ASPARAGUS PARMESAN ORZO is a delicious Spring side dish that’s certain to become a family favorite!
Are you looking for new ways to spruce up side dishes for holiday or everyday meals? Are you looking to include delicious flavors, such as bacon and parmesan but still keep it relatively healthy? If so, then you will love this Asparagus Parmesan orzo Pasta dish.
We are working on eating healthier but not willing to give up flavor. We love pasta dishes. Who doesn’t? However, often the fat and calories in the creamy, cheesy pasta dishes can be way over the top. So I wanted to keep flavors we love such as bacon, (MUST HAVE BACON!), and parmesan, yet add some asparagus because I love it, especially with bacon and parmesan cheese over orzo pasta! Yum!!
Have you had orzo pasta before? It looks like rice but is actually a short cut pasta, shaped like rice. It originated in Italy, and the name “orzo” is Italian for barley, referring to the size and shape of the pasta. It is actually very popular in Greece. It is also very popular in our house as well!
Normally I would want to make a creamy white sauce to go with this orzo pasta, but this time decided to go with a white wine vinaigrette instead. It lightens it up, adds delicious flavor, and glams it up. Hey, you can tell the family it is a gourmet dish.
Mr. Flavor Mosaic and his Mom LOVE creamy cheesy pasta dishes, as you can tell by my Cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta or cheesy pasta soups like my Easy Lasagna Soup, which are two of our favorites! If I were to serve asparagus by itself as a side dish, it would most likely be left on the plate when they finished for dinner. However, when you combine the asparagus with bacon, parmesan, white wine and pasta then they ask for second helpings! Win-Win!!
What will you be serving with this Asparagus Parmesan Orzo pasta side dish?
- 6 1/2 oz. 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 6 slices bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz. fresh asparagus spears trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup white wine vinaigrette see recipe below
- 2 oz. 1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
- Sea Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Prepare Orzo pasta per package directions. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until the fat is rendered but it is not yet crisp. Add the garlic and stir.
- Add the chopped asparagus and cook about 3 minutes until softened.
- In a large bowl add the orzo pasta. Stir in the cooked bacon, garlic, and asparagus. Pour the white wine vinaigrette over the top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
White Wine Vinaigrette:
- In a medium bowl stir together all the ingredients listed for White Wine Vinaigrette. This can be made a day or two in advance.