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
- 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.
- Make the vinaigrette. Meanwhile, whisk together all of the lemon dressing ingredients together until combined.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.