This vibrant and delicious Orzo Arugula Salad is filled with juicy grapes, toasted pine nuts, feta, and asparagus tossed in an easy lemon vinaigrette. Perfect for a light dinner, lunch, or mid-summer potluck.
A few weeks ago, my barn hosted a barbecue with all sorts of amazing meats and sides. This orzo arugula salad was one of those sides. After going back for my THIRD helping, I snapped a picture and decided I would duplicate it to share here with you guys.
The ingredients are simple: arugula, orzo, grapes, feta cheese, asparagus, pine nuts, lemon juice, and your favorite tasting oil (I went with grapeseed oil). A perfectly harmonious combination of fresh, sweet, tangy, and earthy. Did my child love it? No. But it’s definitely one that I look forward to torturing him with for the rest of the summer.
Just kidding…a little.
Anyway, my very favorite part of this super easy orzo arugula salad is how easy it is to modify. Mix things up with your favorite seasonal fruits, greens, or grains. Just about anything goes, so don’t feel like you have to use arugula or grape, or even the orzo!
How to Make Orzo Arugula Salad with Feta and Grapes
- Cook the orzo until al dente then toss with oil and a little salt – Always cook the pasta first as you’ll need to wait to add it to the salad until after it has cooled. I recommend transferring the drained and rinsed orzo to a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. This helps it cool faster and prevents it from sticking together.
- Cook the asparagus in a little olive oil – As with the orzo, the asparagus will also need to cool before being added to the salad.
- Whisk together the fresh lemon juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, gently mix the arugula, feta cheese, grapes, and pine nuts.
- Finally, add the cooked orzo and asparagus to the salad and drizzle with the lemon vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
If something isn’t in season or, perhaps, you really, strongly dislike the taste of one of the ingredients then replace it with something you do like. This salad is incredibly forgiving.
For example, replace the grapes with another sweet fruit like strawberries, apples, dried cranberries, blueberries, or mandarin oranges. Swap the feta cheese for goat cheese or chunks of fresh mozzarella. Instead of pasta, try it with brown rice, wild rice, freekeh, or barley. Add another veggie like roasted cauliflower, edamame, or beets.
If you plan to trade the arugula for baby spinach, only add as much spinach as you plan to enjoy on that day. Spinach does not store well when it’s mixed with other ingredients or after it’s been mixed with salad dressing or vinaigrette.
I like to make this salad a complete meal by serving it with,
- The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
- Grilled Marinated Chicken Skewers
- Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Breasts (No Breading!)
- Garlic Herb Lamb Chops
- Garlic Butter Pork Chops
This makes a large salad – enough to serve about 12 people as a side at a party or family gathering.
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Planning ahead, if you know that you will have leftovers, set aside a portion without the arugula. Arugula, like spinach, is best when enjoyed the same day of preparation, especially after it has been mixed with any type of salad dressing or vinaigrette.
Looking for more pasta salad recipes? Try these reader favorites:
- Cold Asian Pasta Salad Recipe with Chicken
- The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
- Autumn Apple Pasta Salad Recipe with Poppyseed Dressing
- Spinach Pasta Salad Recipe with Strawberries
- Loaded Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
- Bacon Pasta Salad with Feta Cheese
Have you tried making this Orzo Arugula Salad?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Orzo Arugula Salad with Feta and Grapes
- 8 oz orzo (cooked according to package directions)
- 4 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 tsp salt (divided)
- 1 lb asparagus (chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil (or good-quality olive oil)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 6 oz arugula
- 8 oz feta cheese (crumbled)
- ½ pound red seedless grapes (halved)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Drain again.
- Transfer the cooked orzo to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. drizzle with 3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil or grapeseed oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Gently toss to coat and set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the asparagus, cover, and cook until al dente, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and transfer to the same baking sheet as the cooked orzo.
- In the meantime, whisk together the grapeseed oil, fresh lemon juice, black pepper, and remaining half teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
- Add the arugula, crumbled feta cheese, red seedless grapes, and pine nuts to a large salad bowl. Gently mix to combine.
- Add the cooled orzo and asparagus and drizzle with the lemon vinaigrette. Mix to combine and season with additional salt, to taste.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)