Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas


Quick and easy lemon orzo with parmesan and peas – As the winter is starting to melt away we make recipes that scream spring like this recipe.



 Quick and easy lemon orzo with parmesan and peas in a wooden bowl.


Garden Produce

There’s truly nothing better than fresh from the garden produce. I didn’t understand this as a child and I don’t know that many really have experienced true farm to table even today. Mom and Dad would harvest the garden with all of us kids at the end of summer, but for me it was the excitement of fresh corn, homemade raspberry jam, and making boats to float in our mud room sink made out of hollowed out cucumbers, while Mom and Dad were anxious to cut open a juicy tomato, sprinkle it with a little salt and savor every bite.


I’m not kidding. I did not get that. I still don’t eat a tomato like an apple. Do you?


I have gained such an appreciation for food that you’ve labored over and it’s just fact, fresh picked tastes better.


 Homemade Quick and easy lemon orzo with parmesan and peas in small wooden bowl next to lemons and parmesan cheese.


Unfortunately it’s not time for fresh peas but when they are ready we will be shelling them for this quick and easy lemon orzo with parmesan and peas. We often eat is as a main dish but it’s wonderful and light so it makes a great healthy side dish as well.



Wooden bowl of simple lemon orzo with parmesan and peas next to a red cloth.


What is orzo pasta?

I love this question. I can say, “WHAT?! What do you mean what is orzo?!

It’s fantastic and so easy to make!!

Haven’t you made our Copycat Zupas Tomato Soup with Orzo Pasta?!”

Orzo pasta is a flat, rice shaped pasta that is great in soup, salads or served just as pasta.

In fact, it can be cooked like rice or pasta and it’s nutrition is similar to rice, but it cooks up in about half the time.

It looks a little like slivered almonds.


A spoonful of delicious lemon orzo with parmesan and peas from a wooden bowl.


Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

Like I mentioned above, you can cook orzo like pasta, boiling it in liquid, which works well if you’re serving it in soup because you can just throw it in the last 10-15 minutes and let it cook right in the soup.


You can also cook it like rice. To cook orzo in a pan with chicken broth, or water if you need to, just toast the orzo in the bottom of a pan with a little oil until it begins to turn a little nutty. Add a little garlic, salt, or whatever seasoning you wish to you use, chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and place a lid on top. Cook until the pasta has absorbed the liquid and the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. In this recipe we add a little thyme to the liquid to add flavor, however the cooking rule for acid is to add it last, so the zest and lemon juice will go in at the very end along with the cheese and peas. That way everything is fresh and bright.


If you are serving orzo in a salad, make sure to rinse the pasta before cooking which will wash away the starch and keep the pasta from sticking.


gadget to measure spaghetti.

How Much Orzo Pasta Per Person?

We hate measuring pasta.

It’s so tricky to know how much spaghetti to grab.

I want to buy this little storage container just so I don’t over plan anymore.

Or even this one would work.

It’s way less money, but I do like that the first option is so convenient and stores it all so neatly.

I seriously always make way too much pasta.

Orzo pasta is a different story.

You can measure out orzo and should plan on about 1/4 cup (or 2 ounces) dry pasta per person.

Orzo will more than double in size when cooked so don’t worry, there will be enough.


Silver spoon in a wooden bowl full of Quick and easy lemon orzo with parmesan and peas on a white table.


You know, you could always throw in a little chicken with this quick and easy lemon orzo with parmesan and peas too… shoot why didn’t I think of that?


Looking for more delicious ORZO RECIPES?



Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

Yield: 4

Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas

Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas
As the winter is starting to melt away we make recipes that scream spring like this Quick and easy lemon orzo with parmesan and peas.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes


  • 1 1/2 Cups Dry Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Lemon, zested
  • Juice of Half a lemon
  • 1 1/2 Cups Peas
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and pasta.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally until toasted, about 30-60 seconds.
  3. Add garlic and stir it in followed by thyme.
  4. Add the broth, a small amount at a time.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet with a lid and turn down to a simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed most of the water and is tender.
  6. Remove the lid and add the lemon zest, juice, and peas and stir until the peas are bright and cooked.
  7. Add the cheese and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 481 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 959mg Carbohydrates: 85g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 14g Protein: 18g
 photo collage - Delicious lemon orzo with parmesan and peas in a wooden bowl.

Simple lemon orzo with parmesan and peas with a silver spoon next to lemons, parmesan cheese and a red cloth.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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39 comments on “Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas”

  1. Pingback: Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas – Big Mama Recipe

  2. Hey How long would this last in the fridge as leftovers?

  3. Wonderful recipe…so tasty! I made it more of a meal by shredding up a rotisserie chicken and it was great! I served it warm the first night and had it for lunch at room temp the following day. I added some extra lemon the second day (just bc I LOVE lemon), but to be honest, the flavors overall were better on the 2nd day (like most pasta salads). Thank you again for the super easy recipe! Please keep them coming!

  4. Two of us just chowed down on this. I was looking for a recipe to use things that were on hand. This is a keeper. I’m also thinking cold salad. Thank you!

  5. This was delightfully easy and delicious. I decided to make orzo at the last minute, after the main dish was in the oven. I’m a slow chef, and this dish was still done on time. It was delicious and a big hit. Will definitely save this recipe and make again. Thanks!

  6. This was absolutely delicious! I served it with Skinnytaste Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu (highly recommend) and roasted asparagus. This is quick, easy and full of flavor.  I will be making this again and again as a side with chicken and/or fish. Would make a great lunch on it’s own.  Yes, its that good!  (I’m glad I saw the tip to add the broth slowly)

  7. My husband and I love this recipe! It is extremely flavorful and yummy! Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  8. I have made this several times now because my 7 year old daughter LOVES it! I have added mushrooms or used whatever fresh herb Iʻve had and its always good. I agree the key is the slooow addition of liquid. Also, once the cheese is added things get bound up so nice to have a little extra liquid. I also feel that toasting the orzo first keeps it from getting soggy or “overcooked”. Last thought-it does suck to navigate ads but hey its free…geez! Thanks for a quick, easy “healthy” dinner my daughter loves!

  9. This was lovely! The flavours were great–I’m vegetarian, so I used a veggie stock pot rather than chicken stock, but it still got that nice, salty umami note–and the texture of the orzo was a wonderful surprise–so chewy! This may be my new default way of cooking orzo. Thank you for the recipe!

  10. DELICIOUS!!!

  11. Commenting only because your website is unreadable! I have never seen a website more broken by ads in my life. Pretty desperate and pathetic.

    • Hey Bob, I’m just going to be totally transparent, we HATE having ads with all of our heart. I wish we could get rid of them completely, but this is literally our full time job, which means as a full time food blogger you have two options- 1. make it a paid subscription site like cooks illustrated etc, or have ads. I know they can be a hassle and for that we are so sorry. We are always trying to find ways around it so please know we analyze the heck out of our site and pull ads, move ads etc based on what we can get away with deleting so it’s a better experience but in the end we cannot keep running the site without it paying our bills. 😞 Hope you can forgive us and see past them and I’ll look into if any are performing low and we can delete. Xoxo!”

  12. Are you sure this isn’t way too much liquid??? I have simmered for 10 min and it’s like chicken soup! I should have trusted my cooking instincts and gone with half the amount- after all orzo may look like rice, but it’s not. It’s pasta and pasta gets drained, rice soaks all the liqud in. Yikes! I’m trying to reduce so I can salvage- wish me luck.

    • Yes, that amount is correct. Gradually adding the broth is key as you need the pasta to start absorbing the liquid. Not all of the liquid will be gone as some will act as a little dressing.

  13. Can this be served cold?

  14. Pingback: Spring Brings Sweet Peppers, Asparagus & Peas to FMBM! at Bay Meadows: San Mateo

  15. Sounds lovely

  16. Can this recipe be made a day ahead? Will I need to make any adjustments to the recipe?

  17. Pingback: Bouncing Back – Our Life, Just Healthier

  18. Made this for a ladies Dinner Club. Followed directions exactly and it was DELICIOUS. You could taste the lemon but it was subtle. I will make it again.

  19. Made this for a potluck and everyone loved it! I grilled chicken and added it cubed to the dish, and broiled the dish at the end with extra parmesan on top to crisp it up a little. Great quick and easy dish!

  20. Pingback: Soft Foods for Seniors – Exciting Recipes that Taste Great

  21. Pingback: My Favorite Pinterest Recipes… – The Life ANDA Whole Lotta Love

  22. A pasta spoon (the claw shaped thing) has a hole in the middle that is a measurement for one portion of spaghetti.

  23. Pingback: Modish Taste | Quick and Easy Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas