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LivingFood and DrinkOrzo Salad with Peppers and Feta

Orzo Salad with Peppers and Feta

by Susan Hanna

This pasta salad from NYT Cooking is another great side dish for grilled meat, fish or poultry and is also an excellent main dish for non-meat eaters. Cook the orzo and let it cool. Meanwhile, sauté onions, peppers, thyme, garlic and tomato. Place in a bowl and add the cooled orzo, lemon juice, basil and feta. Cook’s note: I cut this recipe in half and it was enough to serve 4-6 people.

Serves 4-6.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Tre Stelle feta is additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • 1 pound (454 g) orzo
  •  Kosher salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups/375 ml))
  • 3 large or 4 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers (about 1 ¼ pounds/567 g), cored, seeded and chopped into ½-inch (1.25-cm) pieces (about 4 cups/1 L)
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced garlic
  • 1 medium tomato, diced into ½ -inch (1.25-cm) pieces
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces (113 g) feta cheese, thinly sliced or crumbled


  1. Cook orzo in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup (60 ml) of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta, pressing out excess liquid. Spread out on a baking sheet to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, bell peppers and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until broken down and juices release, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the reserved pasta water and stir to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the skillet. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl to cool slightly to lukewarm, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to speed up the cooling process. Discard thyme sprig.
  4. Add cooled orzo, lemon juice, basil and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well, then transfer to a large serving bowl or platter. Garnish with more basil.

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