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Lemon orzo pasta in a white bowl
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Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

Deliciously easy Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad comes together in less than 30 minutes and is full of vibrant, fresh flavors you will love!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword easy pasta salad, lemon orzo pasta salad, Orzo Pasta Recipe, Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe, pasta salad recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 476kcal
Author Tara Margetson

Ingredients

For the Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch sugar

For the Orzo Pasta Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced, or 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 8 asparagus spears cut into 1" pieces with the woody stem discarded
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 English cucumber diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of 1 lemon with 5 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar. This is your lemon olive oil dressing.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta and cook about 7 minutes, stirring often, until al dente (just tender). Drain and transfer to a large bowl, then toss with the lemon olive oil dressing.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium. Add 2 peeled and minced cloves of garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    Stir in the 1″ pieces from your 8 asparagus stalks and cook until bright green, 3-4 minutes. Remove asparagus from heat and toss with the orzo.
  • Mix in 1 diced English cucumber, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled – it’s delicious both ways!

Notes

  • Stir the orzo as it boils. Orzo tends to stick to the pan more than other types of pasta, so stir as it cooks to avoid it sticking.
  • Serve it warm or chilled. This lemon pasta salad recipe is delicious either way! I personally love to make it a day ahead of time and serve it chilled with my favorite BBQ recipes or steak.
  • Use thin and tender asparagus. Using thin spears of asparagus gives the pasta more room to shine.

Nutrition

Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 543IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 2mg