Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other spring salad recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Spring Orzo Salad with Snap Peas Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

A springtime centerpiece, this salad creates a meal packed with fresh flavors. A vinaigrette made with shallot, lemon, Dijon mustard, and honey pairs with butter lettuce to form a bright base. Snap peas and toasted Marcona almonds provide powerful texture. Fluffy orzo soaks up the dressing, adding robustness to the dish. Simple and quick to create, this layered dish is prime for an Easter meal.

Why I love this recipe.

My goal is to make a salad worthy of being at the table for every meal. I am dishearted to see a bland lettuce mix sitting among beautiful dishes of food. A salad should be bright and fresh and make you excited to eat. This salad fits that mark. Fresh sugar snap peas are blanched to keep their bright color and crisp texture. The peas are a harbinger of spring and give a perfect crunch with the butter lettuce. Orzo is mixed in for a hearty addition that brings this salad to the next level. To finish, a bright and fresh vinaigrette brings it all together.

White salad bowl filled with spring orzo salad with toasted Marcona almonds, goat cheese, and blanched snap peas.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Sugar snap peas are a cross between a snap pea and a regular garden shelling pea. They are plump with small peas inside and an edible shell.
  • Marcona almonds are different from regular almonds. They have a higher fat content with a buttery flavor.
  • Butter lettuce is crisp and sweet, becoming the perfect green for this salad.
  • Orzo is a small pasta that almost resembles a grain.
  • Fresh dill and fresh parsley add more seasonal flavor and complement the sharp vinaigrette.
  • Goat cheese adds a creamy and rustic flavor.
White marble surface filled with ingredients needed to make a spring orzo salad including lettuce, spices, snap peas, and orzo.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Blanch the snap peas. In a large pot, bring two quarts of water to a boil. Season with salt. Add in the snap peas and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. In a bowl, prepare an ice bath with water and ice. After the snap peas have cooked, transfer them to the ice water to chill. Once they have fully chilled, drain the water and set aside to dry.
  1. Cook the orzo. Place the orzo in the same water used to cook the snap peas. Cook according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse the pasta.
  1. Create the dressing. Finely dice the shallot and garlic. Add to a bowl. Squeeze in the lemon, removing any seeds. Add the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Chop the parsley and dill, adding it to the bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk.
  1. Assemble the dish. Place the lettuce in a serving bowl. Add in half of the dressing and toss. Season the lettuce with salt and pepper. Cut the snap peas in half and add to the lettuce. Place the orzo evenly over the top. Crumble the goat cheese and Marcona almonds over the top. Garnish with additional dill and dressing, as desired.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Creating an ice bath shocks the snap peas. It stops the cooking, maintaining texture and flavor. This will add freshness to the salad.
  • Rinse the orzo after cooking it. This removes excess starch from it, making it fluffier. This is atypical to most pasta recipes, but it’s because this pasta doesn’t need the starch to help pasta cling to it.
  • To reduce the strength of garlic flavor, soak it in water or acid. Let it sit for 20 minutes before adding additional ingredients. In this case, adding the lemon juice provides enough acid to reduce the stringency.
  • Tossing the lettuce in the dressing before adding additional ingredients infuses more flavor. It provides a better base for the dish. Adding salt and pepper to the greens does the same.
Salad bowl with spring orzo salad with Marcona almonds and snap peas sprinkled on top.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can I prepare the dressing ahead of time?

Yes, simply store it in the refrigerator. The oil will solidify, so let it sit at room temperature to bring it back to a liquid state.

Can another type of nut be used for this dish?

Technically, any toasted nut can be used, but the Marcona is preferred for the best flavor.

How long does this salad keep after preparing?

Once the dressing is added, the salad should be enjoyed immediately. The acid in the dressing will slowly break down the greens and does not keep well for leftovers.

You’ll love these other spring salad recipes.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More spring recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

White salad bowl filled with spring orzo salad with toasted Marcona almonds and goat cheese sprinkled on top all on white marble surface.

Spring Orzo Salad with Snap Peas

5 from 2 votes
A springtime centerpiece, this salad creates a meal packed with fresh flavors. A vinaigrette made with shallot, lemon, Dijon mustard, and honey pairs with butter lettuce to form a bright base. Snap peas and toasted Marcona almonds provide powerful texture. Fluffy orzo soaks up the dressing, adding robustness to the dish. Simple and quick to create, this layered dish is prime for an Easter meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 oz sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 2 heads butter lettuce
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds toasted
  • 4 oz goat cheese

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • cup olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Cook the orzo according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and set it aside to cool.
    1 cup dry orzo
  • Blanch the sugar snap peas. Have a large bowl of ice and water ready and set aside to shock the peas once cooked. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1-2 minutes until they are bright green and crisp-tender. Immediately remove the peas from the hot water and place them in the prepared ice water to stop the cooking and keep the color. Once cooled fully, drain the peas and set them aside to dry fully.
    12 oz sugar snap peas
  • Make the dressing. In a bowl or shaker, combine the shallot, garlic, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, black pepper, parsley, and dill. Whisk to combine. Continue to whisk while drizzling in the olive oil until it is combined and emulsified.
    2 tbsp minced shallot, 1 clove garlic, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp honey, ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley, 1 tbsp minced fresh dill, ⅓ cup olive oil
  • In a large bowl or platter, arrange the leaves of the butter lettuce. Some can be torn into smaller pieces depending on personal preference. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dried sugar snap peas and orzo. Toss with dressing to taste. Sprinkle with the Marcona almonds and goat cheese, and serve.
    2 heads butter lettuce, 1 cup Marcona almonds, 4 oz goat cheese

Notes

Creating an ice bath shocks the snap peas. It stops the cooking, maintaining texture and flavor. This will add freshness to the salad.
Rinse the orzo after cooking it. This removes excess starch from it, making it fluffier. This is atypical to most pasta recipes, but it’s because this pasta doesn’t need the starch to help pasta cling to it.
To reduce the strength of garlic flavor, soak it in water or acid. Let it sit for 20 minutes before adding additional ingredients. In this case, adding the lemon juice provides enough acid to reduce the stringency.
Tossing the lettuce in the dressing before adding additional ingredients infuses more flavor. It provides a better base for the dish. Adding salt and pepper to the greens does the same.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 392kcal
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

You May Also Like

Never miss a post by signing up for my newsletter.
Avatar for Kaleb

Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

Learn more about me
5 from 2 votes

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating:




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and easy. No bibb lettuce where I live but spinach was an easy alternative. Only disappointment, snap peas cooked too long. (i love crunch and they were a bit soft). But I would rate this a DO NOT MISS.

  2. We love soups in all seasons. Easy to make, we use up some “sad” post-fresh veggies from the fridge. I generally make broth from vegetables that need to be used up. Don’t throw them away, turn them into delish soups!