Make: Asparagus and Mozzarella Orzo Salad

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

The colors of this recipe are like Christmas in July but the flavors are pure summertime. And with herb gardens generously yielding their bounty thanks to the buckets of rain we’ve been getting, jazzing up this basic pasta salad is a cinch.

Though this would be perfect as a side with basic grilled chicken or sausage, it’s high enough in protein (thanks to the cheese and beans) that you can bring the leftovers to work for a stand-alone lunch. And if you have a problem with gluten, not to worry: You can easily try this recipe with quinoa or brown rice instead of orzo. It’s highly customizable! Last thing before I get to the recipe: I’d like to apologize for mentioning Christmas — fear not, we’ve got tons of summertime left!

Recipe: Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Mozzarella
Makes 5 servings

1 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 c. whole-wheat orzo
1 c. cubed mozzarella
¼ c. finely chopped sundried tomatoes
1 c. canned cannelini beans, drained rinsed
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. fresh oregano leaves, minced
¼ c. thinly sliced basil leaves


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread asparagus on foil-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until bright green and turning golden on the edges.

2. Remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, boil 4 c. water in a saucepan. Add orzo and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Let cool slightly.

3. Place mozzarella, tomatoes and beans in mixing bowl. Add asparagus and orzo.

4. Add remaining two tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano and basil and stir to combine.

5. Serve room temperature or cold.

Per serving: 330 calories, 13.6 fat grams, 12 milligrams cholesterol, 443 milligrams sodium, 384 milligrams potassium, 38.3 grams carbohydrates, 5.5 grams dietary fiber, 4.5  grams sugar, 15.5 grams protein.


Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.

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