Cold Asparagus Orzo Salad

Sometimes you just throw something together not knowing how it will come out and it ends up being delicious, and you don’t even expect it. This is what happened with this salad. That isn’t the case all the time, but occasionally it does happen. This is my cold orzo salad with asparagus.

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The recipe is below, but first….here’s a few of my “throw together’s” to share with you in case you missed them….

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Roasted Pork Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Pomegranate Arils-My favorite EVER by the way…
Bacon and Tomato Pasta with Smoked Chicken Sausage – A great week night dinner.


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Caramelized Fennel and Bleu Cheese Flat Bread – Amazing!!!!


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Cauliflower Smash with Grey Poupon Gravy – This was serious comfort food.
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Edamame Nachos – Unexpected, but dangerously delicious.

Now onto the Orzo Salad….

I made this a couple of years ago for the first time using things I had on hand – trying to come up with a side dish. I’ve made it several times since.

It’s a great recipe for a picnic, cookout, get together or any time you need a good side dish.

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Cold Asparagus Orzo Salad

2/3 cup dry orzo

5 cups chicken broth

1/4 pound fresh asparagus spears, washed and snapped

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1 box (snack size – about 2 tbsp) raisins

1/4 cup pecans, crushed

3 basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tsp dried basil

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp mayo

2 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp coarse pepper

First, make the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mayo, basil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil; add orzo. Return to a boil and cook uncovered for about 8 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for another 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is crisp tender. Pour into a colander and drain.

Combine the orzo/asparagus mixture with the dressing, pecans, sun dried tomatoes and raisins. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

IMG 0262If it’s more than a few hours or overnight, add a little olive oil and give it a good stir to refresh it. If you have some fresh lemons on hand, you could squeeze a little on top too.

The contrast of the raisins with sun dried tomatoes and lemon juice is just amazing, and then you have the crunch of the pecans.

What great recipes have you made that are thrown together from your pantry?


  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. kankana

    They all looks so very delicious. And orzo salad is perfect for summer!

  2. Kate@Diethood

    Shea, this looks soooo good!! I especially like the pecans and sun-dried tomatoes…. yummo!

    1. Dixie Chik

      Thanks Kate! Love ya!

  3. Natalie

    Sounds lovely, I wish we could get orzo here, I guess I could use rice instead. Looks like a perfect summer meal, I can’t face anything hot in this unbearable heat! My fridge emptying meal is a veggie paella, just throw in whatever veg you have left and it’s always a winner!

  4. Dixie Chik

    Thanks Jessica! I love curry too 🙂

  5. Jessica

    Your dishes look way too amazing for anyone to tell that it’s a “throw together”! I love the cold orzo salad. So perfect as a side salad to a grilled meat or just about anything.

    I love making curry when I have a bunch of produce and random leftovers!

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