This Orzo Pasta Recipe with Summer Vegetables is the perfect easy weeknight dinner idea!
Let me ask you a question. How often do you not feel like cooking dinner? I’m really curious. Because I love to cook, and I still find myself not feeling like it at least three nights a week.
I think there’s a big difference between cooking (which I love) and cooking in real life (which is not as fun). Life causes busyness, stress, sibling fights, errands to run, and all of these things contribute to me not wanting to cook.
Anyone else? The problem is, even when I don’t feel like cooking, I usually do feel like good food. I want fresh vegetables; I don’t want something that is going to make me feel sluggish like so many restaurant meals can.
This dinner is the perfect I-don’t-feel-like-cooking dinner-but-I-still-want-good-food dinner.
There’s a little prep, but it’s pretty minimal. (Even better if you prep it ahead of time like in my Conquer Dinner method!) Everything comes together super quickly. 30 minutes or even less if you’re fast.
And it’s fresh, good food.
I use whole wheat orzo. I usually can’t find it in the store, but I order it from Amazon. I cook it in vegetable or chicken broth for maximum flavor.
Here I’m using seasonal summer produce, but you can sub out whatever vegetables you have on hand that cook quickly (or extend the cooking time a bit). The dish is finished with some parmesan cheese, which is just enough cheese to give great flavor but not make the dish too heavy.
Even if you don’t feel like cooking, this dinner needs to go on your list!
- Avocado oil– I like to use avocado oil because it’s filled with vitamin E and it’s a great way to increase your healthy fat-intake. You can also use olive oil if you prefer.
- Yellow onion– Onions add great nutritional value to this dish. They help fight inflammation and reduce cholesterol levels.
- Summer squash– Squash is a nutritional power-packed veggie that not only adds great flavor, but is loaded with many different vitamins, fiber, and potassium.
- Tomato– Tomatoes are incredible for this dish. You’ll get a boost of antioxidants along with some vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and potassium.
- Garlic– Garlic adds a pleasing aroma and depth of flavor. It also has numerous health benefits.
- Baby Spinach– Spinach is a superfood that adds great nutritional value to this dish. It’s filled with vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, folic acid, calcium, and more.
- Whole Wheat Orzo–Eating orzo helps keep you full; plus, if you eat whole wheat orzo, it has fiber and protein.
- Chicken or vegetable stock–I used homemade slow cooker chicken stock, but you can also use vegetable stock as a vegetarian option.
- Parmesan cheese– Parmesan cheese adds protein and the perfect touch of flavor to this combination of ingredients.
- Salt and Pepper-Just a little bit of salt and pepper is all you need to take it from great to extraordinary!
How to make Orzo Pasta Recipe with Summer Vegetables
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until they are soft which takes about 5 minutes.
2. Add the summer squash to the skillet, season with salt and pepper to your liking, and cook another 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomato, garlic, and spinach, and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring the orzo and vegetable or chicken stock to a boil in a small to medium sauce pan (you’ll be adding this to the large skillet later). Boil on low until the orzo is cooked and the stock is mostly absorbed, but there is still some stock left, about 6 minutes.
5. Add the orzo to the vegetable skillet and stir to combine. Add the parmesan cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve and enjoy!
Faqs about Orzo Pasta Recipe with Summer Vegetables:
Should I rinse orzo before cooking it?
No, rinsing your orzo is not necessary. Rinsing it removes a light coating of starch which is needed to help the vegetable juices and seasoning stick to the orzo.
Can I serve this dish cold?
Absolutely! This dish is good served warm or cold, try it both ways and see which you prefer!
Can I use different vegetables?
Yes! I chose to use some seasonal produce, but feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand.
What is orzo made out of?
Orzo is a form of pasta that’s shaped like a large grain of rice. I used whole wheat orzo, but some are made from white flour.
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating below! It’s so helpful for other readers to see which recipes are tried and true! I’d also love to see it–share your photo of this dish and tag me on Instagram, and I’ll feature you!Print
Summer Vegetable Orzo
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 very large summer squash, or 2–3 smaller summer squashes, diced
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach, chopped
- 2/3 cup whole wheat orzo
- 1 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the summer squash to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato, garlic, and spinach, and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring the orzo and vegetable or chicken stock to a boil in a small to medium sauce pan. Boil on low until the orzo is cooked and the stock is mostly absorbed, but there is still some stock left, about 6 minutes.
- Add the orzo to the vegetable skillet and stir to combine. Add the parmesan cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
- Calories: 403
- Sugar: 8
- Fat: 17
- Carbohydrates: 43
- Fiber: 4
- Protein: 23
Would you like to save this recipe for later? Here’s an image to pin to your Pinterest recipe board!