Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and add a package of orzo to it. Cook according to the directions.

What the heck is orzo? It’s a pasta that is shaped like rice. Its great in soups, baked in casseroles, or used in pasta salads like we are going to make today.

While your orzo is boiling lets get our asparagus going.

Chop a bungel of asparagus into bite size pieces. Be sure to get rid of the bottom tough parts of the stalk!

Place it on a baking sheet and drizzle it with just a touch of olive oil. Season your asparagus with a bit of salt and pepper and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 6 to 8 minutes. I want it to stay crunchy without being totally raw.

Now for the dressing.

In a bowl combine 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar…

and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Add about 3 to 4 teaspoons of dijion mustard.

Careful with the mustard, the flavor can take over your dressing in a flash!

Squeeze in half a lemon…

and season this all with some salt and pepper.

Whisk away, and don’t forget to taste!

Tasting too balsamicy? Add a little more mustard. Too oily? Try some more lemon!

Time to bring everything together!

Put your drained, cooled orzo into a bowl…

and add your crispy, yet slightly roasted asparagus.

Now add half a jar of these super yummy, julienned, sun-ripened tomatoes,

P.S Julienned is just a fancy way of saying “cut into long strips.” If you can’t find pre-cut sun-ripened tomatoes, no worries, you can do it yourself!

Now roughly chop six or seven of these tangy, marinated artichokes hearts and add them to the party!

Mince three or four cloves of garlic and throw that in the bowl!

Don’t forget your dressing…

and last but not least add a few large handfulls of parmesan cheese. You knew the cheese was coming didn’t you?

Go ahead and give this bowl a good stir!

There you have it! A light, fresh, savory, won’t make you feel super guilty because of all mayonaise, pasta salad.

If you want to make this a main dish some grilled chicken would be great, and if you want to up the veggies some yellow summer squash would be pretty.

Or you could just go with the flow and add what you want!



  • 1 box of orzo
  • 1 bundel of asparagus
  • 1/2 jar of sun-ripened tomatoes
  • 6-7 roughly chopped marinated artichoke hearts
  • 3-4 cloves of minced garlic
  • parmesan cheese to taste
  • balsamic vinaigrette

4 Responses to Orzo and Asparagus Pasta Salad

  1. Malisa says:

    This salad looks awesome! A great meal for hot nights and it seems perfect to throw together at the last minute. I am excited to try it soon.

  2. I saw your note on twitter and just had to stop by and say ‘hi!’ Imagine that, two Vanni’s and we are both food bloggers! This recipe sounds absolutely divine. I am a huge fan of orzo and this salad is such a great way to enjoy it! If you get a chance check out my blog as well. It’s called “The Daily Dish” on Go Vanni’s!

  3. Melissa says:

    Thank you ladies!! P.S love both of your blogs! :)

  4. Kate says:


    This looks delicious! I’m thinking of making it for a large group. Is this dish served hot or cold?


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