Summer tabouli orzo pasta salad is packed with all fresh Mediterranean seasonal produce and loads of flavor. This is a perfect light lunch or meatless dinner, and it’s delicious cold or hot!Jump to Recipe
Mediterranean tabouli orzo salad
It feels like my garden exploded overnight! I have a small kitchen garden that I run out to and grab fresh herbs from while making dinner. It’s a small plot, but I have all different kinds of mint, parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano, etc.
Using fresh herbs is essential is Mediterranean cooking. The flavors are fresher and really pack in the flavor. Tabouli, or tabbouleh, is a classic Mediterranean dish that combines bulgar wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh parsely, mint, green onions, a squeeze of lemon, and a healthy splash of olive oil.
My mom used to grab this from her favorite grocery store, Market Basket. If you haven’t heard of Market Basket, people love this grocery store the way that southerners love Publix. It was my first job at 14 and I loved seeing what was in people’s grocery carts. Massachusetts is such a melting pot of cultures, so this store was well stocked with a wide variety of groceries.
Mom and I would dive into some tabouli with some stoned wheat crackers and enjoy the combination of all the fresh flavors. The smell is divine! The zesty lemon combined with crunchy, fresh herbs is absolutely mouth watering.
This easy 20 minute meal will blow your mind! It comes together super quick and the flavors are insanely delcious. It’s makes for a great cold lunch, as tabouli is usually a refrigerated dish. However you eat it, just make sure you top it with lots of feta, it’ll kick this dish up a notch or two!
Orzo tabbouleh ingredients
- Orzo- Cooking orzo until it’s al dente will add texture and a bit more chew in this delicious dish.
- Cherry tomatoes- While a traditional tabbouleh uses roma tomatoes, I opted for a sweeter tomato that will balance the lemon juice.
- English cucumber- These cucumbers are extra crunchy and very mild tasting.
- Green onions- Add a little extra somethin’ somethin’ with some fragrant green onions.
- Arugula- Adding peppery arugula will make this dish come alive!
- Fresh herbs- Fresh mint and parsley play a key roll in bringing this dish together.
- Lemon juice- Just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will bring all the fresh flavors together.
- Extra virgin olive oil- Adding EVOO will give this dish a great texture and extra flavor.
- Feta cheese- Adding this salty and tangy cheese will be the cherry on the cake!
- Use quinoa or couscous instead. If you cannot find or do not like orzo pasta, opt for quinoa. Quinoa is packed with protein and has a very mild flavor that will take on the flavor of the dish. Couscous is a classic Mediterranean staple and will be delicious in this dish as well.
- Make the tabbouleh ahead of time. You can prepare this a day in advance and let it sit in the fridge overnight to let it developed the flavor. You can thank me later!
- Use mozzarella pearls. If you are not a fan of the shape flavor of feta cheese, use mozzarella pearls.
How to make summer tabouli orzo pasta salad
- Cook the orzo. Bring a pot of salted water to a roaring boil and cook the orzo to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the orzo in a colander and place to the side.
- Make the tabouli. Finely chop the tomatoes, cucumber, fresh parsley, mint, and green onions. Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Combine the ingredients. In a large bowl, toss the tabouli, orzo, and the arugula. Serve into individual bowls and top with feta cheese or place it in an airtight container and store in the fridge. Mangia!
More pasta salad recipes
- Green goddess tortellini salad combines tortellini, fresh tomatoes, and asparagus. Tossed in an herbal Green Goddess dressing and topped with parmesan cheese, this 20 minute meal meatless meal is how you get dinner done!
- This 20 minute Mediterranean Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad is tossed in raw garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs, and mozzarella balls, and tomatoes. Every bite provides a fresh Summer taste, making this a perfect dish to bring to any party!
- Vegetarian one pan Italian orzo is an easy and delicious dish that is packed with summertime vegetables.
- Antipasto Quinoa Salad is packed with all the best flavors of Italy! Salami, pepperoncini, and artichokes build the quinoa bowl before being topped with a white wine vinaigrette.
- Fresh herb quinoa salad– quinoa, chickpeas, juicy cherry tomatoes, and summer squash is topped with olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and fresh herbs. This 20 minute vegan dish is light, flavorful, and fresh!
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Bowl with Green Goddess Dressing comes together in 15 minutes, and has a flavorful, colorful combination of healthy ingredients. Topped with homemade Green Goddess Dressing, this will be your new favorite feel-good dish!
More Backyard Bohemian classics
- Fluffy Cannoli Stuffed Pancakes
- Crab Stuffed Manicotti with Alfredo Sauce
- Grilled Italian Sausage and Shrimp Kabobs
- Grilled Pineapple Jalapeño Margaritas
- Roasted Italian Vegetables with Parmesan Polenta
Summer Tabouli Orzo Pasta Salad
Summer tabouli orzo pasta salad is packed with all fresh Mediterranean seasonal produce and loads of flavor. This is a perfect light lunch or meatless dinner, and it's delicious cold or hot!
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomaotes finely chopped
- 1 cup English cucumber diced
- 2 cups parsley very finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mint very finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions finely chopped
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- feta cheese
Cook the orzo. Bring a pot of salted water to a roaring boil and cook the orzo until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set to the side.
Make the tabouli. Finely chop the parsley, mint, and green onions and place them in the large serving bowl. Dice the cucumber and the tomatoes and add them to the bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Add everythign together. Place the orzo, arugula, and tabouli in the large serving bowl and stir to combine. Serve into individual bowls and top with feta cheese OR place in an airtight containter and place in the fridge. Mangia!