Enjoy this simple and fast dish, ready in just 20 minutes; lemony orzo with asparagus and feta. Finish off with some fresh herbs for a light side dish.
I love cooking with orzo pasta, it’s such a fun shape that can be used in so many kinds of dishes. This recipe is a vegetarian spring pasta dish that can be eaten warm or cold–both preparations work here.
The asparagus gets added to the orzo during the last two minutes of cooking, so it keeps a little bit of its bite but is perfectly tender. And you’ll only have one pot to wash–my kind of recipe!
The key to cooking the asparagus and orzo this way together is to slice the asparagus along the bias into small pieces that almost mimic the shape of the orzo. This means they’ll cook during the last two minutes of the orzo’s cook time.
I’ve also tested this recipe adding cooked bacon bits, and it’s delicious, so adding some bacon is definitely an option or try this recipe for orzo with bacon and asparagus or my bacon and asparagus frittata.
I’ve included a few of my favourite asparagus flavour pairings in here. First in the dressing of this dish which is a bright and punchy lemon, olive oil and garlic dressing. A simple vinaigrette–sans vinegar.
Lemon is a favourite companion for asparagus so I love amping up the flavour and adding both lemon zest and juice in this dish.
Similarly, the tangy, salty bite of feta is something that keeps this dish light and makes every bite a little bit different. You could also use parmesan cheese here, but if you enjoy feta, you’ll want to reach for that.
I’ve added tomatoes as I love the way they burst when you get one in a bite, and finishing with some fresh herbs (basil, parsley or dill would be great here) is one of my favourite tips for taking a dish up to the next level, with zero effort.
Simple, fresh and flavourful!
Asparagus Orzo with Lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 small clove garlic, grated
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cup orzo
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/4" pieces on the bias
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup feta
- 1 tbsp minced herbs, like basil, parsley or dill
- In a medium bowl, whisk lemon zest and juice with olive oil, garlic and salt.
- Bring 7 cups of salted water to a boil, add orzo and cook according to package directions. During the last two minutes of cooking, add asparagus. Drain and toss with prepared dressing.
- Add tomatoes and feta and serve.