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!

Lemon Orzo being served in a white bowl

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.

peeling lemon for Lemon Orzo

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!

  1. Simmer orzo, broth, oregano, and lemon zest to until the orzo is tender.
  2. Remove from heat, add butter, and let the orzo rest (per recipe below).
  3. 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!

lemon being squeezed on Lemon Orzo

What to Serve with Lemon Orzo

Lemon orzo salad is a great side dish, and also works as an entrée dish or protein salad.

Other Tasty Pairings

Got Leftovers?

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

Did you enjoy this Lemon Orzo? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Lemon Orzo with garnish and lemon in a bowl
4.96 from 74 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Lemon Orzo

This lemon orzo salad recipe has a bright citrus flavor, thanks to the secret of adding lemon rind to the broth!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Optional additions
Stir in 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese
Stir in 2 green onions finely sliced
4.96 from 74 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 168 | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 553mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek

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Lemon Orzo with lemon being squeezed and writing
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Lemon Orzo closeup with garnish and writing
Lemon Orzo with lemon squeeze and writing

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. This was a hit! We paired it with parmesan crusted chicken and a great salad, and it was perfect. Thank you!

  2. 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.5 stars