This bright and herbaceous lemon orzo pasta salad with arugula, asparagus, and feta is a delightful side dish celebrating fresh Spring produce. Naturally vegetarian and gluten-free adaptable.
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What you’ll love about this recipe?
- It’s simple! There is nothing hard about preparing the salad and it takes just 30-minutes. Additionally, it requires little prep work and no special kitchen tools.
- The flavors! Light and refreshing, well balanced, and flavorful, this salad is bursting with bright lemon, pungent garlic, peppery arugula, and salty feta cheese. Yum!!!
- It stars fresh sesonal produce! If you love cooking with the seasons and like me, try to squeeze as much asparagus into your diet when it’s at it’s prime, this lemon orzo pasta salad is for you. It’s tossed with fresh asparagus and arugula, both of which are in season in early spring.
- Olive oil: I recommend light or extra-light extra-virgin olive oil if you have it so the flavor of the oil does not overpower the other flavors this salad has going on. Your standard extra-virgin olive oil will work as well though.
- Asparagus: Make sure to trim the ends off first. The best way to do so is to just break them off – no need to cut.
- Kosher salt
- Orzo: If you’re not familiar with orzo, it is a short-cut pasta that resembles a grain of rice. There are even gluten-free versions available if you so choose.
- Lemon juice: I highly recommend fresh squeezed lemon juice for this recipe. Bottled lemon juice will work fine in a pinch, however.
- Ground black pepper
- Arugula: An herb that belongs to the mustard family, arugula is peppery and slightly bitter.
- Feta: If you can find, get the block style feta and crumble it yourself. It is moister and more flavorful than the pre-crumbled variety.
How do you make lemon orzo salad with asparagus, arugula, & feta? (+tips)
Begin by heating one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan.
Add the asparagus and sauté for five minutes. It should be slightly soft, but still crunchy. Transfer the asparagus to a large bowl.
Prepare the orzo pasta in salted water, al dente, according to package instructions. Immediately transfer to a colander over the sink and run cold water over it until cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the garlic, lemon juice, three tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
Transfer the orzo to the bowl atop with the asparagus.
Add the arugula, feta, and lemon dressing.
Toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least 30-minutes prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld.
Refrigerate for up to seven days in an airtight container.
More pasta salad recipes prepared with fresh ingredients you may enjoy:
- Green Goddess Pasta Salad: Making up this green goddess pasta salad is an herbaceous homemade green goddess dressing, fresh Spring vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes, and of course, pasta! It’s simple to prepare, takes just 20-minutes, and is gluten-free and vegetarian adaptable.
- Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad: This crowd-pleasing creamy pesto pasta salad with artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, and red onion is super easy and can be thrown together in just 20 minutes. Naturally vegetarian.
- Orzo Pesto Pasta Salad: Herbaceous and fresh; this delightful pesto orzo salad with summer vegetables including corn, cucumber, and tomato and fresh mozzarella is simple to prepare in under 20-minutes and a great take-along dish to your next cookout or potluck. Vegetarian and gluten-free adaptable.
If you make this lemon orzo pasta salad with arugula, asparagus, and feta I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, preferrably light or extra-light
- 1 bunch asparagus, approximately 1 pound, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 16 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/8 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 heaping cups arugula
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the asparagus and sauté for five minutes until it is slightly softened but still crunchy the transfer to a large bowl.
- Prepare the orzo pasta in salted water, al dente, according to package instructions. Immediately transfer to a colander over the sink and run cold water over it until cool.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the garlic, lemon juice, three tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Transfer the orzo to the bowl with asparagus. Add the arugula, feta, and lemon dressing and toss combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least 30-minutes prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld.
Storage: Refrigerate for up to seven days in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 236mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc