|I tried out this Orzo Salmon Casserole on some family members who stopped by, and it was a hit!|
Salmon. Asparagus. Feta. Maybe that's all I need to say about this recipe, because if you know me at all, you know a recipe with those favorite ingredients is going to be something I'll like. Add a small amount of 100% Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta, some drained low-fat cottage cheese for creaminess, green onions, dill, and Beau Monde seasoning, and I think you can tell why I absolutely loved this Whole Wheat Orzo Casserole with Salmon, Asparagus and Feta. This was the second recipe of the two I mentioned that I tried out on my brother Mark, his wife Lisa, and their daughter-in-law Lindy who stopped by a few weeks ago, and they liked this one as much as they did the Chicken, Black Bean, Avocado, and Radish Salad. Even though it's a casserole, this is something I would serve to guests, and it's also good reheated if you manage to have any leftovers to eat the next day.
You might be wondering why I'd take salmon and asparagus and make it into a casserole? I first experimented and came up with this casserole when I had leftover asparagus and salmon to use up. (Yes, I know some of you can't imagine the idea of leftovers from salmon or asparagus!) I enjoyed it so much I decided it was worth making again to write down the recipe, partly because of how it stretches out the salmon and asparagus for a more budget-friendly meal with those flavors.
I used the 100% Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta that I'm so fond of, but if you can't find orzo you can use any type of small whole wheat pasta shape. Remember that the pasta will cook more in the oven, so it's important not to overcook it.
Cook the orzo a couple of minutes less than the package directions, then drain orzo well.
Put drained orzo in a bowl and add cottage cheese, Feta, green onion, dill, and Beau Monde seasoning (or Bon Appetit.)
And here's how the casserole looks after it bakes 30-35 minutes at 350F/180C. Not all that photogenic, but this was delicious!
Whole Wheat Orzo Casserole with Salmon, Asparagus, and Feta
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn when she had leftover salmon and asparagus in the fridge.)
I used my favorite Anchor Hocking 12 Cup Bake-and-Store Glass Casserole Dish for this recipe, but any glass or crockery baking dish that's approximately 8" x 8" will work.)
1 cup 100% Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta (or use any small whole wheat pasta shape if you can't find orzo)
2 pieces of skinless salmon, about 6-8 oz. each
1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 T + 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, for rubbing salmon and tossing with asparagus
2 tsp. fish rub, for rubbing salmon (I like Szeged Fish Rub, but use any brand you have on hand)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, rinsed with cold water so only the curds remain
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. Beau Monde Seasoning or Bon Appetit Seasoning
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn't use much salt)
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for topping the casserole)
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Spray a baking sheet and an 8"x8" casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil, add a little salt, and cook the orzo until it's nearly done. (I cooked mine 8 minutes, about 1 minute less than the cooking time on the package.) Drain the cooked orzo into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain well.
Let salmon come to room temperature while you trim the asparagus and cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces. (Hold one piece of asparagus with both hands and bend to break; that will show where the woody part starts that needs to be trimmed off.) Put the asparagus pieces in a small bowl and toss with the olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Rub the salmon on both sides with olive oil and fish rub. Arrange salmon and asparagus on the baking sheet and roast 15 minutes. Let salmon and asparagus cool, and turn the oven temperature down to 350F/180C.
Put the cottage cheese into a fine-mesh colander and rinse with cold water and let it drain. Crumble Feta and measure it, and slice the green onions.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the drained orzo, rinsed cottage cheese, crumbled Feta, sliced green onions, dill weed, Beau Monde Seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Use two forks to flake apart the salmon into bite-sized pieces, then gently mix the cooled asparagus and salmon into the orzo mixture.
Put the mixture into the sprayed casserole dish, top with a little freshly grated Parmesan if desired, and bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the mixture starts to bubble. Serve hot. This was still very good when it had been kept in the fridge overnight and reheated in the microwave. (I haven't tried freezing it, and I'm not sure it would freeze that well.)
South Beach Suggestions:
Salmon and asparagus are both ultra-healthy low-glycemic foods for the South Beach Diet, but the whole wheat orzo in this recipe would make it limited to Phase 2 or 3 for South Beach Dieters.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Tasty Ideas with Salmon You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Sour Cream Baked Salmon ~ Inspired Taste
Grilled Fresh Salmon Burgers with Caper Mayo ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayo ~ Budget Bytes
Roasted Wild Salmon and Asparagus with Double-Lemon Oil ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Wild Salmon with Minty Yogurt Sauce ~ Family Fresh Cooking
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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