Orzo Salad with Grapes, Arugula, & Feta

Quick Summary

Orzo Salad with grapes, arugula, feta cheese, candied pecans, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing. This salad recipe is perfect for parties, potlucks, or an every day meal.

orzo salad with grapes, arugula, feta cheese, and candied pecans on platter.

My Easy Orzo Salad is always a favorite, I make it all of the time. I love adding orzo to salads because it is satisfying, a great way to bulk up any salad.

My new favorite orzo salad is this Orzo Salad with Grapes, Arugula, and Feta Cheese. The flavors, textures, and colors are fantastic. I am talking 10//10…maybe even 12/10, ha!

So let’s get into this salad…it has orzo, fresh arugula, juicy red grapes, creamy feta cheese, and crunchy, sweet candied pecans. Finish with my favorite balsamic vinaigrette and ENJOY every single bite.

The salad feels fancy but is SO easy to make! Every time I serve it to friends and family, it always gets rave reviews. It’s a great salad to make for parties, potlucks, picnics, lunch, or dinner. It’s always a winner.

orzo salad with grapes, arugula, feta cheese, candied pecans in a bowl with balsamic vinaigrette.

Salad Ingredients

  • Orzo– orzo is a really tiny, short pasta that is similar to rice in shape, but a little thicker. It’s easy to cook and is great in salads.
  • Arugula– bulk up the salad with fresh arugula. Baby arugula is my favorite and can be found at most grocery stores in the produce section.
  • Grapes-use red grapes. They are perfectly sweet and add a nice pop of color. Slice them in half lengthwise.
  • Feta cheese– crumbled feta cheese adds a creamy and slightly salty element to the salad.
  • Candied pecans– I make my homemade candied pecans because they are the BEST! I promise they are easy and you can make them in advance. Of course, you can also use store bought nuts. I do like Trader Joe’s candied pecans.

Balsamic Viniagrette

For this salad, I use my favorite balsamic vinaigrette recipe. It is simple to whisk up and I always have the ingredients on hand.

It is made with:

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar (use your favorite brand)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey (can use pure maple syrup)
  • Garlic
  • Salt and black pepper

You can make the dressing in advance. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Whisk well before using.

orzo salad with grapes, arugula, feta cheese, and candied pecans.

Assembling the Salad

  • In a small bowl or jar, whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
  • Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well.
  • Pour the cooked orzo into a large bowl. Add the arugula, grapes, feta cheese, and candied pecans.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

How to Store

After you assemble the salad and toss it in the salad dressing, it is best to enjoy the same day. If you have leftovers, you can keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 day. The arugula might get a little wilted.

If you want to prep the salad ahead of time, you certainly can.

  • Make the dressing and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Whisk before using.
  • The candied pecans can be made well in advance. They will keep in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for up to 1 month.
  • Cook the orzo and toss it in a little olive oil. Keep it in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
orzo salad with grapes, arugula, feta cheese, and candied pecans.

Variations

If you want to mix up the salad a bit, here are some suggestions.

  • Replace the orzo with another small pasta or with farro or couscous. If you need the salad to be gluten-free, you can use quinoa.
  • Instead of using arugula, use spinach, kale, romaine, or mixed greens.
  • Add grilled chicken, shredded chicken, or steak to the salad.
  • Toss in chickpeas or white beans for extra protein.
  • Don’t like grapes? Use berries! Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries would be wonderful. Even pears or apples would be good. I love adding fruit for sweetness.
  • Instead of feta cheese, use blue cheese, gorgonzola, or goat cheese.
  • Use regular pecans, walnuts, or almonds instead of candied pecans.
orzo salad with grapes, arugula. feta cheese, candied pecans on plate with fork.

More Salad Recipes

Orzo Salad with Grapes, Arugula, & Candied Pecans

Orzo Salad with grapes, arugula, feta cheese, candied pecans, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing. This salad recipe is perfect for parties, potlucks, or an every day meal.
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

For the dressing:

For the salad:

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 5 oz arugula
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese,
  • 1 cup candied pecans, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well.
  • Pour the cooked orzo into a large bowl. Add the arugula, grapes, feta or gorgonzola, and candied pecans.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 212mg, Potassium: 195mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 499IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 110mg, Iron: 1mg
Keywords pasta salad

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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