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Salmon Asparagus Orzo Salad

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This lemony salmon asparagus pasta salad recipe is full of the best fresh springtime flavors, it’s quick and easy to make, and can be served warm or as a cold pasta salad.



Pasta Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces asparagus spears, diced (with tough ends discarded)
  • 4 ounces hot smoked salmon, roughly chopped*
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup finely-chopped red onion
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Lemony Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice*
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook the orzo. Cook the orzo in a large pot of generously-salted boiling water until it is al dente.  Pour the orzo through a strainer and rinse with cold water until the pasta is chilled.  Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Make the vinaigrette. Meanwhile, whisk together all of the lemon dressing ingredients together until combined.
  3. Sauté the asparagus. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the asparagus and cook for 4-5 minutes until crisp-tender.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  4. Put it all together. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chilled orzo, cooked asparagus, salmon, Parmesan, pine nuts, red onion and dill.  Drizzle evenly with the lemon dressing and toss until combined.
  5. Serve. Serve immediately, sprinkled with extra Parmesan and fresh dill if desired.


Salmon: I used hot smoked salmon for this recipe, but you could also sub in cold-smoked salmon.  Or, you are welcome to bake a salmon breast and then add it to the recipe too.

Lemon zest: I also recommend adding the zest of the lemon to the salad too, if you would like it to have an extra lemony kick.

Storage instructions: This pasta salad can be refrigerated in a food storage container for up to 3 days.