May 23, 2013

Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta

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!

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

Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



  • 11/2 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. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo al dente according to package directions (about 9 minutes). Drain the pasta, let cool for a couple of minutes, and toss with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, cucumber, herbs and feta.
  2. 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
    January 5, 2020 at 11:14 am

    The flavors were sour and flat. Good start but two dimensional.

  • Reply
    Colleen Hart
    June 29, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    I make this for BBQs and everyone wants the recipe. So light and fresh and it’s perfect cold or warm.

    • Reply
      June 30, 2019 at 8:31 am

      So happy to hear this! Thanks, Colleen!!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Awesome Awesome Awesome Recipe!!! I have made it probably 20 times with different variations depending on what I have on hand. Sometimes I throw in tiny diced zuchinni to bulk up the veggies (it is virtually flavorless) either raw or I drop it in the cooking pasta water for the last minute to soften it a tad. I have used basil when I have no mint/parsley, throw in cherry tomatoes sometimes, with or without feta and I also cook the orzo in chicken broth. It adds so much flavor for me. Sometimes we just eat this for dinner with a grilled chicken breast. Wonderful recipe thanks so much!

    • Reply
      August 1, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Oh, I’m so happy to hear it, Eileen!! This is one of our favorites too, especially because it is so adaptable. Thanks so much for your comment!! 🙂

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    August 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Just made this tonight for a family barbecue and just love it! Very light and refreshing. This will be a keeper for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      August 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks, Kristine!! So happy to hear that!

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    September 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    soo yummy! made this and added just a bit more salt, green onions and olives! it was fantastic! A++ i can eat this for breakfast too! lol….

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    July 7, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Made this for my family with a Mediterranean chicken and it was a HUGE hit! I liked it so much that I made it again just a few days later so I could pack it up for lunches at work.

    Thank you!!

    • Reply
      July 17, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks, Shawna!! So glad to hear it!

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  • Reply
    Ryan Smith
    April 10, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Made this for the first time to bring to a BBQ with 40+ people and it turned out to be a big hit. I had a few people ask for the recipe and I am sending them this link. I bumped up the lemon zest/juice and we added Pine nuts and a little more parsley on top as a garnish.

    Excellent recipe and one I will keep!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Has anyone tried adding tuna to this? I thought it might be a good combo…

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