Flavorful roasted vegetables are combined with orzo, then tossed in a garlic-balsamic dressing! This easy dish is simple to customize, full of flavor, and great for packed lunches, picnics, potlucks, etc. (Vegan, oil-free.)
This recipe is only 9 simple ingredients, but filled with beautiful colors, flavors, and textures.
First we roast vegetables to tender perfection on a large sheet pan in the oven. Meanwhile, we'll cook the orzo, and whisk together the garlic-balsamic dressing.
Then toss it all together in a bowl!
Plus it is an easy recipe to modify based on your own favorite roasted vegetables (or whatever is in season).
Ingredients for Roasted Vegetable Orzo
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Zucchini: Or feel free to substitute yellow summer squash (or a combination of both).
- Bell pepper: Either red bell peppers, orange, or yellow bell pepper work best.
- Yellow onion: Or substitute red onion, sweet onion, or white onion if needed.
- Mushrooms: I use cremini, but simply use your own favorite. Shiitake mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, white button mushrooms, etc.
- Orzo pasta: Most orzo is not gluten-free, so you can replace it with a gluten-free pasta or even quinoa if desired.
- Roma tomatoes: Or substitute cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes for a richer, sweeter flavor. The tomatoes aren't roasted in this recipe, but you can absolutely do this if you prefer! Cherry and grape tomatoes are amazing when roasted.
- Balsamic vinegar: If you don't care for balsamic or want a different flavor profile, you can replace the vinegar with fresh lemon juice. Use about 1 lemon, then more to taste.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Use as much or as little as you'd like depending on how much you enjoy garlic.
- Dried basil: Or other herbs of choice like dried oregano, thyme, Italian seasonings, etc.
Customize it! You can also make this with other seasonal veggies like eggplant, asparagus, or fresh herbs.
Toppings: Enjoy as is, or add your favorite toppings before serving. Fresh parsley, fresh basil leaves, chives, vegan feta cheese crumbles, pine nuts, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, red pepper flakes, or Kalamata olives would be great.
Making ahead: This is also a great make-ahead meal or side dish for packed lunches, picnics, meal prep, potlucks, BBQs, other gatherings, etc.
When to serve: Either serve this dish right away while it's warm, at room temperature, or chill in the fridge for later.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find they keep for about 3-4 days.
For more inspiration, also browse all healthy comfort food recipes.
Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Garlic-Balsamic
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 bell peppers (yellow, red, or orange)
- 1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 large)
- 8 oz. mushrooms (I use cremini)
- 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
- 3 roma tomatoes (or cherry/grape tomatoes)
For the garlic-balsamic dressing:
- 3 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Fresh parsley, basil, chives, vegan feta, olives, pine nuts, etc.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper (or Silpat).
- Dice zucchini, onion, and bell peppers (cored) into small, bite-sized pieces. Halve/quarter mushrooms.
- Place the veggies on the baking pan and salt if desired. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, to desired tenderness.
- Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package instructions. (I simmer mine about 8-12 minutes or until tender.)
- While orzo is cooking, make the dressing: Mince garlic, and add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Dice tomatoes and place in a large bowl.
- When orzo is finished cooking, drain and place in large bowl with the tomatoes.
- Immediately add the dressing and toss to combine.
- When vegetables are done roasting, add to bowl and stir.
- Salt to taste (or add more vinegar if desired.) Serve warm immediately or chilled.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this Roasted Vegetable Orzo recipe, also check out:
- Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas
- Vegan Creamy Garlic Pasta
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus
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Can you sauté the veggies instead of roasting? It is for too hot to turn the oven on right now.
Absolutely! (Grilling is another great option for this if you happen to have a grill.)
Made this this evening. It was delicious. I will definitely be making this again.
So wonderful to hear that, Jen! Thanks for the kind feedback.