This lemon orzo salad recipe is a fresh, healthy, and colorful summer salad that's a breeze to make! Ready in about 30 minutes.
I'm back with another recipe with everyone's favorite rice-shaped pasta! I'm not quite sure why, but orzo seems to be very popular (you loved this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup), so I've added even more orzo recipes to my never-ending recipe list spreadsheet.
This lemon orzo pasta salad is easily customizable and lends itself to substitutions or additions. My mantra has always been that summer recipes like salads should be fuss-free. Who wants to be in the kitchen for hours when you can be outside? So, make this orzo pasta salad as-is or check out my suggestions in the recipe notes below.
Recipe notes & tips:
- If you want to make this salad ahead of time/for meal prep, I suggest leaving out the arugula. That way, it'll last in the fridge a few days.
- Need to make this vegetarian? Omit the chicken.
- I used a rotisserie chicken for this recipe, but you can definitely quickly cook some chicken if you have some (try pan frying it with your favorite seasoning) and it'll be delicious.
- Feel free to throw in any herbs you may have in the garden!
- Don't like arugula? Try swapping it for spinach.
- I think that Kalamata olives and/or capers would go great in here if you're a fan.
- I use my handy Microplane zester/grater to zest that lemon.
Love pasta salads? Try these recipes:
Are you an orzo fan? Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or if you've made this orzo salad. As always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you've made one of my recipes. 🙂
Lemon Orzo Salad with Chicken
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 2 mini cucumbers (or 1/2 English cucumber) chopped
- 1 cup little tomatoes (grape/cherry/etc.) cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons red onion chopped
- 2 cups (loosely packed) fresh arugula optional
- 2 cups cooked/rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil sliced thin
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice + zest of 1 lemon
- 2.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Boil a salted pot of water and cook the orzo al dente according to package directions. Once it's done, rinse it with cool water and let it drain thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, prep all the salad ingredients and add them to the bowl. If you're not going to eat the salad right away, I suggest skipping the arugula.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a jar or small bowl, and whisk/shake until well combined.
- Toss the salad with the dressing. Add more lemon/oil if needed. I also add plenty of salt & pepper - there's a lot of pasta in here, so you need to salt it well so it doesn't taste bland.
- This recipe makes quite a lot of pasta salad. If served with nothing else, this could serve 4 adults. You can easily get 6+ servings out of this. If you know you're going to have leftovers, I suggest either leaving out the arugula or only tossing it with the portion of the salad you'll be eating right away. Without arugula, this salad will last in the fridge for a few days no problem.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.