Strawberry Basil Feta Orzo Salad

The perfect addition to any spring or summer spread! This strawberry basil feta orzo salad with cucumbers and chopped pecans is the ultimate sunny day side dish.

A heaping bowl filled with a strawberry basil feta orzo pasta salad with fresh vegetables and champagne vinaigrette.

Spring has sprung

If you’re looking for a refreshing side dish to bring to any spring or summer pot luck, look no further! This strawberry basil feta orzo salad is so easy to throw together, and the flavors are so festive and refreshing. This has quickly become a favorite of mine for the warmer months – you can even prep it hours in advance and just toss the dressing on quickly before serving, which is a lifesaver for a jam-packed summer! All in all this salad takes less than 15 minutes to come together, and it’s so easy to make! You guys need to try this one.

It’s getting hot here in Texas, and that can only mean one thing – it’s strawberry season! I know that we can find strawberries at the grocery store all year round, but there’s nothing like some good farm-fresh fruit when it’s in season. A juicy and sweet strawberry is dang near unbeatable in my book! May through July is prime strawberry time, and I just can’t wait to start incorporating them in my cooking.

I know that when we think of fruits we typically think dessert – and there’s no denying I’m a lover of a good strawberry crumble or a delicious strawberry basil margarita – but that’s only half the fun. The combination of fresh, salty and sweet is something I love about using fresh fruits in savory dishes, and so I’d highly recommend you give it a whirl this strawberry season. And how better to do so than with this delicious strawberry basil feta orzo salad?

Try something new!

There’s something about that feta and strawberry combination that is just perfect this time of year. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with mixing sweet and savory flavors together, and it just works so well here in this recipe! It’s truly a must-try.

The champagne vinaigrette is light, sweet and a little tangy which works great to bring balance to the overall dish. If you have any leftover vinaigrette, feel free to refrigerate whatever you don’t use and use it on future salads. It’s great with my peach burrata salad too if you need some summer salad inspo! It works with so many salad combinations, so I love to keep some on hand in my refrigerator during the summer. A fresh and delicious salad ticks all the boxes for me in the warmer months, you really can’t beat ’em!

For my vegetarian friends, my strawberry basil feta orzo salad makes for a delicious meatless meal. Although I’m not vegetarian myself, I find myself opting for meat-free meals pretty frequently when it’s hot out – they’re light, refreshing and don’t leave me feeling bleh afterwards! For any vegan friends, simply sub the feta cheese for your preferred dairy-free alternative and you’re good to go! And finally for any gluten-free friends, feel free to swap the orzo to your favorite GF option. I know GF pasta tends to be a little more expensive, so you could totally cook any other GF pasta shape you have on hand and cut this into smaller pieces – it’ll work just the same!

What you’ll need:

Champagne Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Orzo Salad

  • 4 cups cooked orzo
  • 1 & 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 6-7 oz crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

Lets get to it!

  1. First make the champagne vinaigrette by combining all of the ingredients in a jar or container. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Assemble your orzo salad by combining orzo, chopped strawberries, cucumber, basil, feta and pecans in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle with desired amount of champagne vinaigrette. Toss and enjoy!

FAQs

How should I store this for leftovers?

I typically find that most salads are best eaten fresh but if you feel like the portion size is too big to finish the first time around, here are some tips! If you are feeding less than 3 – 4 people, I’d recommend keeping the dressing separate from the salad and drizzling over individual portions so that you’re able to later store the salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator. Storing with the dressing already on it tends to result in soggy salad, so for best results keep them in different airtight containers in the fridge where they’ll last up to 3 – 4 days.

Is this suitable for gluten-free diets?

Yes – this strawberry basil feta orzo salad can easily be made GF friendly! Simply substitute the orzo for your preferred alternative. It’s pretty easy to find GF orzo at most large grocery stores, but if you have trouble you can simply cook your favorite GF pasta shape and cut into smaller pieces before adding.

Just make sure to double check the ingredients of your dijon mustard to make sure there are no gluten containing additives.

What is orzo?

Simply put, orzo is pasta that comes in the form of rice! It’s exactly the same as your favorite spaghetti, rigatoni or macaroni noodles but just teeny tiny. It works great in soups, stews and salads to bulk it out and get those carbs in!

I love putting it in salads as it’s a little lighter than your typical pasta salad, which is always great for hot weather! It’s also a nice way to switch up your traditional pasta salad and enjoy an old favorite a new way.

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Strawberry Basil Feta Orzo Salad


Description

Refreshing, sweet and savory – make the most of local produce this strawberry season with this delicious orzo salad! It’s a must try this summer.


Ingredients

Scale

Champagne Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 tbsp dijon
1 tbsp honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Orzo Salad

4 cups cooked orzo
1 & 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1 English cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup chopped basil
6-7 oz crumbled feta
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans


Instructions

  1. First make the champagne vinaigrette by combining all of the ingredients in a jar or container. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Assemble your orzo salad by combining orzo, chopped strawberries, cucumber, basil, feta and pecans in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle with desired amount of champagne vinaigrette. Toss and enjoy!

Notes

This is best eaten fresh but will last 3 – 4 days in the refrigerator for leftovers. Store the salad and dressing separately in airtight containers for best results!

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