Orzo is one of those fun kinds of pasta that can be served either hot or cold and can be made so many different ways, so get creative!
Lemon orzo has a bright citrus flavor and comes out creamy and delicious!
For a last-minute side dish or salad for a crowd, this lemon orzo salad will have everyone going for seconds! Using only a few simple ingredients, you can make this delicious lemon orzo in under 30 minutes.
What is Orzo
Pasta comes in dozens, if not hundreds of different shapes! Orzo (also called risoni) is commonly used in Greek food, but can be used in place of rice in any dish! Although in appearance orzo can look like rice, it is actually pasta.
It’s great added to soups or served chilled as an orzo salad.
How to Cook Lemon Orzo
Orzo is as easy to make as any rice or pasta. A tangy flavor takes just a few ingredients and a sprinkling of fresh chopped mint adds freshness!
- Simmer orzo, broth, oregano, and lemon zest to until the orzo is tender.
- Remove from heat, add butter, and let the orzo rest (per recipe below).
- Fluff with a fork and add lemon juice, mint, or parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: For a little pop of color and flavor, try garnishing with finely sliced green onions and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!
What to Serve with Lemon Orzo
Lemon orzo salad is a great side dish, and also works as an entrée dish or protein salad.
- Add some cooked chicken or mini meatballs.
- Even lamb meatballs add a Greek flair!
- Try pairing with blackened salmon for a light lunch!
Other Tasty Pairings
- Serve as a side with your favorite Greek inspired dishes from meatballs to souvlaki.
- Stir in a splash or two of heavy cream and some parmesan cheese.
- Add in roasted asparagus or your steamed broccoli.
- Top with sliced grilled chicken breasts.
REFRIGERATE: Be sure to refrigerate any cooked orzo within two hours of cooking in an airtight container or a plastic zippered bag, which can last about 3 to 5 days in the fridge.
FREEZE: You can also freeze orzo in a zippered bag, just make sure to date it.
REHEAT: Simply reheat on the stovetop when you want to serve (you may need to add some water if needed). Add a little lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Easy Side Dishes
- Creamy Stovetop Mushroom Orzo – hearty & satisfying meal
- Couscous – with tomatoes and Feta
- Easy Mushroom Rice
- Easy Orzo Pasta Salad – tangy and tasty
- Easy Rice Pilaf
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad – simple to prepare
- Zucchini Orzo Recipe
Did you enjoy this Lemon Orzo? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
- 1 lemon for juice and zesting
- 1 cup orzo
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint finely chopped or 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel off two large strips of lemon zest.
- Bring orzo, broth, oregano and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 13-15 minutes uncovered until the orzo is tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter. Rest 5 minutes.
- Juice half of the lemon over the orzo, add mint or parsley and stir. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Stir in 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese
Stir in 2 green onions finely sliced
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I was looking for a lemon orzo recipe and this was perfect! Simple, easy, and delicious!
Quick and delicious and a much appreciated change from rice or potatoes.
Can it be served cold?
Absolutely! This recipe is great served chilled as an orzo salad.
I spread it out on a platter and topped it with crispy baked shrimp scampi!
This was a hit! We paired it with parmesan crusted chicken and a great salad, and it was perfect. Thank you!
This was absolutely delicious! It reminded me of an orzo style risotto. So easy to make. This is a new favorite go-to for me! Thanks for this amazing recipe.