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This lemon orzo salad is served with feta, zucchini, and shrimp! It’s so easy to make, filled with healthy ingredients, and meant to be enjoyed as a cold summer pasta salad. Light and delicious!

Orzo salad with shrimp in a white bowl.

Looking for a light, fresh, and easy meal to make as the weather warms up? This summer orzo salad ticks all those boxes!

It’s super straightforward to make and can be enjoyed as a healthy packed lunch or al fresco dinner. You could even increase the serving sizes to bring it to a summer dinner party!

As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that this orzo recipe is filled with fiber-rich veggies, energizing carbs, healthy fats, and quality protein – all things that make this a nutritionally-balanced meal 🙂

As always, I’ve included a bunch of recipe modifications and ingredient substitutions to suit your needs (including options for a vegan and gluten-free version).

If you’d like, you can also leave out the shrimp and serve it as a side to another protein dish – I’ve included a bunch of summer protein ideas for you that I think would pair perfectly. Enjoy!

Want more spring + summer salad recipe inspiration? Check out my roundup of 20+ easy, healthy summer salad recipes for more ideas!

Recipe ingredient flatlay.

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make this easy orzo salad are 11 simple ingredients:

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps

  1. If you can’t get your hands on orzo, you could swap it with couscous or another type of pasta (use a small shape, like penne or farfalle).
  2. In place of arugula, you could use another baby leafy green…like baby spinach, baby kale, or watercress.
  3. I love how this one tastes with zucchini, but feel free to add in some additional or alternative veggies! I think this would go well with sautéed tomatoes, asparagus, or broccolini!
  4. You can always leave out the shrimp and serve this as a side salad alongside another protein. I’ve included a bunch of serving ideas for you below!
  5. For a vegan version, you can swap feta with a dairy-free alternative, omit the shrimp and replace it with a protein source like chickpeas, and swap the honey for maple syrup!
  6. For a gluten-free version, swap the orzo for a gluten-free pasta (choose a small shape as mentioned above).
Salad with arugula, orzo, zucchini, shrimp, feta, and lemon in a large bowl.

Can You Make This Recipe In Advance?

Definitely! This recipe holds up quite well when made in advance. If you’d like, you can always add the dressing right before serving to prevent any chance of sogginess.

TIP: be sure to toss the cooked orzo in a little bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.

Leftovers of this recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

What To Have Orzo Salad With

While this recipe can be enjoyed as a complete meal, you can also serve it as a side salad!

It would go great with some simple proteins, like baked salmon or grilled chicken. You could even leave the shrimp out and serve it with another protein/main dish.

Here are some ideas that I think would pair perfectly:

Orzo Nutrition Benefits

Orzo is:

  • a source of carbohydrates, which help to give us energy to fuel our daily lives. When paired with the fats, fiber, and protein of this recipe, that energy can be sustained – without a blood sugar crash!
  • an source of protein – a 1/2 cup serving provides 7 grams
  • while it depends on the brand, orzo products are usually enriched with B-vitamins. If you choose a whole grain source of orzo, it will include other vitamins and minerals as well.
Orzo salad with shrimp in a white bowl.

More Summer Pasta Salads

Did you give this Summer Lemon Orzo Salad Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Summer Lemon Orzo Salad

This lemon orzo salad is served with feta, zucchini, and shrimp. Light, delicious, and easy – enjoy it as a cold summer pasta salad!
Orzo salad with shrimp in a white bowl.
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5 from 6 votes
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Ingredients

  • Approx. 18 medium shrimp (thawed, peeled + deveined)
  • 1/2 cup orzo, dry
  • 1 large zucchini (cut into 1/2-inch half-moons)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Lemon Dressing:

Instructions

  • TIP: Zest half a lemon before juicing it. Reserve lemon zest for topping salad.
  • Cook orzo: Bring water to a boil and cook orzo according to package directions (about 5-7 minutes). Drain, return to pot, and stir with a small splash of olive oil to prevent orzo from sticking together.
  • While orzo cooks, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pan at medium-high. Cook zucchini, undisturbed, for about 3-5 minutes or until one side starts to lightly brown. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove from pan.
  • In the same pan, heat the other 1 Tbsp of olive oil and cook shrimp, 1-2 minutes per side until opaque and pink. Remove from pan.
  • Make dressing: whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, or shake vigorously in a small jar with a lid. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add arugula, cooked orzo, zucchini, shrimp, feta cheese, and lemon zest. Pour dressing overtop and toss together. Season with additional salt + pepper, as needed. Serve + enjoy!

Notes

*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • If you can’t get your hands on orzo, you could swap it with couscous or another type of pasta (use a small shape, like penne or farfalle).
  • In place of arugula, you could use another baby leafy green…like baby spinach, baby kale, or watercress.
  • I love how this one tastes with zucchini, but feel free to add in some additional or alternative veggies! I think this would go well with sautéed tomatoes, asparagus, or broccolini.
  • You can always leave out the shrimp and serve this as a side salad alongside another protein. I’ve included a bunch of serving ideas for you in the blog post – just scroll up!
  • For a vegan version, you can swap feta with a dairy-free alternative, omit the shrimp and replace it with a protein source like chickpeas, and swap the honey for maple syrup!
  • For a gluten-free version, swap the orzo for a gluten-free pasta (choose a small shape as mentioned above).
 
*LEFTOVERS + MAKING IN ADVANCE:
  • This recipe holds up quite well when made in advance. If you’d like, you can always add the dressing right before serving to prevent any chance of sogginess. Be sure to toss the cooked orzo in a little bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together!
  • Leftovers of this recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a summer lemon orzo salad recipe
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