Take out Tuesday, Italian Salad

This recipe is a two for one, cook once eat twice, type recipe.  Not only is it super simple and fast to make,  you can easily adapt ingredients to your taste.  Make ahead, easy to transport, this Take out Tuesday’s Chopped Italian Salad has it all!
Italian chopped salad thepaintedapron.com
This salad combines some orzo & asparagus with your favorite Italian ingredients, Parmesan cheese, salami, peppers, onions. pine nuts and fresh spinach.
chopped salad in a jar thepaintedapron.com
Make it up ahead of time and store it in jars in the fridge and your lunch is ready to grab and go!
chopped Italian salad2 thepaintedapron.com
Make the CREAMY ORZO WITH ASPARAGUS AND PARMESAN to have as a side dish for dinner.  Make a lot! Then the next day chop up the rest of the ingredients and mix them with the leftover orzo.  Now you have a lovely cold salad, packed with veggies and flavor, for a grab & go lunch, an easy lunch box or picnic dish, or a great addition to a BBQ or pot luck supper.
orzo thepaintedapron.com
Orzo is a small pasta, sort of like rice.  You can see a similar orzo recipe made with spinach by clicking here.
orzo & asparagus thepaintedapron.com
You just toss the asparagus in the pot about half way through cooking the orzo.  When orzo is done and asparagus turns bright green, drain in a colander.
orzo & asparagus1 thepaintedapron.com
Then toss with some butter and fresh lemon juice
orzo & asparagus3 thepaintedapron.com
add lots of yummy Parmesan, and that’s it!  Eat now or cover and reheat later.
orzo & asparagus2 thepaintedapron.com
For the salad combine the leftover orzo with the chopped ingredients of your liking.
salad ingredients thepaintedapron.com
I like to serve this with some crunchy romaine or fresh spinach tossed lightly with lemon vinaigrette
chopped salad in a jar1 thepaintedapron.com
Combine the salad and the lettuce or spinach at serving time to keep the Chopped Italian Orzo Salad fresh for several days and to prevent wilting the greens.
Here are the recipes:

Creamy Orzo with Asparagus & Parmesan  

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 2 cups orzo
  • 2 cups asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T fresh lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Bring a large sauce pan of water (filled about halfway) to a boil over medium heat. Cook the orzo until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  • After the orzo has been cooking for about 5 minutes, add the asparagus to the pot and cook a few more minutes until orzo is done and asparagus turns bright green.  Drain and turn into a baking dish.
  • Add the lemon juice, butter and Parmesan and stir to melt butter and cheese.
  • Drizzle a little cream or milk over all and stir.  Add just enough to make it look moist and creamy.
  • Season with salt and pepper.  Top with additional Parmesan if desired.
  • Cover and refrigerate or serve immediately.
  • To heat before serving, place dish in a 325 oven for 15-20 minutes or microwave, stirring after 1 minute until heated through.
  • Serves 6    {or 4 servings with 2 leftover for salad}
Keyword asparagus Parmesan orzo, brown rice, orzo, orzo casserole

Chopped Italian Salad

Servings 3


  • 1 cup cooked Orzo with asparagus and Parmesan
  • salami pepperoni, ham, or proscuitto
  • red pepper
  • yellow pepper
  • green onion
  • Havarti cheese
  • pine nuts
  • fresh romaine spinach


  • Chop salami, peppers, onions.
  • Tear cheese into small pieces.
  • Warm orzo slightly in microwave to separate and add ingredients.
  • Use your fingers to distribute ingredients evenly if desired.
  • Place orzo mixture into serving size jars.
  • Serve with salad greens lightly tossed with vinaigrette if desired.
  • Makes 2-3 jars.
This recipe was on the March Paint Bucket as Lite Muffaletta Salad

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6 Responses to “Take out Tuesday, Italian Salad”
  1. Barbara F. says:

    Oh I am so making this! LOVE the presentation in the jar with the ribbon and fork! Love it!! xo

  2. What a delicious idea presented in a very cute way!

  3. Not sure if my first comment went through. Wanted to say what a delicious looking salad you made and how it is presented in such a cute way.

  4. Both look delicious, but the salad is my fave. Your photos and presentation are wonderful.

  5. Hi Jenna, Happy to find you through Rattlebridge Farms link party this morning. Love your orzo salad. It is one of my favorite ingredients. You have a beautiful blog. Would love for you to link to my link party, Thursdays Treasures.

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