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?

Lemon Orzo with Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Servings 3 to 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.
  • Enjoy!

Join the Conversation

  1. Yummy! i LOVE lemon orzo! :)

  2. To me, orzo is the perfect vehicle for bright, light dishes like this. I love the combination of ingredients here…can’t wait to give it a try!

  3. I love orzo salad. I bet it taste really good with all the spices.

  4. I know what you mean for trying something new in the kitchen. I have a list dedicated to “new & terrifying”…but I am slowly making my way through it. You have a gorgeous site & beautiful photography! So glad you found my site, I am adding yours so I can follow your new recipes! Love it!

  5. Oh does this look good, it makes me long for those long hot summer days where salads and fresh veges are everywhere! YOur blog is wonderful!!

  6. What a great shot. Making me hungry!

  7. What a gorgeous photograph! Recipe sounds lovely too. I like orzo–sometimes even just as a side dish, tossed with butter and salt.

  8. Georgia — you have a grogeious blog — yourphotos are really beautiful. Joni

  9. Georgia, for some reason my internet is so slow and I am typing faster than I can see my words. Sorry for the typos. Joni

  10. So glad you enjoyed it! Next time I am definitely going to try it with the lemon! YUM! :-)

  11. I love everything about this dish, especially the lemon! Orzo is so fun, and I have the tri-colored kind, too.

  12. I make some very similar to this…but since Chris refuses to eat orzo, it very rarely ends up on my table. Can I come to your house for dinner next time??? :) Beautiful picture, Georgia!

  13. wow..I am going to have to give this a try! It looks so unbelievably delicious! Great photos!

  14. LOVE this! I’ve always had this incredible love for orzo, but I’ve never tried it with zucchini and tomatoes! What a great idea, thanks for sharing! (And gorgeous picture btw!) :)

  15. This looks so fresh and flavorful. I came upon orzo last year, and I love cooking with it! I just got a bag of Pumpernickel flour, and I’m hoping to start experimenting with it. Thank you for sharing another creative and beautiful recipe. I hope you have a great Thursday…the week is almost done!

  16. This is my kind of food. Simple, healthy, and delicious.

  17. I’ve been afraid of orzo too! So happy that it worked out so beautifully for you. I might have to try it someday.

  18. This looks like the perfect dinner. I need to be healthy right now for marathon training, and can’t wait to try this!

  19. Oh! I love orzo pasta…but haven’t tried the tri-color…love the idea of lemony flavor…yummie!

  20. I’ve never had orzo before, but it looks fantastic in this dish! This would be a great addition to my eat healthier new years resolution meal plans :)

  21. Gorgeous, I am opening my mouth but the spoon is not reaching me! ha

    Lovely, fresh.

    I want to work with tomatillos.

  22. I love orzo…have eaten it in restaurants but never actually seen it available to buy anywhere…great looking dish btw!

  23. This beautiful recipe and photo make we wish spring was here. I will have to bookmark it for garden season.

  24. These are wonderful pictures and an excellent recipe

  25. beautiful! just beautiful… thank you for sharing this sweetie and as always i really appreciate your comments on my blog. *hugs*

  26. I LOVE orzo…and this looks so colorfu and bright!! Perfect for brightening a dreary winter day for sure!! Saving this one…I cook with orzo quite a bit.

  27. Congrats on sharing the Top 9 with me today!! :)

  28. Sounds so fresh and exciting. Love the bright flavors in this!

  29. This sounds wonderful. I’m a huge fan of orzo, but I’ve never cooked it in bouillon before – what a fantastic idea. It looks beautiful.

  30. Looks delicious…I love how fresh and colorful it is :)

  31. You won my heart at lemon orzo. What a brilliant recipe. Love your blog and I am your newest follower!


  32. Lisa Dobson says:

    I am growing zucchini at the moment and always need new recipes as they are very prolific. I’m glad you were in the top 9 because it introduced me to your site. Thank you!

  33. I’m going to have to try this…your orzo dish is so colorful and vibrant. I don’t have any experience using or tasting it yet…but this is on my list of things to try for sure. ;)

  34. I am a new blogger and soon getting addicted to it :P .. Love this dish of your .. so colorful .. i have to give a try at this ..

  35. This looks so fresh and delicious- it makes me long for summer and fresh veggies!

  36. Ok so I’ve had a package of orzo for a while now. I think your recipe is going to get me to try it. I think I’ll make it with fish. Thanks again

  37. StephanieF says:

    I just made this and it’s soo good! It made enough for me to eat tonight and pack away for lunch for the next 2 days. The lemon zest really makes it- don’t leave that out!

  38. Zucchini, tomatoes, and thyme are fresh! This was a colorful, tasty add to salmon dinner. Thanks!

  39. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my website =). We could have a link exchange arrangement between us!

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