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Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Feta

A delicious chilled lemon orzo pasta salad with a fresh lemon vinaigrette dressing, tender pieces of asparagus and creamy feta cheese. It's so flavorful and is the perfect side dish when you want something light, yet comforting!

This lemon orzo pasta salad is a great salad to bring to gatherings. It's fresh, delicious, easy to make, and it looks beautiful.

Why make this recipe 

  • The flavor of the lemon vinaigrette dressing is sure to make your taste buds sing!
  • It’s an incredibly versatile dish - it can be served as a side, main course, or even as part of a cold buffet.
  • There’s something for everyone in this salad - tender pieces of asparagus, salty feta cheese, and the creamy lemon vinaigrette dressing. 
  • It's easy to make and requires minimal ingredients. 
  • With its bright colors and flavors, it adds a beautiful touch to any gathering. 


Get more info on these ingredients at the bottom of the post.

Ingredients needed for orzo pasta salad
  • orzo pasta
  • asparagus
  • olive oil plus more for sautéing- Use olive oil or a neutral flavored oil of choice.
  • shallot 
  • lemon juice from a large lemon- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice from a fresh lemon rather than concentrate.
  • honey or agave
  • coarse salt
  • coarse ground black pepper 
  • feta cheese 
  • fresh dill- Using fresh dill will yield a tastier result than dried.

How to Make Lemon Orzo Salad

Boil the pasta to al dente. Refer to package directions. This helps stop the cooking process.

Drain, then rinse with cold water until the orzo pasta is cooled off.

Boiled orzo pasta being rinsed off in a strainer.

In the same pot that cooked the orzo pasta, add 1-2 inch pieces of asparagus and sauté for 3-4 minutes until bright green in some olive oil or a bit of butter.

A pot of cut asparagus being sautéed in olive oil.

Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, and remove from the pan to cool.

Next, mix the lemon vinaigrette in a small bowl.

Whisk together the minced shallot, oil, lemon juice, agave or honey, and salt and pepper until evenly blended.

A cup of homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing for orzo pasta salad.

Set the dressing aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the cooked orzo, asparagus, dill and half of the dressing.

Add the feta, lightly toss, and add more dressing to taste.

A bowl of chilled orzo pasta salad with asparagus.

Keep the lemon orzo pasta salad chilled until it's ready to serve.


The lemon orzo salad is best served chilled, so to store the leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. The salad will last up to 5 days in the fridge.

It's best served chilled and oftentimes is even more flavorful the next day after it has had time to chill and meld together in the refrigerator, making it perfect for meal prep.

Give it a good stir before serving and add a drizzle of olive oil or keep some extra dressing to add later if you need to moisten it up a bit. 

For best results, I don't recommend trying to freeze this lemon orzo pasta salad recipe. Between the vegetables and the zesty lemon dressing, they just don't hold up well once frozen and then thawed again.

This perfect salad is best enjoyed for a few days once you make it, don't try to hang on to it for longer. 

What is orzo? 

Orzo is a pasta shaped like rice. It’s made from semolina flour and is often used in soups, salads, sides, main dishes or dessert. Orzo is popular because it can easily be prepared and cooked quickly.

It retains its shape well after cooking and has a great texture that compliments many different flavors.

That's a few reasons why it's often used in many classic pasta salads!

​What else can I add to my pasta salad? 

If you want to add some protein to this dish, try adding some cooked chicken like some rotisserie chicken. It would pair nicely with the tangy feta cheese.

You could also add some garbanzo beans and some other veggies for more fresh flavors, like grape tomatoes, diced bell peppers, crunchy and crisp cucumbers, or red onion. 

Add some more texture by tossing in some kalamata olives or some crunchy pine nuts. You can add some other cheese options like other goat cheese or other soft cheese choices to this easy lemon orzo salad.

These are some of our favorite add-ins, but you can really add in anything you like and have on hand to this easy summer salad.

Recipe Tips 

  • Cook the pasta ahead of time so it has time to cool off before adding all the other ingredients. 
  • Chop and prep all your vegetables ahead of time, so you can quickly assemble the salad when ready. 
  • Add some herbs like fresh basil or oregano for more flavor. 

Try these other similar recipes below if you are looking for fresh recipes using seasonal ingredients like this one.

📖 Recipe

A bowl of chilled orzo pasta salad with asparagus and feta cheese.

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Asparagus

Chilled orzo pasta salad with a fresh lemon vinaigrette dressing, asparagus, fresh dill and feta cheese.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon vinaigrete, orzo pasta salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $5


  • 8 oz orzo pasta cooked according to package directions
  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed into 1 inch pieces
  • cup light olive oil plus more for sautéing
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 large lemon juice of
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt more or less to taste
  • coarse ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz feta cheese crumbled
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh dill minced


  • Boil orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until no longer hot.
  • In the same pan sauté the asparagus with a bit of olive oil until bright green and slightly tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk the minced shallot, ⅛ cup olive oil, teaspoon of agave or honey, juice of one lemon, a teaspoon of coarse salt and coarse black pepper until blended.
  • Toss the cooked orzo pasta, asparagus, and half of the whisked lemon vinaigrette in a large bowl with the minced dill until combined.
  • Add crumbled feta cheese, and more dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper, toss lightly and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Store and serve the orzo pasta salad chilled.


Use a light olive oil or other neutral-flavored oil of choice. 
You can use agave or honey interchangeably. 
Add salt and pepper to taste, in addition to the salt and pepper in the lemon vinaigrette. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 288mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 661IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 2mg
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