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bowl with lemon orzo salad beside a small dish of chopped fresh basil
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5 from 11 votes

Lemon Orzo Salad

This Lemon Orzo Salad is made with fresh produce like tomatoes, zucchini and basil, and the lemons make it light and refreshing. It's healthy and a perfect make-ahead lunch recipe, so what are you waiting for? Dig in! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Keyword: lemon orzo, orzo salad, vegetarian orzo
Servings: 4
Calories: 365kcal
Author: Erin


  • 1 ½ cups orzo
  • cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced
  • ¾ cup zucchini sliced
  • ¼ cup basil chopped
  • ¼ cup feta cheese


  • Cook pasta as you normally would in a pot of salted water, until it's al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water (you probably won't need it, but reserve it just in case), then drain the orzo and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, ½ cup water (not the salted water), salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Then, slice the tomatoes, zucchini and basil and set aside.
  • Transfer the cooked orzo to the bowl with the lemon juice and let it set for 10 minutes. In that time, the pasta will soak up the lemon juice, olive oil and water, which is good because we don't want it to be dry. If for some reason it is, pour in the reserved pasta water.
  • Then, add in the tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and feta cheese and stir to combine. Enjoy as-is, or add extra feta and/or black pepper on top!



*Calories are per serving and are an estimation
Ingredient substitutions: If you want to use different vegetables, try peas, artichokes or spinach. If you want to use different cheese, try goat cheese. If you want to add protein, I recommend grilled chicken
Storage: Store this pasta in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 
Make it ahead: This recipe can easily be made ahead of time. Simply cook the pasta and have it sit in the bowl with lemon juice, then add the vegetables and store it in the refrigerator. Before serving, add the cheese. 


Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg