Photo: Oxmoor House
Prep Time
9 Mins
Cook Time
18 Mins
6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

This savory salad epitomizes the concept of fresh food fast. It's quick and easy and loaded with flavorful ingredients such as crisp-tender asparagus, perfectly cooked pink salmon, red onion, and a refreshing lemon juice–based vinaigrette. It received our highest Test Kitchens rating.

Prep: 3 minutes; Cook: 18 minutes

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler.

Step 2

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add asparagus; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus from water with tongs or a slotted spoon, reserving water in pan. Plunge asparagus into ice water; drain and set aside.

Step 3

Return reserved water to a boil. Add orzo, and cook according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Step 4

While orzo cooks, sprinkle fillet evenly with salt and pepper. Place fish on a foil-lined broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Using 2 forks, break fish into large chunks. Combine fish, orzo, asparagus, onion, and Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast

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Ratings & Reviews

Veganized it, and it was perfect!

June 06, 2017
I salt-baked a few carrots, sliced them with a mandoline, and marinated them in oil, vinegar, and liquid smoke for a few days until they had the texture and flavor (and color) of smoked salmon. roughly chopped it and added to the other ingredients. Also subbed some Daiya cream cheese for the feta in the vinaigrette. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as it was written. It was the star of the party. I will definitely make this again. 


March 28, 2015
Yummy and easy to pull together on a weeknight. It keeps well, too. Leftovers were just as good.

stephil's Review

November 30, 2010
This is a summer staple for us! Rather than cook the salmon the same day, I wait until we grill or broil some and make extra. It saves time when I make this salad. Almost any firm fish will work; I've used swordfish and halibut as well as salmon, but salmon is still my favorite. I've also used green beans when the asparagus doesn't look good. This is a huge favorite!

ZmansGirl's Review

June 04, 2014
I'm not much of a seafood-cooker because here in the desert, I'm rather scared of fish that has to be transported from the coasts. Plus its outrageously expensive. However, the other day I picked up my first issue of Cooking Light and was so intrigued, I got online and perused recipes. This one caught my attention because it looked easy (I won't cook it if it isn't easy). My hubby picked up frozen salmon and fresh everything else. He forgot feta cheese so I used Parmesan. I used the entire package of dill, and I will add a bit more pepper next time. I will also use feta because although the Parmesan was delish, I know the feta would make it creamy. But WOW it was excellent!!!! Hubby loved it. Kids loved it. It was EASY. Its a KEEEEEEPER. And, I'll be spending more time with Cooking Light! (ps - hubby said he'd prefer asparagus tips to whole asparagus cut up. Me, I just love asparagus.)

rachginvermont's Review

January 18, 2010
So delicious! My husband and I were looking for new ways to make salmon. This was so so good and it will become a weekly standard. Would be a great meal to make for company too! One thing though -- unless we eat a lot more than the average person, which I don't think we do -- this served two people as a full meal/entree, not the six servings it has listed.

pamwalsh67's Review

May 26, 2013
Loved it. I made it warm more like a hot dish Also only used cut the lemon juice a bit. .

Trellis's Review

November 28, 2009

mangiapeach's Review

January 01, 2010
I added lots of romaine lettuce and made extra dressing so it was more of a dinner salad, very filling and healthy. No need for any side dishes this way. Easy enough for weeknights. Kids and DH gobbled it up!

SoRaMo's Review

July 01, 2014

micheleh24's Review

May 25, 2009
I made this for the Memorial Day weekend and it got rave reviews. My husband loved it and I had several friends ask for the recipe. It was very light, crisp and refreshing. I will definitely be making this again. Next time I may substitute shrimp for the salmon.