Tomato Orzo with Grilled Salmon Bites

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Enjoy a summer favourite with this quick and easy Tomato Orzo with Grilled Salmon. It is packed with flavour and nutrients and is perfect for busy nights or family dinners. It’s kid-friendly and delicious!

Tomato orzo with grilled salmon served in a bowl

This recipe can be made with leftover salmon. Simply grill or warm it in a pan, and it’s ready to be served alongside this creamy orzo with tomato sauce.

Try my Easy Pesto Gnocchi with Peas and Basil or Gnocchi made easy with Pesto and Zucchini for more of these tasty Italian flavours. More fish recipes like Salmon en Papillote ( Salmon in Parchment), Easy Japanese Spicy Tuna Onigiri or If you have potatoes and canned tuna at home can be made with ease and a bit of your time.


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Expert Tips

Opt for leftover grilled salmon for added flavour and convenience, it saves time in meal preparation.

Ensure the orzo is cooked al dente to retain its firm texture, perfectly complementing the creamy tomato sauce.

Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or dill for a burst of freshness and colour, enhancing the dish’s presentation and taste.

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a type of pasta that looks like rice. It’s small, rice-shaped pasta that is often used in soups, salads, or served as a side dish.


Customize your recipe with these ingredient substitutions. Adapt to what’s in your pantry, and make the dish uniquely yours.

Orzo: You can substitute orzo with any other small pasta such as penne, fusilli, or farfalle.

Cherry Tomatoes: If cherry tomatoes are not available, you can use diced Roma tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes.

Garlic: Instead of fresh garlic cloves, you can use garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar.

Olive Oil: Substitute olive oil with vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil if desired.

Vegetable Stock Cube: If you don’t have vegetable stock cubes, you can use chicken stock cubes or homemade vegetable broth.

Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese can be substituted with pecorino Romano, Asiago, or Grana Padano cheese.

Salmon Fillets: Any other type of fish such as trout, cod, or tilapia can be used as a substitute for salmon fillets.

Basil: Replace fresh basil with dried basil or other fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.

Chilli Flakes: Chili flakes can be omitted if you prefer a milder taste, or you can substitute with paprika or cayenne pepper for heat.

Tomato orzo with grilled salmon served in a bowl


Explore different flavours and textures with these salmon orzo variations. Whether you prefer Mediterranean herbs, zesty lemon, creamy sauces, or a spicy kick, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Mediterranean Style: Add olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese for a Mediterranean twist.

Pesto Salmon Orzo: Stir in some homemade or store-bought pesto sauce to add extra flavor to the dish.

Lemon Garlic Salmon Orzo: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the grilled salmon and add extra garlic to the orzo for a zesty and aromatic variation.

Creamy Salmon Orzo: Mix in some heavy cream or Greek yogurt to the orzo for a creamy texture. You can also add spinach or kale for extra greens.

Spicy Salmon Orzo: Increase the amount of chili flakes or add diced jalapenos for a spicy kick. You can also drizzle some hot sauce over the finished dish for extra heat.

Asian-Inspired Salmon Orzo: Use soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger in the orzo mixture, and garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds for an Asian twist.

Smoked Salmon Orzo Salad: Replace grilled salmon with smoked salmon and add cucumber, red onion, and dill to create a refreshing salad version of the dish.

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Storage and leftovers

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

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Looking for more? Check out +20 Best Mains Easy Recipes!


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Tomato orzo with grilled salmon served in a bowl

Tomato Orzo with Grilled Salmon

Got some leftover salmon from yesterday's meal? Try Salmon Orzo Pasta! It's quick to make, packed with creamy tomato sauce, and bursting with bold flavors we all enjoy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 948 kcal


  • 500 g about 17.6 ounces orzo
  • 250 g about 8.8 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves grated or chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 1 cube vegetable stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 100 g about 3.5 ounces grated parmesan
  • 4 salmon fillets or grilled salmon leftovers
  • Basil
  • Chilli flakes to serve


  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and fry for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Quarter the cherry tomatoes and add them to the pan. Add the pesto and cook for approximately 5 minutes until they start to soften and release their juices.
  • Stir in the orzo and vegetable stock cube dissolved in 800 ml of hot water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is cooked al dente and has absorbed most of the liquid.
  • If you have grilled salmon leftovers, remove the skin from the fillets, cut them into cubes, and grill them in a nonstick pan for 3-4 minutes until nicely browned. Ensure even grilling by tossing them occasionally. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Season the orzo with salt and pepper to taste, then add torn basil leaves and stir to combine.
  • Spoon the orzo into serving bowls, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with grated parmesan, and add a pinch of chili flakes if desired. Finish by topping each bowl with the grilled salmon cubes and a splash of lemon juice. Serve hot and enjoy!



  1. Orzo Cooking Time: Be mindful of the cooking time for the orzo to ensure it doesn’t become mushy. Follow the instructions closely and stir occasionally.
  2. Salmon Leftovers: If using leftover grilled salmon, ensure it is properly reheated before adding it to the dish. This will ensure food safety and enhance the flavor.
  3. Seasoning: Taste the orzo before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or herbs to suit your preference.
  4. Garnish: The garnishes such as grated parmesan, basil, and chili flakes add extra flavor and visual appeal to the dish. Feel free to customize or omit based on your taste preferences.
  5. Serving: Serve the dish hot, garnished with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for a burst of freshness.
  6. Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  7. Variations: You can customize this recipe by adding additional vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, or mushrooms for added texture and flavor.
Keyword garlic, grilled salmon, Italian recipe, leftovers, orzo pasta, parmesan cheese, salmon, tomato sauce

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