4.34 from 3 votes

Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus

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.
Author: Kaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free Option, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings: 6 side servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
  • 1 large lemon (& optional zest)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (I like 2)
  • 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.

Instructions

  • Cook orzo: in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. (You can opt for vegetable broth to add more flavor.) Add orzo, stir well, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing: mince garlic and juice 1 large lemon, yielding about 1/4 cup lemon juice. (Zest a bit of lemon peel first if desired – I use this microplane grater/zester.)
  • Place lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl, and set aside.
  • 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.

Notes

*Two methods of steaming asparagus:
1. If you have a steamer basket, steam for about 3-7 minutes, depending on how thick the stalks are.
2. Place 1 cup water in a large skillet and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, cover, and steam for 3-7 minutes or until stalks are just tender (taking care not to overcook!)
You could also grill, roast, or broil, etc. the asparagus – any will work for this recipe!
Gluten-free option: use GF orzo, or substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta instead of the orzo.

NUTRITION PER SERVING (ESTIMATE)

Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1215IU | Vitamin C: 24.2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2.5mg