Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad Recipe - Flavorful American Dish

Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad

Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad Recipe - Flavorful American Dish
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad
Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad

Alaska Cod, Orzo, and Cucumber Salad is a refreshing and light dish perfect for any season. Combining the flaky texture of Alaska cod with the crispness of cucumber and the soft bite of orzo pasta, this salad is a delightful blend of textures and flavors. Dressed in a zesty lemon-based dressing and garnished with red bell peppers, it's a visually appealing dish that's sure to impress. Whether you're looking for a healthy lunch option or a light dinner, this salad is a great choice.


The recipe for Alaska Cod, Orzo, and Cucumber Salad is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, which is known for its use of fresh seafood, vegetables, and citrus. Cod has been a staple in various cultures due to its availability and versatility. This recipe combines traditional elements with a modern twist, incorporating orzo, a type of pasta that adds a unique texture and complements the flakiness of the cod. The addition of cucumber adds a refreshing crunch, making it a perfect dish for warmer months.


How to prepare

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the blue cheese salad dressing, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  2. Broil or sauté the cod fillet until it is opaque but still slightly translucent in the center.
  3. In a pot, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until it is al dente, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Allow the cooked cod fillet to cool, then flake it into small pieces.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the cod flakes, cucumber slices, and orzo.
  6. Add the dressing mixture and sliced green onions to the bowl. Mix well to combine.
  7. Taste the salad and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  8. On 4 chilled plates, place 2 lettuce leaves each.
  9. Divide the salad evenly among the 4 plates.
  10. Garnish each plate with 1 tsp of red bell pepper and a lemon wedge.


  • For a twist on the original recipe, try substituting shrimp or salmon for the cod. You can also add other vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes or olives, for additional flavor and color. For a gluten-free version, replace the orzo with quinoa or rice. Adjusting the type of salad dressing can also create different flavor profiles, from creamy to tangy.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results, use fresh Alaska cod for its superior flavor and texture. When cooking the cod, make sure it's just done - opaque but still slightly translucent in the center to keep it moist. For the orzo, cook it until al dente to maintain a slight bite, which will add texture to the salad. Peeling and seeding the cucumbers will prevent the salad from becoming too watery. Lastly, chilling the plates before serving keeps the salad cool and refreshing, enhancing its flavors.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is best served chilled on a hot day. It can be enjoyed on its own as a light lunch or dinner, or paired with a slice of crusty bread for a more filling meal. For an elegant touch, serve the salad on a bed of mixed greens or with a side of fresh fruit.

Cooking Techniques

Broiling or sautéing the cod are both excellent methods that preserve its moisture and flavor. Cooking the orzo to al dente ensures it retains a slight chew, adding texture to the salad. Mixing the salad gently prevents the ingredients from breaking down, keeping the textures distinct and appealing.

Ingredient Substitutions

If Alaska cod is not available, any firm white fish can be used as a substitute. Whole wheat orzo can replace regular orzo for added fiber. Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and herbs can be a healthier alternative to store-bought salad dressing.

Make Ahead Tips

The components of the salad can be prepared ahead of time and stored separately in the refrigerator. Combine them just before serving to keep the salad fresh and prevent it from becoming soggy.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a large, clear bowl to showcase the colorful ingredients. Garnish with additional lemon zest and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley, for a vibrant finish.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. For a non-alcoholic option, a lemon-infused sparkling water complements the salad's flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This salad is best enjoyed fresh and does not reheat well due to the delicate nature of the ingredients. However, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of this salad is relatively low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight. The exact calorie count will depend on the specific ingredients used, especially the type of salad dressing. However, a typical serving is estimated to contain between 200-300 calories.


This salad is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary source being the orzo pasta. One cup of cooked orzo contains approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates. However, since the recipe serves four, each serving contains about 10 grams of carbohydrates from the orzo, making it a suitable option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


The fats in this recipe come mainly from the salad dressing and the cod itself. Cod is a lean fish, so it contributes minimal amounts of fat. Depending on the type of salad dressing used, the fat content can vary. Using a light or reduced-fat dressing can help keep the overall fat content low. The total fat content per serving will largely depend on the specific ingredients used in the salad dressing.


Alaska cod is an excellent source of high-quality protein. A 4-ounce serving of cod provides about 20 grams of protein, making this salad a protein-rich meal. The protein from the cod helps make the salad filling and satisfying, while also providing essential amino acids necessary for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This salad is packed with vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of ingredients. Cod is a good source of vitamins B12 and B6, phosphorus, and selenium. Cucumbers add vitamin K, while the green onions provide vitamin C and vitamin A. The red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. Together, these ingredients make the salad not only delicious but also nutritionally balanced.


The primary allergen to be aware of in this recipe is fish, due to the Alaska cod. Additionally, the salad dressing may contain allergens depending on its ingredients, such as dairy, eggs, or soy. Always check the labels of store-bought dressings for potential allergens, or consider making your own dressing at home to control the ingredients.


Overall, the Alaska Cod, Orzo, and Cucumber Salad is a nutritious and balanced meal. It's low in carbohydrates and calories, contains healthy fats, and is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It's also relatively easy to adjust for common allergens, making it a versatile dish suitable for many dietary needs.


Alaska Cod, Orzo, and Cucumber Salad is a nutritious, flavorful, and visually appealing dish that's perfect for any occasion. With its combination of high-quality protein, fresh vegetables, and a light dressing, it offers a balanced meal that's both satisfying and healthy. Whether you're looking to impress guests or simply enjoy a delicious and easy-to-prepare meal, this salad is sure to delight.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw this recipe for Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting my dear friend Margaret, who had just returned from a trip to Alaska. She had brought back with her a cookbook filled with unique and delicious recipes inspired by the fresh seafood and produce of the region.

As we sat in her cozy kitchen, flipping through the pages of the cookbook, my eyes landed on the recipe for Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad. The vibrant colors of the dish caught my attention immediately - the bright green cucumber, the juicy red tomatoes, and the flaky white cod all tossed together with the tender orzo pasta. It looked like the perfect summer meal, light and refreshing.

Margaret noticed my interest in the recipe and with a smile, she offered to teach me how to make it. She explained that the key to this dish was using the freshest ingredients possible, especially the Alaska cod. She shared with me her tips for selecting the best fish at the market - look for clear, bright eyes, firm flesh, and a clean smell.

With Margaret's guidance, we set to work preparing the salad. We started by marinating the cod in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs. While the fish absorbed all the flavors, we cooked the orzo until it was al dente and then let it cool to room temperature. We diced the cucumber and tomatoes, tossed them with the orzo, and added a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of white wine vinegar.

Once the cod had marinated for about half an hour, we seared it in a hot skillet until it was golden brown and cooked through. The aroma of the fish filled the kitchen, mingling with the fresh herbs and citrus. It was a symphony of flavors that promised a delicious meal.

Finally, we assembled the salad, placing a generous portion of the orzo and vegetable mixture on each plate and topping it with a piece of the seared cod. The colors of the dish popped against the white plates, a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

As we sat down to eat, I took my first bite of the Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad. The flavors exploded in my mouth - the tangy lemon, the earthy herbs, the sweet tomatoes, and the delicate fish. It was a perfect balance of textures and tastes, light yet satisfying.

As I savored each mouthful, I couldn't help but think of all the places and people that had contributed to this recipe. From the fishermen in Alaska who caught the cod to Margaret who shared the cookbook with me, each ingredient had a story to tell. And now, with every bite, I was adding my own chapter to the tale.

Since that day, the Alaska Cod, Orzo and Cucumber Salad has become a staple in my recipe repertoire. I have made it for family gatherings, potlucks, and quiet dinners at home. Each time I prepare it, I am transported back to that sunny afternoon in Margaret's kitchen, surrounded by the warmth of friendship and the joy of cooking.

And as I sit here now, writing this story, I can't help but feel grateful for all the recipes, like this one, that have come into my life. They are not just instructions for making food, but windows into different worlds, connecting me to the people, places, and flavors that make cooking a true delight.


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