Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato

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Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato is a quick and easy side dish that goes great with chicken, pork chops, or double the portion and enjoy it as a main dish.

Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato is a quick and easy side dish that goes great with chicken, pork chops, or double the portion and enjoy it as a main dish.
Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato

This healthy orzo recipe would make the perfect side for any protein. You could serve it with chicken, steak, or salmon. It would also be great with grilled chicken or shrimp if you did want to add in some protein to make it a complete meal. Some other easy orzo recipes are Shrimp Scampi with Broccoli Orzo and Broccoli and Orzo.

Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato is a quick and easy side dish that goes great with chicken, pork chops, or double the portion and enjoy it as a main dish.

I whipped up this warm orzo side dish the other night to serve with my air fryer chicken tenders (posting recipe tomorrow!) for a really quick and easy meal. I showed the dish on my Instagram Stories and got so many requests for the recipe, so here it is.

I needed a simple side dish to go with the chicken tenders. This easy orzo recipe was perfect since it didn’t call for many ingredients and cooks quickly. The longest step is cooking the pasta. But once the orzo is done, the rest of the dish comes together in under ten minutes.

This vegetarian orzo recipe is very versatile. You could substitute the zucchini with yellow squash if you prefer. You could also add in other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and bell pepper.

How to Cook Orzo

Orzo is a tiny rice-shaped pasta that you cook in boiling water just like any other pasta. For this recipe, you can use any small shaped pasta you have, such as ditalini or pearl couscous.

Once the orzo is cooked to al dente, save half a cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Add oil to the pot after draining the pasta and sauté the garlic and then the zucchini and tomato. Season with salt and pepper and cook a few more minutes. Mix in the orzo and some of the reserved liquid if the pasta is dry. Top with grated cheese and enjoy!

Variations:

  • Swap orzo for another small pasta like ditalini or pearl couscous.
  • Substitute zucchini for yellow squash or add in other vegetables if you prefer.
  • Add in chicken or shrimp for protein to make this orzo side dish a complete meal.

orzo pastaOrzo with Zucchini and TomatoOrzo with Zucchini and Tomato is a quick and easy side dish that goes great with chicken, pork chops, or double the portion and enjoy it as a main dish.

More Easy Side Dishes You’ll Love:

Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato is a quick and easy side dish that goes great with chicken, pork chops, or double the portion and enjoy it as a main dish.
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5 from 34 votes
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Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato

6
6
6
SP
144 Cals 5.5 Protein 17.5 Carbs 5.5 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Side Dish
CUISINE: Italian
Orzo with Zucchini and Tomato is a quick and easy side dish that goes great with chicken, pork chops, or double the portion and enjoy it as a main dish.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 large zucchini, 1/4-inch dice (5 ounces total)
  • 1 small plum or Campari tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Instructions

  • Cook pasta in large pot of salted water as directed for al dente.
  • Reserve about 1/2 cup liquid before draining. Drain orzo in a colander and add the oil to the pot.
  • Saute garlic 1 minute, until fragrant, add the zucchini and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the cooked orzo and stir to combine all. Add some of the reserved liquid as needed so pasta isn't dry.
  • Add freshly grated cheese and stir.

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cup, Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 17.5g, Protein: 5.5g, Fat: 5.5g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 119mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 1.5g
Blue Smart Points: 6
Green Smart Points: 6
Purple Smart Points: 6
Points +: 4
Keywords: easy side dish, Kid Friendly, orzo and zucchini

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55 comments

  1. I used my last zucchini from my garden and doubled he recipe to make for lunches last week with some grilled chicken. 
    Very tasty and filling!

  2. So good and so easy to make! My 4 year old even loved every bite.

  3. Fun to make and really colorful, too! I added some frozen corn and threw in some pre-cooked frozen shrimp at the end. Totally yummy and leftovers I look forward to eating. Thank YOU!

  4. Should this be served warm or cold?

  5. So easy, addicting and delicious. 

  6. Super easy and quick. Loved the mild flavor. I had it with a cod fillet, perfect combination.

  7. Well isn’t this the best pasta salad I’ve ever eaten!? Simple ingredients. Easy to make. Ultra tasty! I made this as written, with the exception of adding my tomato raw instead of sautéing it (I prefer the bright freshness). This will go into weekly rotation for sure. Thank you yet again for another winning recipe 🙏🏻❤️

  8. Favourite side dish, it’s a staple in our house!

  9. This is so simple but so delicious.

  10. Have not used Orzo very much, but that will change now.
    we really enjoyed this with fresh zucchini from the garden . Will be trying other
    combinations as well.

  11. Add the Weber Zesty Lemon seasoning to it (a healthy dose!) – you will not regret it!! This was delish!! 

  12. I made this with garden-fresh veggies. Instead of using the pasta water, I actually let it all cool down and used Italian dressing, turning it into a cold-serve salad. It was amazing!! 

  13. Super easy & tasty! Served with maple dijon pork chops. Will make again for sure!

  14. This is so good!  I added blackened chicken strips chopped up.  My mom and I loved it!

  15. So yummy! Put Salmon and a few shrimp on top. I would order this at a restaurant but doubtful it would be as good as mine!

  16. This is so flavorful. Who said that food can’t taste this good.

  17. YUM! Served hot or chilled- this is a winner. Light, fresh, and great flavor. I sprinkle a little fresh Parmesan on top right before serving. SO GOOD!

  18. Delicious!!

  19. This is such a great summer side dish! I made this yesterday and paired it with baked pork chops. So easy and quick to make! 

  20. We made this for Father’s Day and everyone loved it!

  21. I made this tonight and served with a simple grilled chicken.  It was wonderful … so light and tasty.  It would be great with fish, with shrimp, scallops, whatever.  This ones a keeper!

  22. Delicious! 

  23. We added shrimp. It was absolutely delicious! 

  24. This was so easy and DELICIOUS! I used ditalini pasta and added grilled chicken and fresh asparagus from the garden! The fresh grated Parmesan was the perfect touch to top it off! One serving was filling and we had leftovers too.

  25. This is so good! I love your site! I have made this twice now. Last time I just added broccoli. Simple and quick lunch, light dinner or side dish.

  26. This was such a delicious and healthy side dish – so simple to make, too! I was about 1 oz. short on orzo so I broke up spaghetti into small pieces to make up the difference. We didn’t even notice. 

  27. I am so excited to try this recipe! How many does it serve? 

  28. This was so easy to make and tasted fantastic! I sautéd some minced onion with my garlic and then realized that onion wasn’t in the recipe! Oops! I made with zucchini and tomatoes as written but could probably throw in just about any veg you have on hand. 
    I ate with some simple grilled chicken breast. This was a flavorful side that I’ll make over and over again! 

  29. All your recipes are so good. Tonight I made scallops in the sous vide with this as the side dish. Delicious and low calorie. Thanks for all your recipes. I am a huge fan.

  30. This is such a delicious, quick, and simple little dish. My kids both asked for seconds, which is always the mark of a great recipe in our house. We all agreed we’ll be making it again soon.

  31. Oh!  My!  Goodness!!!  Gina, you have knocked it out of the ballpark with this one!!  I made this and added some chopped baby bella mushrooms.  I was expecting good, but I got great!!  Served it with the AF chicken tenders, which were great in their own right!  But, I’m craving pasta and could have easily eaten a double portion of the orzo!!  Thank you so much!  Keep up this wonderful job that you do for us!!

  32. Great with grilled pork tenderloin and my family loved it! SO easy to make and no leftovers!

  33. My 3 year old and 18 month old LOVED this! They devoured it and the whole family enjoyed it. Thank you!!

  34. This was such an easy fresh tasting side…thanks!

  35. This is an amazing recipe! I used Feta instead of Parmesan (that’s what I had at home), a squirt of lemon juice, and added some fresh chopped cilantro. It added a little kick to it. Extremely easy to make too! Had it as a side with pork chops. 

  36. Saw it in my email, made it tonight for dinner with chimichurri bone-in pork chops. Since Orzo is one of my favorite pastas, i could not ignore. The dish came together so super fast. Great side, especially now that it gets warmer.

  37. Yes, I agree with previous post. I entered each ingredient in the “create recipe “ function on WW app. On green plan,  for 4 servings, it’s 6 points. Having said that, it’s great!  I served it as a side with grilled lobster tails. Perfect!!

  38. I calculate 5 points on green, 6 if u add the cheese

  39. Can you make this ahead of time and heat up for dinner or even serve it cold?

  40. This was a great side dish. I love anything orzo! I cooked the orzo in chicken broth because it adds more flavor and used cherry tomatoes because that’s what I had- plus they have great flavor. Really good and very easy!

  41. Does this recipe use regular orzo Or whole wheat orzo?

  42. I’d add some chopped scallions and grated lemon zest (or a squirt of fresh lemon juice) for some brightness and fresh basil and parley (Italian also). This is a great “do as you please” side/salad/main dish. I bet some feta would also be fantastic. Ooohhhh….toss in some garbanzo beans! 

  43. Great with feta and added chick peas!!

  44. How much dry orzo equals  v 5 oz?

  45. I saw this recipe today and happened to have everything on hand. What an easy and delicious recipe! We grilled a flank steak and had this as a side dish. It was delicious! Next time I may add some mushrooms and onions. 

  46. Perfect timing, I had both zucchini and cherry tomatoes that I needed to use up! I added shrimp and crushed red pepper. Delicious!

  47. How fortuitous that this recipe fell right onto my lap!  I did not even know I needed this. Looking for a nice side dish to go with my slow cooker chicken and voila this appears. I did not have orzo but had pearl couscous and tons of zucchini and tomatoes that I did not know what to do with! Perfect dish and nice to eat on a sunny spring day! Thanks! Plus I love your recipes and have your 1st cookbook. This is my go to site for all great dishes!