Grilled Greek Orzo Salad

Greek orzo salad with grilled vegetables.

Want a tasty side dish that’s healthy and light? This simple grilled greek orzo salad has tender pasta, grilled zucchini and red onion with kalamata olives, feta cheese and fresh tomatoes.  It’s easy to make and goes with anything you’re grilling up this summer.

Are you dusting off your Weber and wiping away the cobwebs?  Loading up on charcoal briquets and wood chips?  Topping off the Blue Rhino tank?  Are you ready for grilling season?  

cooked orzo in a strainer.

When you think about grilling – most people think chops, steaks, chicken — meat, right?  But just about anything can be enhanced by grilling.  Especially vegetables because you just can’t coax the same smoky-char flavor from an oven — unless something goes horribly wrong

skewered zucchini rounds

Besides, you need something to go with all those tasty brontosaurus ribs the guys will be chest-pounding about this summer.  So here it is.  A grilled Greek orzo salad.  It marries tender but crunchy grilled veg with orzo pasta, chunks of feta and a light citrusy vinaigrette.

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Ingredients for grilled Greek orzo salad

  • Zucchini
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Red Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Orzo
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Green Onions
  • Parsley
  • Feta Cheese
  • Lemon
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Garlic
  • Dried Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper
brushing zucchini and onions with olive oil

Start by prepping the vegetables.  Zucchini and red onion, cut into chunks that are large enough to get grill marks and small enough to be bite sized.  

grilling zucchini and onions.

How to grill vegetables for the Greek orzo salad

  1. I like to cut the zucchini into 1/2″ thick rounds and skewer them crosswise to increase the surface to grill ratio. 
  2. Thread red onions loosely onto skewers – so that they’re kissed by the heat of the grill.
  3. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  
  4. Then grill to crisp-tender doneness.  FYI: I did this one on my own as Scott wasn’t home yet.  Yep, I lit the grill, scrubbed the grates and supervised the fire!  I was only missing my man-beverage – or she-man beverage (aka – a glass of wine).
zucchini and red onions after grilling.
slicing grape tomatoes

Cook the orzo until just al dente (check your package directions) and then rinse and drain with lots of cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside the pasta while you prep the tomatoes, olives and feta.

vinaigrette in a bowl.

The dressing is a simple, tangy lemon vinaigrette with dried oregano – fresh would be overpowering, I think.

Salad ingredients in a bowl.

The pros:  This salad can be made ahead and kept chilled until ready to serve.  The citrus vinaigrette means you don’t have to worry about the weird slime that forms on those mayonnaise-based salads after an hour on the picnic table.

Grilled Greek Orzo Salad in a bowl.

The cons: you may need to make a double batch!  It’s good!  

Overhead shot of Grilled Greek Orzo Salad

This grilled Greek orzo salad will find its way onto your buffet time and again this summer.  

Grilled Greek Orzo Salad on a plate.

More pasta and veggie salads:

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5 from 3 votes

Grilled Greek Orzo Salad

This simple and easy orzo salad uses all the freshest vegetables, salty feta and a tangy lemony vinaigrette.  Great with grilled or roasted chicken, pork, lamb and seafood.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword orzo, pasta, red onion, tomato, zucchini
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ red onion
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • sprinkle of kosher salt and grind of pepper
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • ½ cup kalamata olives
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes I used red and yellow grape tomatoes
  • 3-4 green onions sliced
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped
  • 4 ounces feta cheese diced
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Fill a pot halfway with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring the pot to a boil and add the orzo pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally for 9-10 minutes for al dente, or according to package directions. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and drain. Set aside.

For grilling vegetables

  • Heat the grill to high heat, about 450 degrees. Place the red pepper directly on the grates.
  • Slice the zucchini into rounds, crosswise about 1/2-3/4″ thick. Chunk the red onion into 1″ pieces.
  • If grilling, skewer the zucchini slices (skewer on the thin side, so that more of the flesh can get the char of the grill).
  • Separate the layers of onion and loosely skewer. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil over the onion and zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Grill for 3-4 minutes on one side, then carefully flip the vegetables and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter.

For roasting vegetables – if you don’t have a grill

  • If you’re not using a grill, heat your oven to 450. Place the red pepper in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Place onion and zucchini chunks on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat the vegetables. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove onions and zucchini and set aside to cool.
  • Place whole pepper in a small bowl covered with plastic wrap, or in a paper bag with the top folded over and sealed. Let the pepper sit in the bowl or bag until cooled to room temperature. Remove the skin from the outside of the pepper and discard – it should peel right off. Remove the stem and seeds. Cut the pepper into bite sized chunks.

Assemble the salad

  • In a large bowl, combine, orzo, red pepper, zucchini, onion, olives, tomatoes, green onions, parsley and feta cheese. Toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, dijon, garlic, oregano, kosher salt and black pepper. Stir together until dressing has emulsified. Add dressing to the orzo salad and toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1290IU | Vitamin C: 49.6mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Amazing lite great summer night meal

  2. 5 stars
    Brontosaurus ribs! hahaha that is right! This salad looks so delicious and fresh! I love grilled vegetables, the grill really concentrate the flavors and turn them into veggie perfection. Love the salty feta too! Nothing like orzo soaking the light lemony vinaigrette! Yum!!