Orzo salad with feta, asparagus and chickpeas


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This delicious but simple orzo salad with feta, asparagus and chickpeas goes perfectly as a side with chicken, fish, or steak.

Closeup of an Asparagus, tomato and feta orzo salad in a blue patterned dish and with a patterned serving spoon.

The perfect recipe for lonely cans of chickpeas!

If you’re anything like me you have random cans of things hiding at the back of your cupboard.

They may have been there for a few months, or a few years! (don’t worry, we all do it!)

This is a perfect salad for using up any random cans of chickpeas you have hiding out there.

Asparagus, tomato and feta orzo salad in a blue patterned bowl and with a patterned spoon in it.

My usual solution for using up chickpeas is hummus of course, with some delicious and quick homemade flatbread. But if I’m looking for party style food, or a different kind of side to go with meat or fish, this Mediterranean style orzo salad with feta and a few other lovelies is perfect.

Ingredients in this orzo salad

I keep this salad fairly simple, making the star of the show some lovely griddled asparagus. If asparagus isn’t in season then feel free to substitute with something else: fresh sweet peas, broccoli, snow peas, or something else lovely, sweet and green.

I also like to add some sweet cherry tomatoes, halved, cubes of feta cheese, those back-of-the-cupboard chickpeas, loads of fresh basil leaves, and finally the cooked orzo pasta.

Erm… wait a minute… what is orzo?

If you’re not familiar with orzo, it’s like rice-shaped pasta and available from big supermarkets here in the UK. In the US it’s sometimes called risoni.

Bowl of asparagus, tomato and feta orzo salad with a spoon in it and with bread in the background.

What about the dressing?

The icing on the cake is of course the dressing. Again I keep it simple, combining just:

  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • a little bit of Dijon mustard
  • pepper

I don’t add any extra salt because there’s plenty of that in the feta.

I add about half the dressing to the orzo salad (enough for about 6 as a side dish with chicken, fish or steak, for example).

Another option would be to take this along to a pot luck. It would definitely serve a crowd if everyone was just having a little bit.

Then I leave the rest of the dressing for everyone i.e. just me and Mr. Scrummy to drizzle over their own portion.

P.S. If you like the sound of this salad, you may also enjoy this orzo salad with pesto. It makes an excellent spring or summer side dish!

Got lots of leftover orzo? Check out this list of 38 orzo recipes for one pan dinners, salads, soups and more (all with orzo, of course!).

More quick and easy party food

Or see all my easy party food here



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A closeup of a blue bowl of asparagus, tomato and chickpea orzo salad with a spoon across the top.
5 from 4 votes

Asparagus, tomato and chickpea orzo salad

Looking for something refreshing, simple, and healthy to go with your chicken, fish, or steak main? Look no further! This orzo salad with feta, asparagus and chickpeas is the perfect choice!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 as a side


for the salad

  • 7 ounces orzo pasta, (sometimes called risoni)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 7 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or thirds
  • 7 ounces feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 bunch basil, roughly chopped
  • 14 ounces chickpeas , drained (1 x 14-ounce / 400 gram can)

for the dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • black pepper, a few grinds


  • Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water, then add to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus. Griddle or pan fry in a tiny bit of olive oil until tender and slightly charred (about 10 minutes). Chop into small lengths (a few centimetres each). Let cool for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the tomatoes, feta, asparagus pieces and basil to the large bowl of orzo with the drained chickpeas / garbanzo beans.
  • Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then pour over the salad (to taste – you might like to start with just half and see how you like it*)
  • Serve with chicken, fish, steak, or whatever you like, and fresh crusty bread. Delicious!


*I like to pour about half to two thirds of the dressing over the salad, then let everyone add a bit more to their own portion if they like. Mr. Scrummy doesn’t like too much balsamic dressing on his salads, but I like a bit more!
This salad keeps quite well in the fridge for two or at a push three days (I polished off the leftovers on day 3 and it still tasted really good!).


Calories: 406kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 391mg, Potassium: 510mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 955IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 226mg, Iron: 4.5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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  1. Made this tonight with tuna steak and new potatoes
    Really nice fresh flavours, will definitely be added to the family menus

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely love orzo salads and the flavors in this dish are incredible! It’s healthy, delicious and was the perfect main dish meal.

    1. Hi Joanie! I’m so happy you enjoyed this. It makes such a great Spring side, doesn’t it?

  3. Wow 4 months already? And how exciting that you are coming back to Australia! 😀

  4. I love orzo, I prefer it to any other pasta. This looks so delicious. Love the vegetables that you added, Pinning to try it!

    1. Thanks Mira. There’s something about the texture of the orzo that I really like (al dente of course). Glad you like it!

  5. I made an orzo salad too this week, It is so good in salads. This salad is the perfect use of orzo and wonderful spring vegetables. Good luck with the move, thats a big one.

    1. Great minds…!
      And thanks so much for the good wishes on the move. It would be a challenge anyway of course, but it’s extremely interesting, let’s say, with a 4-month-old!

  6. Sounds like a great salad…all of the ingredients are lurking in the cupboard/fridge so could be on my table real soon. Thank you.
    Good luck with your move to Oz, what a very wise Ping Pong Pom.

    1. Thanks, Ann! It’s certainly been a challenge packing up with a 4-month-old in the house.
      I really hope you do get around to trying the salad some time. It’s my current favourite!

  7. How can Benjamin be 4 months old!? So happy for you and Mr. Scrummy, Helen…

    This weekend is a 3-day Memorial Day celebration in the US and this is perfect for picnics. What a gorgeous combination of flavors and hearty enough to be a meal on its own.

    1. Thanks so much, Marissa. We’re thrilled with our little man, even though life is forever changed!!