Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad

Updated 29th April 2024

This Greek style Lemony orzo pasta salad is filled with the best fresh and zesty flavors and one of the most popular salad recipes on the blog. With very good reason! Loaded with fresh herbs, grilled shrimp, veggies and feta. Perfect for serving as a main dish or side dish, and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins. It does not skimp on olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs.

Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad

Orzo pasta salads or orzo dishes in general are always a hit in my home. I wanted to share this one as it’s one I make a lot especially in the summer months when salads like these are perfect for salad-for-dinner weeknights! It’s also a great salad for picnics and cookouts because it can also be made ahead. It comes together nice and quickly. No grill no problem - see recipe notes below for more options. This could also be made meat free by just omitting the shrimp. It’s fabulous as a lemony veggie orzo salad too!

Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad

Greek style Lemony grilled shrimp orzo salad ingredients

Here’s what I used to make this pasta salad. But please feel free to sub in your favorite ingredients in any of these categories!

  • ORZO: Or any short pasta shape/ gluten free or regular is fine
  • VEGETABLES: Cucumber, red onions, tomatoes
  • HERBS: My fav combination is dill, parsley and mint - but please chose the ones you love. I also like to use green onions or chives
  • SPICES: I like to use a blend of salt and pepper paprika, oregano, chili flakes and garlic powder to spice up the shrimp before I grill them.
  • LEMONS I like to use the zest and juice of 2-3 large lemons, but begin with 1 and see what you think
  • OLIVE OIL: Don’t skimp on the olive oil with this recipe
  • CHEESE: Good feta crumbled or cubed works well here or you could also use goat cheese or mini bocconcini.
  • ALTERNATE ADD INS: I realized afterwards that some Kalamata olives would be delicious in this salad. There is a lot going on in this one so feel free to add them in or leave them out. Feel free to add more veggies for more crunch or even some white bean or chickpeas for some extra protein. I also love to add some diced avocado right before serving for extras god fats and creaminess.

Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad Ingredients layed out

How to make the tastiest lemony orzo pasta salad:

  1. Cook Orzo: It couldn’t be easier. Simply start by cooking the orzo — since it’s small it takes no time to cook. While it cooks, get the rest of the ingredients chopped and prepped.
  2. Drain & Dress orzo: When the orzo is cooked through, drain it then place it in a large bowl and dress it right away while it’s still hot. Since we add the dressing while the pasta is warm, it absorbs all the delicious flavours of the lemony dressing.
  3. Season Shrimp and Grill: grill thema couple of minutes on each side until they are cooked through.
  4. Toss in Veggies, Cheese & Herbs: The final step is to add your favorite vegetables and remaining ingredients. I love cucumbers and tomatoes. Im also partial to throwing in lots of fresh herbs. This time, i used lots of chopped fresh mint, parsley and dill (what I call the Greek trifecta of herbs) but you can play around with your favorite herbs. Parsley, cilantro, tarragon and basil are all excellent options. Feel free to add extra veggies or olives too according to taste.

Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad step by step directions

How To Serve This Greek Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad

  • Straight from the bowl The noodles, high-protein shrimp and all of the vegetables make this salad plenty filling for a light meal.
  • Atop fresh greens If you want to add even more nutrition and veggie goodness, you could toss this pasta recipe with fresh greens, then add on a bit of extra dressing to create a satisfying green salad.
  • As a side dish I typically serve this as a side with grilled meats, burgers or sandwiches. You could even omit the shrimp, if preferred

Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad

Make Ahead & Storage Recommendations

  • Make ahead. This is great to make several hours in advance of serving because it’s best when served chilled. You can even grill the shrimp up to a day ahead of time and once cool store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Same goes for the orzo pasta - cook and dress and chill for up to a day ahead.
  • Storing leftovers. Place leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. Before serving again, give it a good stir, taste and season again as needed. I would recommend adding the tomatoes and the cucumbers in when you’re ready to serve so that it stays fresh.

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Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 15-20 mins
Cook Time: 10-15 mins


For the Pasta Salad

  • 2 cups (340g) orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 2-3 lemons zested and juiced for salad and for shrimp (approx ½ cup lemon juice)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts minced
  • 1 cup fresh herbs, chopped (I usually do a combination of fresh dill, fresh parsley and mint - plus more if you want it extra herby)
  • 1 large cucumber (hothouse cucumber or English), unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced or 4 small Persian cucumbers diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (Approx 341 grams/12 oz)
  • ½ cup small red onion peeled and diced
  • 200 grams good feta cheese, large diced or crumbled (or more feta if desired)

For the Grilled Shrimp

  • 1½ -2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼-½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


For the Shrimp

  1. Toss shrimp with the olive oil, lemon zest and remaining herbs and spices for the grilled shrimp.
  2. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Make sure to oil the grill pan or grill grates. Place shrimp on the grill. Grill on each side for about two minutes or until no longer pink. Remove and set aside when done. (feel free to skewer shrimp before grilling if cooking them on the bbq) *

For the Pasta Salad

  1. Cook orzo in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions then drain and pour into a large bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice and olive oil to hot pasta and season with salt and pepper. (the pasta will cool down pretty quickly)
  3. Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the herbs, cucumber, red onion, scallions and toss well. Toss in some of the remaining lemon zest if desired and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in the feta.
  4. Serve immediately or it can be left aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. You can make ahead and refrigerate overnight but just make sure to leave out the tomatoes. Toss them in before serving the next day so they are fresh. If making ahead, taste again for seasoning and bring back to room temperature before serving or serve chilled.

Recipe Notes

  • This is as VERY well dressed salad. We Greeks love our olive oil and our lemon juice. Please adjust amounts according to taste
  • When it comes to the amount of herbs, or individual ingredients like the various veggies, onions and feta please adjust amounts according to taste as well.
  • If you don’t have a grill or grill pan - have no fear! Simply give your shrimp a quick pan fry or roast them on a sheet pan in a preheated oven for 5-6 minutes.
  • If you prefer to skewer your shrimp so it’s easier to grill them feel free to do so after you toss them with the olive oil and spices.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad