Easy Lemon Orzo
I hope you try making my easy lemon orzo dish. You can eat it as is or make it a side dish. You can add a different protein or so many different vegetables to it to add flavor and texture. I love the versatility of this tiny little pasta.
My gut feels an urgency for all of us to stock up on rice, pasta, lentils, and quinoa if your budget allows. Of course, you and your family need to like eating these food items. I will be sharing recipes that you can print to have in a folder in case we lose power.
You will need cookbooks and recipes that are simple to make. Please teach your kids and grandkids to cook from scratch. Thrift stores have great cookbooks with simple recipes, in hard times we may not be able to make filet mignon on the grill. Unless, of course, you are raising your own beef.
In case you missed this post, How To Cook Orzo
Kitchen Items You May Need:
- Sauce Pan or Frying pan
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- A Good Knife
- Cutting Board
- Garlic Roller and Garlic Mincer
Easy Lemon Orzo Ingredients
- Orzo: shaped like a grain of rice; made with traditional flour, whole grain, or semolina; also known as Risoni.
- Butter: cooking the orzo in a little bit of fat, truly helps bring out a lot of flavors in this dish.
- Kosher Salt: used to help enhance the flavors of the other ingredients, rather than adding a salty flavor.
- Pepper: adds flavor and helps to bring all of the flavors together.
- Minced Garlic: garlic adds an almost nutty flavor. You can even bake them or eat them raw. They enhance the flavor of any dish. Raw garlic has a stronger flavor, and hence, smell. Minced garlic offers the most aromatic and pungent flavor, making it ideal for soups, salads, sauces, and other savory dishes.
- Lemon Juice: helps to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients; gives the boost of lemon zest flavor we all love!
- Fresh Parsley: parsley adds a bit of mild bitterness to any recipe. It helps to balance out the flavors in savory dishes.
Easy Lemon Orzo
Step One: Gather Ingredients
I love this recipe because it requires so few ingredients, and I typically have them all on hand.
Step Two: Melt the Butter
Grab a medium-sized pot, or in my case, a 12-inch frying pan, and melt the butter on low heat.
Step Three: Add Orzo Pasta
Add the uncooked Orzo pasta and sauté until slightly browned. It’s like toasting pasta in rich melted butter. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
Step Four: Add the Liquid and Simmer
Add the liquid, simmer covered on low for about 15 minutes.
Step Five: Onions and Garlic
Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. I wish you could smell the onions and the garlic!
Step Six: Cover and Cook the Mixture
Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes covered on low until the liquid is absorbed. Add the lemon juice and Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Final Product: Delicious Pasta Dish
Add the fresh parsley right before serving. Serve as a side dish or a main dish. Enjoy.
Easy Lemon Orzo Recipe
- 2 cups dry uncooked Orzo pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups water, chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 sprig fresh parsley, chopped
1. Grab a medium sized pot and melt the butter on low heat.
2. Add the uncooked Orzo pasta and sauté until slightly browned. It's like toasting the pasta in rich melted butter. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add the liquid, simmer covered on low for about 15 minutes. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic.
4. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes covered on low until the liquid is absorbed.
5. Add the lemon juice and Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add the fresh parsley right before serving. Serve as a side dish or a main dish. Enjoy.
What can I serve with lemon orzo?
- Garden Salad
- Side of sliced cucumbers
- Easy To Make Soft Dinner Rolls
- Easy To Make Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Baked Chicken Breast
- Classic Oven-Fried Chicken Legs
Can I cook the orzo in olive oil instead of butter?
I really love the flavor of the orzo cooked in butter! You are welcome to cook the orzo in olive oil, especially if you feel it MAY be more healthy. Note that it will give the final product a different taste. We are really looking for that buttery flavor in this recipe!
Could I add some fresh herbs to this lemon orzo recipe?
This recipe tastes amazing as is with the fresh parsley! Adding or swapping for a different fresh herb would taste a little different, but could make for a different variation on this delicious recipe. If you decide to make a change, I would recommend swapping the parsley with fresh thyme, fresh basil, or fresh dill.
Would this lemon orzo recipe taste good adding some cheese?
What is so great about this lemon orzo recipe is that you can change it up to your liking! Again, I love love love it as is, but everyone likes to customize it to their family’s liking. If you would like to add some cheese, I would recommend adding feta cheese or parmesan cheese. I think both would taste fantastic! The cheese will add additional saturated fat, for those watching those additional calories, cholesterol, and fat intake in their diet.
Could I add spinach to this lemon orzo recipe?
If you are interested in transforming this easy lemon orzo recipe into a salad, adding spinach would be a great option! Spinach has a very mild flavor which would still allow the scrumptious flavors of the lemon, butter, garlic, and parsley to be center stage. Spinach would also add some additional fiber and nutrition to the dish. I would recommend allowing the orzo to cook and then gently stirring in the spinach so that the spinach doesn’t wilt from the heat.
What is the best way to store the lemon orzo?
I would highly recommend storing this lemon orzo in an airtight container and placing it in the fridge. It will last for about 3-5 days if stored properly.
Could I cook the orzo in chicken broth instead of butter?
As mentioned above, I really love the flavor of the orzo cooked in butter! If you are looking for a lower-calorie option, cooking the orzo in low-sodium chicken broth would be a good option. It will give the recipe a little different flavor, but it would still taste great. Using low-sodium chicken broth will eliminate some of the additional salt content since we are already using kosher salt in the recipe.
Could I add some vegetables to this lemon orzo?
If you decide to add some vegetables to this recipe, I would recommend adding vegetables that have a mild flavor. Zucchini, peas, cucumbers, olives, or spinach would be great options! Creating a delicious lemon orzo pasta salad is a fun change!
Is this lemon orzo recipe gluten-free?
The orzo in this recipe is NOT gluten-free. If this is a concern in your family, I would recommend substituting white or brown rice for the orzo. As with any food allergy, I would highly recommend reviewing the ingredients on any product that you use in this recipe, or on any other packaging, if you decide to add or substitute any additional ingredients.
Interested in learning more about how to cook orzo? Here is some additional info along with other delicious pasta recipes:
- How To Cook Orzo
- Orzo The Tiny Pasta
- 20 Pasta Salad Recipes
- The Best Spinach Bowtie Pasta Salad Recipe In The World
- Pasta Recipes Your Family Will Love
I hope you enjoy this delicious easy lemon orzo recipe! The flavors of lemon, butter, parsley, garlic, kosher salt, and pepper create a dish that will entice any crowd! I love how easy it is to cook orzo! It is as easy as cooking rice! Please let me know what you and your family think of this recipe and if you decided to make it with changes. It can be served as a side dish or main entree. I hope it becomes a go-to for you and your family. May God Bless this World, Linda.
8 thoughts on “Easy Lemon Orzo”
You made me laugh with the”unless you are raising your own beef” , even if you are/were, there is a lot more hamburger than filet mignon! Have a great day and God bless you richly!
Hi Jan, I laughed when I wrote it! I would rather have hamburger over filet mignon but once a year I love a good steak I grill myself! Youu have a great day! Life is good! Linda
Thanks for another recipe on making orzo. Recently discovered orzo. I am on a soft GI diet so this will be great. Making it today. I started to think about making this in an emergency situation. You could flavor the orzo with powdered onions and garlic and parsley, but what about the lemon juice that has to be refrigerated once opened. I store the True Lemon packets. How many packets equal a teaspoon or tablespoon? On the packet, it says that 1 packet =1 wedge of lemon, as if you were using it in iced tea.
Hi Carol, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! This is exactly why I’m writing recipes using Orzo, we need simple recipes. I would add the lemon packets until you feel the taste of lemon is enough for you. One wedge could be from a little lemon or a large lemon. I would try 2-3 packets and then add more if you want a stronger flavor of lemon. I stock those packets as well. They are awesome!! Linda
This looks fantastic. As Carol said you could use powdered bullion to make the broth, then use dehydrated or freeze dried onion and garlic, I’d use 3 of the True Lemon packets, you can also add powdered butter to get that buttery flavor you like. Actually, if you pack up the dry ingredients and orzo in a jar or mylar bag this could be stored for 2 or more years.
HI Topaz, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! I like your “Meal in a Jar” idea! Love it! Just add boiling water! Love it! Linda
This was yummy! I’ve never tried orzo before and it was a hit!
Hi Heidi, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend! It’s a great pasta to add to our pantry. Linda