This orzo pasta salad is a filling and nutritious salad, served warm making it great for a dinner. The salmon and veggies are all cooked in one tray with slightly spicy seasoned oil that is then used as the salad dressing at the end.
The crowning jewel of this orzo pasta salad is the succulent salmon, perfectly flaky and seasoned to perfection. I'm also adding some roasted vegetables, cooked at the same time as the salmon, for some vibrant colours and fresh flavours.
And what's more, any leftovers can be kept, covered, in the fridge, and served cold for lunch the next day, what's not to love?
🍝 What is Orzo?
Orzo is a type of pasta that's often made from semolina flour. It has a unique shape and could be mistaken for grains of rice.
Fun fact, orzo in Italian actually translates to 'barley' referring to its rice or barley-like shape.
I do sometimes like to change things up a little with pasta dishes and use orzo. Orzo can be cooked in a sauce or stock and will absorb the flavours similarly to a risotto, like in my Pan-Fried Salmon with creamy lemon Orzo.
📖 Seriously Good Salads
This Orzo Pasta salad is a recipe from my first book - Seriously Good Salads (<-- affiliate link) - which was published back in 2019.
Don't be fooled into thinking it's a book on low calorie, diet-style salads that make you want to drop-kick a head of lettuce. I'd never do that to you!
It's all about the things you most like to eat, and then turning that into a salad.
- Buttermilk chicken cobb salad with homemade creamy ranch dressing
- Crispy halloumi salad with couscous and a beautiful lemon herb dressing
- Fried egg breakfast salad with figs, bacon and crispy bacon-fat croutons
- Lettuce wraps stuffed with spicy bulgogi beef
- And so many more...
It's all about the salads that make me go 'Oooooh yes please'. Hopefully, it'll do that for you too!
This salad plus loads more non-boring, non-diet salad recipes are available in my Seriously Good Salads book.
🥬 Ingredients swaps
- Change up the veggies for whatever you have in, some carrot, cauliflower, bell peppers, it's up to you.
- Swap the salmon for grilled chicken or throw in some left-over roast chicken at the end.
- Add some fresh green veggies such as cucumbers, romaine lettuce
- Add some crumbled feta and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a more Mediterranean taste.
- Instead of the fresh parsley, you could swap it out for other fresh herbs such as fresh basil.
- Try a different dressing such as a simple Honey Mustard Dressing
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📋 Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe
- 2 salmon fillets
- 2 medium sweet potatoes - peeled and chopped into 1" (2.5-cm) cubes
- 1 large zucchini - chopped into 1" (2.5-cm) cubes
- 1 red onion - sliced into wedges
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 12 asparagus spears - ends trimmed
- 100 g (1 cup) green beans
- 210 g (1 cup) dried orzo pasta
- 720 ml (3 cups) hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 60 g (2 cups) packed baby spinach leaves
- 8 grape or cherry tomatoes - quartered
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 20 g (¹/³ cup) chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- On a large baking tray (sheet), arrange the salmon fillets, sweet potatoes, zucchini and red onion in a single layer.2 salmon fillets, 2 medium sweet potatoes, 1 large zucchini, 1 red onion
- In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, chilli flakes, brown sugar, paprika and cumin and drizzle it all over the salmon and vegetables on the tray.3 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 3 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Bake the salmon and vegetables in the pre heated oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes add the asparagus and green beans to the tray. Brush with oil from the tray and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, check the oven after 5 minutes, and remove anything that starts to look too brown, if required.12 asparagus spears, 100 g (1 cup) green beans
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the orzo with the hot stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 7 minute until al dente, then drain in a colander.210 g (1 cup) dried orzo pasta, 720 ml (3 cups) hot vegetable or chicken stock
- Remove the cooked salmon from the pan and flake with a fork. Place in a large bowl along with the roasted vegetables and any oil that’s left on the pan.
- Add the cooked orzo, baby spinach, grape tomatoes and the lemon zest and juice and toss together.60 g (2 cups) packed baby spinach leaves, 8 grape or cherry tomatoes, Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Plate up, sprinkle with the fresh parsley and serve.20 g (¹/³ cup) chopped fresh parsley
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