Lemon Orzo with Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Orzo Zucchini Tomatoes

I think, sometimes, every cook is a little intimidated by things they’ve never cooked before. For me, orzo was one of those things. I thought it was only available in specialty markets for some reason, until one day my eyes grazed over it on the way to grab a box of rigatoni. For a one-dollar box, uh, yes, I’ll take a risk and try it out. After all, I had this really delicious sounding recipe in mind!

Orzo was much easier to both cook and find than I imagined, and this recipe from the very talented Jessica at The Novice Chef was just as scrumptious as I hoped it would be.

Either as a side dish or full dinner, this would be perfect. Bright lemon flavors, fragrant garlic and chunks of sautéed zucchini and cherry tomatoes give it flavor, color and make for easy leftovers to heat up or eat chilled the next day.

It was fun to learn something new about this little rice-shaped pasta, and I can’t wait to make this and other variations again soon. Is there anything new and different on your list to try?

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Print Recipe

Lemon Orzo with Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Yield: Serves 3-4


1 cup orzo
8 cups water
1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large zucchini, chopped
12-15 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 tbsp. lemon zest
salt and pepper


Bring water and bouillon to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add orzo and cook according to package, about 9 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Wait for the skillet to heat up a bit. Add zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot and garlic. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.

Remove from heat and add thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, stirring well. Then toss with orzo until well combined. Serve immediately.


Adapted from The Novice Chef