An easy 6-ingredient Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus! This recipe is a lovely springtime side dish with bright, fresh flavors. Plus it only takes 20 minutes to prepare.
This easy lemon orzo side dish highlights one of spring's finest harvests - asparagus!
Plus it is only 6 ingredients and 20 minutes to prepare.
It's such a simple dish but includes bright pops of flavor from the fresh lemon, garlic, and parsley. (You could even add a bit of lemon zest for more lemon flavor.)
For this simple recipe you will need:
- Fresh asparagus: You will need about one pound asparagus spears for this recipe.
- Orzo pasta: Orzo is not gluten-free, so you can substitute with rice if needed (or a gluten-free orzo if you can find it).
- Green onions (scallions)
- Fresh parsley: Or substitute other fresh herbs of choice.
- Fresh lemon juice: You will need about one large lemon or two smaller lemons.
- Garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
I lightly steam my asparagus to desired tenderness then drain. But this recipe works with whatever your cooking method, such as roasting, grilling, broiling, etc.
For more guidance, here is an article from The Spruce with 8 Ways to Cook Asparagus.
It is an easy recipe to modify to your taste so have fun with your own customizations! A few suggestions include:
Herbs + greens: Stir in fresh basil or other fresh herbs, baby spinach, or arugula.
Veggies: Spring peas, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot, etc.
Nuts + vegan cheese: Toss in pine nuts for crunch, vegan parmesan cheese, vegan feta cheese crumbles, etc.
Olive oil: I make this recipe oil-free, however feel free to toss in a tablespoon of olive oil if desired. (Or cook your asparagus with vegan butter for a richer taste.)
For more inspiration, browse all orzo recipes.
Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus
- 1 lb. asparagus
- 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
- 2 green onions
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley (more to taste)
- Salt/pepper to taste
For the lemon-garlic dressing:
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon, plus optional zest)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 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.)
- Prepare asparagus: Trim off woody ends, rinse, and cook until just tender. (*See notes below for cooking suggestions.)
- 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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