We have been really busy lately, but this weekend we were able to kick back and relax, and for me, that meant spending most of my time in the kitchen. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. It was so much fun. Josh was a good sport too-he helped me create some fabulous recipes and did a lot of dishes:) One of my favorite creations was the lemon orzo salad we made on Saturday for lunch.
Orzo is a pasta that is similar to rice in shape, but a little thicker and larger. I love making pasta salads with it. Even though it was cold and snowy outside, I was in the mood for fresh, healthy, spring foods. I incorporated lemon, asparagus, and spinach-ingredients that scream spring to me. I sprinkled feta cheese on top of the salad and it was the perfect touch.
This salad is simple and fresh. I loved the crunchy asparagus with the tender, lemony orzo. The spinach added additional green goodness too. Make this salad for a light lunch or serve it as a side dish to any spring meal. You will be amazed by how easy it is to make and how delicious it is to eat.
On a side note, who is watching the big game tonight? We are. I think I might cheer for the under dogs, Butler, but I have a feeling Duke will win. Josh is making his famous hot wings. Should be a fun game.
Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Spinach, and Feta
- 1 cup orzo
- Salt-about ½ tsp. for boiling water
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 8 asparagus spears cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup packed fresh spinach
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add the salt. Stir in orzo. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain orzo and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, saute garlic in olive oil. Add in asparagus pieces. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir in spinach. Cook until asparagus is tender and the spinach shrinks down.
- Put the orzo in a medium bowl and add in the vegetables. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the orzo and vegetables. Stir. Season with salt and pepper. Taste-add more lemon juice if you wish. The lemon I used was huge, so I only needed to use one lemon. If you need more juice, go ahead.
- Sprinkle feta cheese over the top of the salad. Serve warm. (I also liked the salad cold.)
Have you tried this recipe?
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Love it — I’ve done a spinach-only variation for years (with pine nuts although who can afford $28/pound non-Chinese pine nuts anymore?) but I love the idea of adding asparagus!
I love making orzo salads. This is a good one.
Hi, I discovered your site from Pioneer Woman, and I have to tell you that I tried this recipe and LOVED it! Anything lemony is alright with me, and this was perfect. I cooked my orzo in chicken stock but only because I had some extra and wanted to use it and switched arugula for the spinach because that’s what I had. I will definitely be making this again soon in the near future! Thanks for the recipe!
Amber-I am glad you liked the salad. Love the changes you made. We hope to see you back:)
Easy and delicious! I could eat the whole thing!
I tried this recipe when I saw it on Tasty Kitchen. Only, I had roasted asparagus. It was delicious! Such a great combination.
I can’t stop eating this.
Although I confess I had no orzo, so I used quinoa instead. Which is good, because every time I try to eat quinoa I end up finishing what I’ve served myself only because I don’t want to waste it and not because I enjoy it.
Not this time.
So. Freakin. Good.
Thank you thank you!
I can’t wait to eat some more tomorrow.
How much orzo? Recipe doesn’t say
1 cup orzo-it says on the first line of the recipe:)
We are obsessed with this recipe. So delicious as a side with simple grilled lemon chicken. We have made it 4 times in two weeks! Thank you for such a healthy, easy to prepare dish!
Made for dinner tonight. I liked it, but different for kids.
I made this for dinner tonight after my 4.5 mile run and it is AMAZING! I love all the flavors. I am a HUGE fan of Asparagus, so when I saw this recipe, I automatically went out for the supplies today. I loved every bit and I have leftovers for lunch!
Cooked this tonight with some whole wheat Orzo from Fresh Market — SOOOOO DELICIOUS and QUICK! Thanks for sharing. Look forward to trying more of your recipes!!
Had this with dinner last night, and loved it 😀
I made this salad last night. I added some quartered grape tomatoes, caramelized onions and sliced steak to make it a meal instead of side dish. IT WAS AWESOME!! I served it cold instead of warm.
Had the first almost spring-like day in the Northeast after a looooooong winter, and we decided to grill a chicken in garlic and white wine. This was the perfect side. Thanks for sharing! I think this will be a well-used recipe.
Any substitution suggestions for the Feta Cheese? I’m just not a fan of it, everything else looks great though.
You can leave it out or use Parmesan or goat cheese.
Made this salad for the weekend and it was a hit in my house! Thank you.
Made this salad last night and it is delicious! My husband took some leftovers to work and is still commenting on how good it is. Thanks for the recipe!
yes, it is a good topic. I learned many things from it!
Yum! Made this tonight and it was delicious! I bet pine nuts and Snap Peas would be a great addition also
Just tried this today – I just loved it and even my daughter (who isn’t crazy about asparagus or spinach) had seconds! The lemon and feta are the perfect finishing touches. Thanks so much for sharing – I’m quite sure I’ll be making this ALOT! 🙂
This dish has become a staple in my home. My husband and I absolutely love it. In fact, making it again tonight. We both prefer it cold. The only thing I add to your perfect recipe is a handful of peptic seeds. Gives it a nice texture here and there, and adds some protein. Lovely recipe that turns out perfect every time I make it.
I prepared this recently and found that I had way too much orzo and not enough veggies to my liking. I ended up sauteing more veggies so they were doubled and the proportions seem much better. Not sure where I went wrong, but with more veggies it was delicious. I used 1.5 med sized lemons.
This is such a nice, fresh dish. I love it!
I doubled or tripled the spinach and added toasted pine nuts for a crunch. I think you could also add some diced chicken for some protein or to make it more of a main dish. I feel like there’s so much you can do with this as a base.
I substituted ramps for garlic and spinach–very delicious.
Sooooo good & VERY EASY!! A perfect summer meal or side dish! Love the lemon…very refreshing!! This will be definitely be a new favorite summer dish!! Thank you!!
How many servings is this? Had something similar at an event, and I’m so excited to make this!
Delicious! My husband and I have a vacation house in a rural area with lots of farms. Both asparagus and spinach are in season so I’ve been making this salad a lot lately. It’s excellent warm, but sometimes I need to make it ahead to be eaten cold. So I stir a tsp or 2 of good olive oil after adding the vegetables to the orzo. It seems to help the orzo, which clumps up when cold, separate nicely. (Take the salad out of the frig an hour or so before you serve it.) I’ve added chopped dill and/or scallions, and they are good additions, but really this salad is perfect made per the recipe.
Thanks for sharing! Glad you liked the recipe!
I have made this a few times. It is delicious!
Very tasty!!! Perfect for spring.
Haven’t tried it yet. How many does this recipe serve?
Hi! How many does this recipe serve?
Loved this!!! Great salad.
I make this salad at least once a week! It’s good hot, warm and cold. I always add extra asparagus just because it’s one of my favorite vegetables.
Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe!
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