Asparagus Orzo Salad with Herbs and Lemon

Asparagus Orzo Salad with Herbs and Lemon

Bright and flavorful, this asparagus orzo salad is bursting with spring flavors. Easy to make, this simple and fresh pasta salad is made with orzo, which can also be found under the name Kritharaki or Risoni. Serves 4-6.
Course Salad
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 265 kcal
Autor Elle


  • 350 g uncooked orzo (or other pasta shape)
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 x 400 g can white beans (cannellini beans), rinsed and drained
  • 500 gr green asparagus, ends trimmed and diagonally sliced into bites sized pieces
  • 1 small fennel, cored, thinly sliced
  • a small red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic minced
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly-chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • 1,5 tablespoon capers (in brine), coarsely chopped
  • 1,5 - 2 lemons juiced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 25 g parmesan cheese, finely grated (or more)


  1. Cook the orzo pasta in a medium pot of generously-salted water until al dente (according to package instructions). Drain the pasta, then rinse thoroughly in a strainer with cold water until the pasta is chilled. Drain well and transfer to a large salad bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with 2,5cm of water, and set up a collapsible steamer inside. Bring the water to a boil, lay the asparagus in the steamer, cover, and steam until crisp-tender, about 2-3 mins (depending on thickness of spears). Rinse the asparagus under cold water until cool. Drain and add to the bowl with the pasta.

    NOTE: See tips below for alternative method.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the salad bowl. Toss until well combined. Taste, and season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Feel free to add a little extra lemon juice if you’d like an extra-lemony salad.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

    PS) Leftovers are perfect to pack up for lunch the next day.