With savory Greek-inspired flavors, this Mediterranean Chickpea Orzo Salad is a perfect vegetarian side salad for your next dinner or barbecue!
By this point of summer, I'm usually well on my way to being obsessed with side salads. Anything perfect for a barbecue or relaxed weeknight dinner is almost always on my mind. This Mediterranean Chickpea and Orzo Salad is no exception.
With a light and easy Mediterranean salad dressing recipe, olives, feta cheese, and veggies, it's a light and simple chickpea salad.
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A chickpea salad you can easily make vegan (just remove the feta cheese) and that's forgiving with the type of vegetables you include in it. Don't have cucumber on hand? This Mediterranean salad is awesome with green beans (as I did), broccoli, or even just extra spinach!
Any way you make it, this salad is satisfying, healthy, and can easily feed up to 8. It's easy to double for a crowd, keeps well in the fridge, and is easily portable for any of your upcoming summer barbecues, picnics, or just because you feel like it.
This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is...
- A good source of vegetarian protein
- High in gut-healthy fiber
- Full of heart-healthy fats
- Easy and quick to make
- Perfect for leftovers
- Perfect for weeknight dinners and barbecues alike.
With the ease of cooking and the nutritional benefits it has, this Mediterranean chickpea salad recipe is one you just can't pass up.
Question and Answers About Chickpea & Orzo Salad:
Is orzo healthier than rice?
Depends on what criteria you are evaluating orzo by, but it's low in fat and a good source of carbohydrates, just like rice. It is a processed carbohydrate, however, so on its own it will digest faster and affect your blood sugar more than would brown rice. White rice will have a similar effect on your blood sugar, though.
Tossing the orzo with garbanzo beans, olive oil, olives, vegetables, and feta cheese, however, adds in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, to make this Mediterranean orzo salad more slow-digesting and healthy, however.
How long does orzo salad last in the fridge?
Orzo salad should last covered in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze the salad in individual serving size containers and defrost in the fridge for a day or so before serving.
Is orzo eaten hot or cold?
You can eat orzo either way, depending on the dish. In this dish, however, I recommend eating it cold or lukewarm. To reach this effect, we'll be rinsing the orzo with cool water after cooking it in order to cool it down.
What tools do you need to make this salad?
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- Roasted Tomato & Burrata Salad - juicy tomatoes and creamy burrata are served on top of sweet & crisp lettuce leaves for a surprisingly addictive salad.
- Healthy Lentil Bowl with Sweet Potatoes - heart lentils, caramelized roasted sweet potatoes, and a savory lemon tahini dressing come together for a satisfying vegan salad bowl.
- Italian Farro with Fennel and Citrus - chewy, nutty farro meets up with bright citrus, crunchy pistachios, and sweet golden raisins for a complex and addicting salad.
- Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes - get your lentil fix with this satisfying and vegetarian protein-rich salad. Complete with rich sundried tomatoes, olives, and a creamy goat cheese dressing, it's a salad you won't soon forget.
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad - make your new barbecue side-dish favorite with this flavorful salad. Nutty quinoa, spicy sweet potatoes, golden raisins, baby kale, and shaved hard cheese come together for a balanced salad the whole family will love.
- Spaghetti with Beans and Garlicky Greens -a vegetarian and gluten-free pasta that's ready in under 20 minutes, has an addicting spicy lemon umami flavor, and is full of plant-based protein.
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A refreshing vegetarian chickpea salad with savory Mediterranean-inspired flavors.
Rinse the orzo with cool water after cooking it so it doesn't wilt the vegetables. To make this recipe vegan, simply omit the feta cheese from the recipe.
- 1 ⅓ cup orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions in heavily salted water and rinsed with cool water after draining
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ large lemon, juiced (or 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup kalamata olives or black olives, sliced
- ¾ cup red pepper, diced
- ¼ medium red onion, diced
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
- 1 cup cucumbers, diced
- 1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, whisking all the ingredients until the oil is emulsified into the juice and vinegar.
- Stir in the cooked orzo and rest of the salad ingredients, except for feta cheese, until all the pasta and veggies are covered with the dressing.
- If serving warm, toss in the feta and serve right away. If serving cool, let the orzo salad cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours and then toss in the feta cheese before serving.
1. Salad will last in the fridge for 3-5 days, covered. It will last in the freezer for 1-2 months, covered. Just defrost in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before serving.
2. To make this salad vegan, simply omit the feta cheese from the recipe. To make it gluten free, use a gluten free orzo pasta or another smaller gluten-free shape like farfalle or small shells.
3. As you can see, I used green beans instead of cucumbers since I was out of them. That's ok! Substitutions happen. If you also don't have cucumbers, feel free to sub in green beans, more spinach, or chopped brocolli florets.
Amount Per Serving Calories 244Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 13mgSodium 496mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 5gSugar 4gProtein 8g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.