn, you’ll also get complex and smoky flavors, and it’ll soak up more flavor from the dressing if you char it. On the other hand, raw corn is also sweet, juicy, and delicious if you’re in a hurry.

How do I cut corn off the cob?

The easiest way for me to cut the corn off the cob is to stand it upright on a cutting board and slice it down with the knife angled in slightly so you get all the kernels. By cutting it horizontally, you avoid the risk of cutting your fingers off. Several recipes call for standing corn on the cob in the center of a Bundt pan so the kernels fall right into the pan when sliced off, but I haven’t found this necessary.

Is orzo pasta healthier than rice?

Rice and orzo pasta cannot really be compared since they are two different foods. Orzo pasta is a traditional Italian pasta. In addition to its higher protein content, quinoa is higher in carbs as well. It’s best to opt for brown rice or orzo pasta made with wheat flour if you want a healthy option. You’ll reap the most health benefits.

Try More Recipes:

Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 159.8
  • Total Fat 5g
  • Saturated Fat 1.8g
  • Cholesterol 8.3mg
  • Sodium 262.7mg
  • Potassium 90.4mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 24g
  • Dietary Fiber 1.7g
  • Sugars 5.3g
  • Protein 4.5g
  • Vitamin A 7.5%
  • Vitamin C 57%
  • Calcium 6.4%
  • Iron 8.1%

Nutrition Facts Source: Source

Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 20 minutesCook time: 10 minutesRest time: minutesTotal time: 30 minutesServings:6 servingsCalories:159.8 kcal Best Season:Available

Description

Ina Garten orzo salad with feta makes a delicious side dish that is in demand for potlucks, picnics, and parties. It’s also hearty enough for a light lunch or dinner on its own.

Ingredients

    Orzo:

  • Salad:

  • Dressing:

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk, or put in a jar and shake. Store in the refrigerator.
  2. Melt butter and olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add orzo and red onions to melted butter and sauté until red onions are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook orzo until al dente, 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently in the last couple of minutes to prevent burning.
  4. Drain orzo if there is leftover liquid. Transfer to a large bowl and place in the refrigerator while you chop your vegetables.
  5. Mix the orzo with all the salad ingredients, followed by the dressing. Mix well.
  6. To taste, add additional lemon juice or salt and pepper as needed.

Notes

  • Grill Corn: Brush each ear of corn lightly with olive oil. Grease and heat the grill to high heat (450 degrees). Put the corn on once the grill is hot. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, rotating the corn every 10-12 minutes and closing the lid between rotations until all sides are lightly charred. Let the corn cool slightly before handling. Cut the kernels and place them in a salad bowl.
  • Skillet Corn: Slice the kernels off the cob. One tablespoon of olive oil should be heated in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Cook the corn, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5-7 minutes until it starts to char. Transfer the kernels to a salad bowl.
  • Don’t overcook orzo: It’s important not to overcook your orzo – you want it al dente so it can hold its shape when it’s mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Don’t burn orzo: As opposed to draining off excess water at the end, orzo pasta absorbs all of the liquid it is cooked in. As a result, you will have to pay attention to the orzo toward the end of cooking and stir often so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add water if needed: Adding water, 2 tablespoons at a time to the skillet will suffice if all the water is gone and the orzo isn’t done cooking.
  • Cool orzo: As soon as the orzo is cooked, transfer it to the large serving bowl you will be using immediately to stop it from cooking.
  • Microwave lemons: Ever since I discovered this tip years ago, I use it constantly! When you microwave your lemons for 15 seconds, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to juice them (and how much more juice you get)!
  • Use fresh corn immediately: Corn used within the first 1-2 days is the sweetest and juiciest. As soon as the corn is harvested, the sugars begin to convert to starch. Keep your corn in the refrigerator to prevent this from happening.
  • Purchase shucked corn: You can save some time by purchasing already shucked corn – no more dealing with silk!
Keywords:Ina Garten Orzo Salad With Feta
Nutrition Facts

Servings 6


Amount Per Serving
Calories 159.8
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1.8g9%
Cholesterol 8.3mg3%
Sodium 262.7mg11%
Potassium 90.4mg3%
Total Carbohydrate 24g8%
Dietary Fiber 1.7g7%
Sugars 5.3g
Protein 4.5g9%

Vitamin A 7.5%
Vitamin C 57%
Calcium 6.4%
Iron 8.1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.