Lemon Garlic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables is packed with texture and flavor. A delicious and easy orzo pasta recipe served warm or chilled and makes fabulous leftovers too! vegetarian + vegan option
With spring in bloom, so are our favorite fruits and veggies. I took a drive out to one of the farms yesterday, not only because I’m anxious to get my hands on fresh strawberries but the freshest asparagus I can find for this recipe.
Roasted veggies like asparagus shine in this orzo pasta recipe. It’s loaded with nutrients that provide digestive support, is anti-inflammatory, promotes heart health, and is packed with antioxidants. It can be eaten raw, sautéed, steamed, or roasted.
If the stalks seem too woody, I use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skin of the stalk. I find, though, the freshest asparagus is pretty tender, so very little of the stem needs to be trimmed. To keep asparagus fresh, I store it with the base of the stems wrapped in a damp paper towel and try to enjoy them within 48 hours of purchasing.
What Else to Pick-up at the Market
Aside from fresh asparagus, stock up on cremini mushrooms, a mix of red, yellow or orange bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, shallots, and fresh herbs and you are ready for this recipe. Zucchini and or eggplant can be substituted for the asparagus when in season.
How to Make Lemon Orzo and Roasted Vegetables:
This orzo pasta recipe is a family favorite and comes together quick after the chopping is done.
- First, roast the veggies in olive oil using two separate baking sheets lined with parchment paper (start checking your veggies after 25 minutes to ensure the perfect roasting).
- Next, a separate baking sheet, roast the pine nuts or almonds for 6-7 minutes
- While the veggies are roasting and pine nuts are toasting (hehe), cook the orzo in a large saute pan.
- Finally, whip up the dressing using olive oil, lemon juice salt & pepper.
Combine everything together and share!
What to Serve with this Recipe
Simplicity is key. To keep this orzo pasta recipe vegetarian, all it needs is a good loaf of Sourdough Bread and a bottle of your favorite wine. To stretch the recipe further and to take this perfectly made Lemon Garlic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables dish to the next level, share it with a Kale Caesar in addition to that crusty bread and wine. It will be a memorable meal for anyone who enjoys it.
A Few Orzo Pasta Recipe Recipe Notes
- Due to a few comments regarding roasting, please see notes regarding oven temperatures and roasting times. Also, consider your taste when it comes to roasted veggies. More charring (this is what I like) = more time in the oven. Less charring and tender crisp = less time in the oven. Roast to your taste!
- Easily made vegan by omitting the feta.
- Substitute the pine nuts with toasted chopped almonds or hazelnuts if desired.
- This recipe is delicious as a salad! For an Orzo Pasta Salad, share chilled by placing in a lidded container and chill for at least one hour before sharing.
- Freezer friendly? I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
UPDATE: Thank you all so much for sharing and tagging your 100s of mouthwatering pictures and tips on this recipe on Pinterest, Instagram and in the comments below! I love seeing and hearing your results! Here are some of your notes:
- Barbara said: “I’m not a zucchini fan, so I used eggplant.”
- Laurel said: “We add a can of white beans to protein it up a bit” Be sure to drain the beans prior to adding to the recipe.
- Vanessa said: “I doubled everything and had it for lunch for the week!” and “I threw a couple of big handfuls of spinach on the roasting vegetables for the last 5 min.”
- Joy said: “I used zucchini instead of asparagus & penne pasta instead of orzo.”
- Victoria said: “Used sun dried tomatoes in replace of olives as suggested. Absolutely delicious!”
- Katrina said: “I just used eggplant instead of asparagus and slivered almonds instead of pine nuts.”
More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes to Love
- Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Spinach and Feta
- Stovetop Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
- Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta – from Foolproof Living
- Orecchiette with Garlicky Kale and Breadcrumbs
Lemon Garlic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
For the Orzo and Veggies:
- 1/3 C Pine Nuts* (see note) 64g
- 1 1/2 C Crimini Mushrooms destemmed and sliced, 116g
- 1 C Mix of Red Yellow, or Orange Bell Peppers, deseeded and diced (I use baby bells), 126g
- 1 lb Asparagus (sub zucchini or eggplant when in season!) cut into 1" pieces with woody ends discarded, 426g
- 12 oz Cherry Tomatoes cut in 1/2, 340g
- 2 tsp Garlic minced, 6g
- 1/2 C Shallot chopped, 116g
- 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided, 36g
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper Ground
- 1 C Orzo 198g
- 1 1/2 C Vegetable Broth 354g
- 1/2 C Garlic and Herb Feta crumbled (Leave off for Vegan Option), 84g
For the Dressing:
For the Garnish:
- 2-3 Tbs Chopped Fresh Basil
- 2-3 Tbs Chopped Fresh Parsley
Toast the Pine Nuts:
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and toast pine nuts for 6-7 minutes, or until toasty and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Roast the Veggies:
- Turn oven up to 425F (218C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the mushrooms, bell peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, garlic and shallot on one pan. Sprinkle with 2 Tbs of olive oil. Using a spatula, mix all the veggies together with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then stir again. Move 1/2 the veggie mixture to the other sheet pan. Spread the veggies in one layer, making sure there's no overlapping on both pans. Roast in a 425F oven for 35-40 minutes (due to oven variations, keep an eye on your veggies and start checking your veggies at 25 minutes; a bit of charring is good!** SEE NOTES!!). Rotate pans 1/2 way through roasting.
Cook the Orzo:
- In a large saute pan, heat 1 Tbs of Olive Oil on medium heat until shimmering. Add the orzo and stir, coating the orzo thoroughly. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the orzo is toasty and golden. Add the vegetable broth. Be careful here because the broth will spit and sputter. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
Make the Dressing:
- In a small bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk until all the ingredients are emulsified.
Putting it all Together:
- In the large saute pan, to the orzo, add the roasted veggies and all their juices, stir in the dressing, feta, and pine nuts. Garnish generously with basil and parsley. Serve immediately.