Toasted Lemon Parmesan Orzo
Toasted Lemon Parmesan Orzo is a fresh and delicious side dish that’s easy to make and impossible to resist! Flavors of rich olive oil, zesty lemon, parmesan cheese and mouthwatering garlic are present in each bite of this toasted orzo. Make this side dish in just 20 minutes, and enjoy the bold medley of flavors!
Toasted Lemon Parmesan Orzo
I love carby side dishes that are satisfying and hearty, yet still bursting with fresh flavors. It helps them from not being so heavy! This toasted lemon parmesan orzo is nice and filling, yet not so filling that you can’t finish your plate. The fresh lemon flavor in each bite certainly helps this side dish remain bright and light, while still being oh-so satisfying. This orzo is so zesty and tasty, even those strict keto-fanatic friends of yours will be sneaking a bite or two!
We’re nearing the end of summer, which means I’m soaking up the last of the sunshine with some of my favorite light and fresh dishes. This toasted orzo has made several appearances in my kitchen this summer, and I won’t lie when I say it’s been served on a weekly basis lately! I’m just not ready to say goodbye to it quite yet. I’m so smitten with it, in fact, I might even whip it up this fall. Everyone at my kitchen table loves it so much too, I don’t think there will be any complaints.
Oh, and I should mention – this side dish is SO easy to make! Besides it being delicious every single time, I also rely on this tried and true recipe because of how quickly I can whip it up for dinner with such minimal effort. On those crazy weeknight evenings when I can barely gather my thoughts, it’s easy recipes like this that I rely on. In just about 20 minutes with simple ingredients, I can have a homemade side dish that everyone will want seconds of. What’s not to love?!
How to Make It
Heat it up. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Cook. Stir in the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, approximately 5-7 minutes. This is what gives it that amazing toasted flavor.
Add remaining ingredients. Add the lemon zest, juice, garlic and salt. Cook for 1 additional minute.
Boil. Stir in the water and bring to a boil.
Simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the orzo is al dente and all the water is absorbed; approximately 8 – 10 minutes.
Stir. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Enjoy! Serve immediately, and enjoy this zesty, cheesy side dish!
How long will toasted lemon parmesan orzo stay fresh?
In an airtight container in the refrigerator, this toasted orzo will stay fresh for about 3-4 days. And the best part? It actually reheats pretty well in the microwave! Take some of your leftovers to work with you and enjoy it as a light lunch for a real midday treat. Your coworkers will be so jealous!
What should I serve this side dish with?
I like to serve this orzo with some Lemon Garlic Steamed Shrimp! Together, shrimp and orzo are a classic combination. What makes this combo even better is that shrimp are famously delicious with fresh lemon juice, so all of the flavors at play really compliment each other. If shrimp isn’t your favorite protein, that’s also okay! Use other complimentary dishes like Lemon Chicken Scallopini to help showcase this delicious orzo.
Do I need to use fresh lemons?
Yes, yes, a million times YES! It’s important to use fresh lemons and not pre-bottled lemon juice for a few reasons. First, we’ll be using lemon zest as well as juice in this recipe, so it’s necessary to have actual lemons handy to get that flavorful zest. Also, and perhaps most importantly, fresh lemon juice yields so much more flavor than the bottled stuff that’s full of artificial flavors and preservatives. Since lemon is one of the most prominent flavors at play here, make the most of it by using fresh ingredients.
More Easy Side Dish Recipes
Get the Recipe: Toasted Lemon Parmesan Orzo
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Stir in the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Add the lemon zest, juice, garlic and salt. Cook for 1 additional minute.
- Stir in the water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the orzo is al dente and all the water is absorbed; approximately 8 – 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
- Serve immediately.