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Lemon Garlic Orzo with asparagus in a bowl with spoon

Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus

This light & easy lemony orzo with asparagus is a lovely spring side dish with a pop of fresh flavors.
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
Total Time:20 mins
CourseSide Dish
CuisineGluten-Free Option, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings6 side servings


  • 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.


*Cooking asparagus: Method 1: If you have a steamer basket, steam for about 3-7 minutes, depending on how thick the stalks are. Method 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. Method 3: You could also grill, roast, or broil the asparagus.
Gluten-free option: Use GF orzo, or substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta, quinoa, or rice instead of the orzo.
Optional additions: Fresh basil, baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan feta crumbles, spring peas, cherry tomatoes, shallot, pine nuts, vegan parmesan, etc.

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 112 kcal | Carbohydrates: 23 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 1 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Potassium: 237 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 762 IU | Vitamin C: 11 mg | Calcium: 30 mg | Iron: 2 mg