Take-out Tuesday, Chopped 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!

This salad combines orzo & asparagus with

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 a delicious orzo and asparagus casserole {recipe below}

to have as a side dish for dinner and make enough to have leftovers 

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

orzo & asparagus thepaintedapron.com

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 butter and fresh lemon juice

Add lots of yummy Parmesan, and that’s it! 

orzo & asparagus3 thepaintedapron.com

Serve or cover, refrigerate and reheat later

orzo & asparagus2 thepaintedapron.com

For the salad combine the leftover orzo

with the chopped ingredients, salami, onions, peppers,

cheese, pine nuts whatever you like

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

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.


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

 Sundays on Silverado/  Love Your Creativity 

What’s for Dinner/ Between Naps on the Porch 

All About Home/ Common GroundFollow the Yellow Brick Home

Turn About Tuesday / Our Tiny Nest

Karin’s Cottage Linky Party 

Creative Crafts / Crafty Creators / Full Plate Thursday

Creatively Crafty/ Thursday Favorite Things   

Happiness is Homemade/ Home Matters

33 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, Chopped Italian Salad”
  1. Looks really delicious and perfect for right now when asparagus seem to be abundant in the supermarkets. I bought 4 pounds that were on sale last week so I’m looking or asparagus recipes. thanks.

  2. Pam says:

    Asparagus is a delightful spring vegetable and a favorite of mine. The salad and main dish look and sound delicious. Any pasta dish is a win with my hubby! Happy Tuesday, Jenna!

  3. A simple yet delightful meal!

  4. Asparagus will be coming in soon and I love it — this looks like a good one, especially the salad!

  5. Love the whole idea of this Jenna, from the salad to the canning jars!

  6. lghiggins says:

    Great idea to enjoy the casserole and then repurpose it as a salad. Both sound delicious!

  7. Love this idea Jenna! I’ve attended several salad in a jar parties and what fun we have creating great salads to grab and go. Happy Week to you dear Jenna. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  8. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors says:

    Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. The casserole sounds delicious, and the idea of creating a chopped salad as a second dish is fabulous. I’m always trying to think of easy lunch ideas, and this is perfect. Wishing you a wonderful week!

  9. Kitty says:

    I love two for one, and orzo and asparagus! Thank you!

  10. Asparagus and orzo – such a fun spring time recipe!

  11. Nancy says:

    This is a perfect… a Spring Salad and a spring casserole! Thank you!

  12. The salad sounds great, I always look forward to fresh asparagus season:@)

  13. Julie says:

    This sounds so good and I like that you made the orzo and then a salad. Thanks for this recipe idea Jenna.

  14. Mary says:

    Yum Jenna! We love orzo tossed with different ingredients. ♥

  15. We love orzo, I bet it is fabulous with asparagus. I love the idea of a chopped salad, especially in a jar.

  16. This sounds so good. I’m going to have to try it.

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  1. […] Parmesan Asparagus Orzo is another dish that is lighter […]

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