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This recipe for Lemon Orzo with Asparagus– is perfect for spring! Quick and easy, serve this spring pasta “warm” as a dinner, or chilled as a side salad. Vegan adapatable.
Can you believe it’s already April? Easter is one week away, the crocuses are up and spring is well underway. Doesn’t it feel incredible? Here is a quick and easy recipe to celebrate the season- Lemon Orzo with Asparagus.
Serve this warm as an entrée, or chilled as a side salad. Keep it vegan or add feta. And if you happen to have any preserved lemons hiding out in your pantry or fridge, this is the time to whip them out and put them to good use. They are not required, but a tasty addition. Ready? Let’s get started!
Ingredients in Lemon Orzo
- Orzo pasta- a rice-shaped pasta, orzo is typically vegan.
- Fresh Veggies– apsaragus, snap peas, or try other other veggies- green beans, broccoli, etc.
- Lemon– zest and juice
- Olive oil – us a good quality olive oil.
- Herbs– We love dill here, but other tender herbs work too- basil, tarragon, cilantro, parsely.
- Optional addition: Preserved Lemon– to bump up the flavor!
- Optional addition: Feta or goat cheese
How to Make Lemon Orzo
- Set the orzo to cook in salted boiling water.
2. Saute the shallot, asparagus, snap peas, until tender. Add lemon zest.
3. Chop the dill and preserved lemons, if using. It will provide a burst of flavor. (If not, just increase the lemon juice and salt slightly in the finished dish).
4. Once the orzo is done, drain and add to the pan with the veggies. Mix in the fresh dill, optional preserved lemon and optional crumbled feta.
5. Taste and adjust salt and add lemon juice to taste. Feel free to add chili flakes.
WaYs to serve Lemon Orzo
- Serve Lemon Orzo warm as a vegetarain entree or pair with salmon or with Simple Baked Chicken ( or with The Best Grilled Chicken)
- Serve Lemon Orzo as a chilled pasta salad (see recipe notes).
More recipes you may like:
- Lemon Basil Orzo Salad
- One-Skillet Broccoli Chicken Orzo
- Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus & Mushrooms
- Antipasto Salad
- Asparagus Salad with olives, lemon and Couscous
I hope you enjoy!Print
Lemon Orzo with Asparagus
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main, salad
- Method: Tossed
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
This recipe for Lemon Orzo with Asparagus- is perfect for spring! Quick and easy, serve this spring pasta “warm” as a dinner, or chilled as a side salad. Vegan adapatable.
- 6 ounces dry orzo pasta (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot- diced
- 3 garlic cloves- rough chopped
- 1 extra large bunch asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1 inch pieces.
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1/2– 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper (see notes)
- 2 lemons (zest and juice) or sub one lemon, if using preserved lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh dill (or basil, parsley or tarragon)
- optional: crumbled feta and 1-2 tablespoons preserved lemon (finely chopped)
- Set salted water to boil and cook orzo according to directions.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped shallot and garlic, and saute until golden and fragrant. Add asparagus and snap peas. Lower to medium low. Saute 5-7 minutes to tender-crisp, stirring often, scooping up the shallot from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon zest of one lemon.
- Drain pasta and if serving warm, save a little of the hot pasta water. (For Chilled pasta, see notes below. )
- Add the warm orzo to the skillet with the asparagus and just a little pasta water to loosen it up to your liking. Add the remaining olive oil, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and finely chopped preserved lemon if using (1-2 tablespoons).
- Fold in the fresh dill and sprinkle with optional feta (keeping in mind that feta will add salt too). Taste, and adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Season with pepper or chili flakes. Serve immediately.
- If serving chilled as a salad, place the cooked asparagus mixture in a bowl and let it cool. Rinse the cooked orzo with very cold water until cold. Drain, add to bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, generous squeeze of lemon juice, optional preserved lemon. Mix and adjust salt and lemon, adding more if bland. The pasta will soak up the salt when it sits in the fridge so it will probably need more later. Refrigerate – then taste once more before serving, again adjusting, adding more lemon and salt to taste. Fold in the fresh dill right before serving. Add crumbled feta.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 315
- Sugar: 5.4 g
- Sodium: 220.9 mg
- Fat: 10.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 51.4 g
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Protein: 10.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: lemon orzo, asparagus orzo salad, lemon orzo salad, lemony orzo salad
This was delicious and easy to make!
Awesome Madelyn! Great to hear.
Veeery nice! Forgot the lemon (had lemon juice though) but was still soo good!Very tasty when the onion and garlic flavors and some browning get off the bottom of the pan and get incorporated into orzo!
Great to hear Anna!
Very tasty. A great way to use the asparagus and snap peas that are in season now. Don’t stint on the dill.I think the feta is optional when the orzo is warm, but if you refrigerate it, the feta adds a pleasantly salty pop of flavor.
This recipe sounds amazing! As usual, Sylvia. I also love your photographs. Would you mind sharing what lens and camera is used for these wonderful photos?
I use a Cannon 6 D and a Zeiss 50 mm lens
This recipe was delicious. Perfect for the beginning of spring. Also, your food photography is stunning. I will definitely be coming back for more.
This salad is beautiful and comes together so fast. I made the orzo a day before, thinking I would serve the salad cold. Last minute on the day of my party & after sautéing the veggies, I removed the veggies, tossed in the cold orzo with a little olive oil, stirred to warm & assembled as recommended. It was awesome!. And no, the orzo was not gummy. Warm or cold, it’s great. Thanks for sharing Sylvia.This salad is beautiful and comes together so fast. I made the orzo a day before, thinking I would serve the salad cold. Last minute on the day of my party & after sautéing the veggies, I removed the veggies, tossed in the cold orzo with a little olive oil, stirred to warm & assembled as recommended. It was awesome!. And no, the orzo was not gummy, not even the next day. Warm or cold, it’s great. As always, thanks for sharing. Sissy
Thanks so much Sissy- appreciate this!
EEEK! I forgot the orzo at the store (duh me!)! Can I use Risotto or small pasta noodles?
Oh shoot. I think a pasta would easier here!
Thank you! I used orecchietta and it was DELICIOUS! Thank you.
Made this for dinner tonight! Love the Spring vegetables combined with lemon juice and crumbled feta. Simple, fresh, and so flavorful!! Thanks.
So glad you liked it… thanks for the the comment!
Amazing! Adding feta is a must!
Just finished enjoying this recipe for dinner tonight using my home grown lemons and dill. Love the combination of flavors and did not miss the meat. Substituted petite peas for the snap peas since I had those on hand and personal preference, otherwise just the perfect entree. Will be trying the other veggie and pasta recipes too. Thank you for the wonderful variety of recipes and all you provide to those of us looking for inspiration!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Elizabeth! Thanks for the comment and for being here!
Another fantastic recipe! I’m not just learning new dishes, I’m learning a better way to cook– and eat! Thank you !!
Picked my first bunch of asparagus out of the garden today. Made this recipe, thank you, it was excellent!
Awesome Lisa- so happy you enjoyed it!