Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta

posted on May 23, 2013 by Laura 44 Comments

Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta | Fork Knife Swoon

After some major flight delays, getting rerouted several times due to weather, and missing my last connection, I managed to finagle my way onto a final flight and make it safely to Santa Barbara last night. Needless to say, traveling for some eighteen-odd hours can be exhausting. Between the stress of flight timing, generally subpar dining options, and dehydrating, recirculating air, a full day of flying doesn’t often leave one feeling their best.

Cue this light and refreshing pasta salad. Bright, lemony orzo pasta is tossed with fresh cucumber, herbs and salty feta for an easy summer salad that makes a great barbecue or pot-luck side dish. This is what I should have brought with me on the plane, instead of consuming the limp, tasteless airport salad and bag of peanut butter m&m’s that sufficed for sustenance en route yesterday. This healthy and flavorful pasta dish would be equally delicious alongside some grilled burgers or fish this Memorial Day weekend, or as a mid-flight snack on my return trip!

4.9 from 7 reviews
Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta
Prep time
Total time
Recipe by:
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1-1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, or just enough to lightly coat the pasta
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large English cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the orzo al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta, let cool for a couple of minutes, and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, cucumber, herbs and feta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve chilled or at room-temperature. Can be made up to a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator.





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  • Reply Suzy Tonini December 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Great simple recipe. I too added some chickpeas and also black olives. Thank you for the simple but yummy recipe!

  • Reply James December 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

    This recipe lends itself to add-ons as well. I added defrosted frozen peas and blanched asparagus as well as switching out the olive oil for Italian Dressing. For protein I put a grilled chicken breast on top. It was great! My pregnant wife cleaned her bowl more than once, so I would say success :D

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  • Reply Lindy August 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Delicious! I added a chicken breast and ate it for lunch this week. I can’t wait to try your other recipes!

  • Reply Danielle August 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I just made this and it’s delicious!! I added some fresh dill, chickpeas and white balsamic vinegar. Wow!!

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    • Reply Mateo March 13, 2014 at 10:09 am

      When I read this recipe I knew I had to try it. I found the pine nuts at a cost club for ptetry inexpensive but went ahead and burnt the first batch for good measure ha ha .We all loved it

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  • Reply Tabitha July 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    So yummy! And super duper easy!

  • Reply Linda K July 19, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Making this tonight!! Glad Audrey’s posted a link to this.

  • Reply Linds July 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    This looks delicious! We have been playing around with orzo pasta this summer and this definitely on our MUST try list!!!

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  • Reply Laura July 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Made this yummy salad for dinner tonight! My husband LOVED it! I added scallions and more feta than called for. Thanks for the recipe and for taking such a gorgeous photo that I just had to try it!

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  • Reply Ana @ fit, fun & delish! June 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I just made this today to serve along some grilled chicken kabobs. This orzo salad it’s sooo good! Simple, easy to make and perfect for hot summer nights. Thank you!!

    • Reply Laura July 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks, Ana! I’m so glad you liked it!

  • Reply Damommachef June 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I have made this twice now and it is absolutely delicious. It is even better the next day!

    • Reply Laura July 3, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      I totally agree! The orzo soaks up all the yumminess… :)

  • Reply Georgia June 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Have just discovered this blog via a recipe share on Facebook. Happy day! Firstly, I have to say how wonderful it is to come across someone on the Net who writes well, can not only spell “finagle” correctly but obviously knows what the word means, can punctuate, and does not turn plurals into possessives. How happy an experience to not have to read “salad with lemon’s and cucumber’s and mint’s”. Secondly (but not really, more of a dead tie), the food writing and recipes are lovely.

    • Reply Laura July 3, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Georgia, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad other people enjoy words like “finagle” too! :)

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  • Reply marla June 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    LOVE the looks of this orzo!

    • Reply Laura July 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      Thank you, Marla!

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  • Reply Darlene June 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Very refreshing. Substituted blue cheese for feta – hubby is not a fan of feta. Added a tablespoon of fresh lemon basil. So yummy!

  • Reply Young Wifey June 2, 2013 at 9:41 am


  • Reply Julie @ This Gal Cooks May 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    This is such a simple recipe with great, refreshing flavors! I’ve pinned this because it’s a must try at my house!

    • Reply Laura May 29, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Thank you, Julie! I’m a big fan of simple recipes.

  • Reply Oregon Sue May 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I’m going to pick up a cucumber and some Feta today and make this! OMG. LOVE lemon. LOVE orzo! Also the Cucumber Lime Agua Frescas sounds heavenly!

    • Reply Laura May 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Thank you, Sue! I love lemon with pasta… the Agua Frescas are super refreshing too!

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