Lemon Parmesan Orzo

Orzo step 1 hd1280
Orzo tossed with Italian parsley, lemon and Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 40,726
  • Success: 95%

Step 1: Making the Lemon Parmesan Orzo

• sea salt (for the cooking water)
• 2 cups orzo pasta
• 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
• 1/2 cup green onions (or chives)
• 1/8 cup mint
• 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2 tsp lemon zest
• sea salt, to taste
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt (1 tsp per liter/quart of water). Add the orzo and cook for 12 to 15 minutes (or according to the package).

While the orzo cooks, finely chop the parsley, mint and green onions. Grate the parmesan and zest the lemon.

When the orzo is ready, strain and add the butter to the hot pot. Add the orzo back to pot, and add the parsley, mint, green onions, parmesan, lemon zest, and the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

Many people have never heard of orzo but it is guaranteed to please rice lovers and pasta lovers alike. The secret is in the fresh lemon zest and the real Parmigiano Reggiano. Basically the fresher the ingredients the better the end result!

Note: Orzo is not a variety of rice, although it looks like it might be given its rice-like shape. It is actually a type of pasta that can be found in most stores and Italian markets. This recipe makes a delicious hot side or it can be served as a yummy cold salad. If making this dish as a cold salad, replace the butter with olive oil.