Change up your usual pasta salad routine with this Mediterranean Vegan Orzo Salad featuring tofu feta, chickpeas, and Kalamata olives. It's perfect as a side dish or a complete meal, and is always a hit at potlucks.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy to make and loaded with Mediterranean flavors.
- It's equally wonderful as a side dish or a complete meal.
- You can add other ingredients to it to make it your own.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
For the tofu feta
- Extra-firm or super-firm tofu
- Coconut vinegar
- Dried oregano
For the orzo salad
- Orzo (If you follow a gluten-free diet, I recommend DeLallo Gluten-Free Orzo.)
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- Kalamata olives
- Red onion
- Fresh parsley
For the dressing
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic powder
- Dried oregano
- Dried basil
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the tofu feta by marinating the cubes of pressed tofu in coconut vinegar, dried oregano, and salt. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
- Cook the orzo pasta and allow it to cool.
- Make the dressing.
- Combine all of the salad ingredients and tofu feta in a large mixing bowl and toss with the dressing until everything is well coated.
When making pasta salads like this orzo salad, immediately rinse the cooked pasta in a colander with cold water to stop the cooking process. This also removes some of the starch so that the cold pasta doesn't stick together in clumps.
Substitutions and variations
If you don't have time to make the tofu feta, you can purchase vegan feta at many supermarkets. I recommend Violife, Follow Your Heart, and Trader Joe's brands.
You can also add any of your favorite ingredients to this Mediterranean orzo salad such as the following:
- Artichoke hearts
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Red bell pepper
- Baby spinach or arugula
- Fresh herbs like oregano, dill, or basil
- Pine nuts
This salad pairs well with summer picnic and grilling favorites like sandwiches or grilled veggie kabobs.
Leftover orzo salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freezing is not recommended.
Coconut vinegar is made from fermenting the sap of the coconut blossom. It's ideal for giving tofu feta a tangy flavor. While it won't taste exactly the same, if you can't find coconut vinegar, you can substitute an equal quantity of either champagne vinegar or rice vinegar.
Orzo is a type of small pasta typically made from semolina or whole-wheat flour. You can also find gluten-free versions made from ingredients like rice, corn, and/or legumes.
While this orzo salad can be made in advance, like all pasta salads, it tends to lose flavor as the pasta absorbs the dressing. But you can easily add more dressing if the noodles seem dry or lack flavor.
More Mediterranean salad recipes
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Mediterranean Vegan Orzo Salad
For the Tofu Feta:
For the orzo salad:
- To prepare the Tofu Feta, place the tofu cubes in a resealable glass container or zipper bag. Add the coconut vinegar, oregano, and salt. Seal the container, then gently shake to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
- Prepare the orzo according to the package directions. Rinse with cold water in a colander, drain, and transfer the cooked orzo to a large salad bowl and allow to cool.
- Once the orzo is cool, add the chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, onion, and parsley to the orzo in the salad bowl.
- To make the dressing, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper in a small jar with a lid. Shake until well combined. Or alternatively, place the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until emulsified.
- Add the dressing to the salad. Toss well so that all the ingredients are coated. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.