Easy 6-ingredient Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus! A lovely spring side dish with a pop of fresh flavors and it only takes 20 minutes to prepare.
This easy side dish highlights one of spring’s finest seasonal harvests – asparagus! Plus it’s only 6 simple ingredients & 20 minutes to prepare.
How To Cook Asparagus
I lightly steam my asparagus, but this recipe works with whatever your cooking method, such as roasting, grilling, broiling, etc. (If you want inspiration or more guidance, here’s an article from The Spruce with 8 Ways to Cook Asparagus.)
Most vegetables dull in color when cooked, but isn’t it beautiful how asparagus actually brightens up when steamed? Gorgeous!
I find a medium lemon usually gives about 2-3 Tbsp. juice, and a large can give about 4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup). I like to use about 1/4 cup lemon juice for this recipe. (Plus the optional zest for even more bright, lemony flavor.)
It’s such a simple dish but with bright pops of flavor from the fresh lemon, garlic, and parsley. An easy recipe to modify to your taste so have fun!
Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus
- 1 lb. asparagus
- 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp. plus optional zest)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 green onions
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley (more to taste)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh basil, baby spinach, spring peas, cherry tomatoes, shallot, pine nuts, dairy-free parmesan for topping, etc.
- Cook orzo: in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. (You can use vegetable broth for more flavor.) Add orzo, stir well, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: place minced garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. (Zest a bit of lemon peel first if desired – I use a microplane grater/zester.)
- Prepare asparagus: trim off woody ends, rinse, and cook as desired until just tender.* (See notes below for cooking options.)
- When cooked, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- Roughly chop parsley, stems removed. Slice green onions.
- In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and pour lemon-garlic dressing on top. Toss to combine and salt/pepper to taste if desired.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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