Orzo with zucchini and tomato (easy garnish!)

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Orzo with zucchini and tomato is a quick and easy accompaniment that pairs very well with chicken, pork chops, or double the serving and enjoy as a main course.

Orzo with zucchini and tomato

This healthy orzo recipe would be the perfect side for any protein. You can serve it with chicken, fillet or salmon. It would also be great with grilled chicken or shrimp if you wanted to add a little protein to make it a complete meal. Some other easy orzo recipes are garlic prawns with broccoli orzo and broccoli and orzo.

The other night I made this warm orzo accompaniment to serve with my deep fried chicken blenders (I'll post the recipe tomorrow!) For a really quick and easy meal. I showed the dish in my Instagram Stories and received so many requests for the recipe, so here it is.

I needed a simple garnish to go with the chicken tenders. This easy orzo recipe was perfect as it didn't require many ingredients and it cooks quickly. The longest step is to cook the pasta. But once the orzo is done, the rest of the plate comes together in less than ten minutes.

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

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How to cook orzo

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


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

More easy side dishes that you'll love:

Orzo with zucchini and tomato

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Orzo with zucchini and tomato is a quick and easy accompaniment that pairs very well with chicken, pork chops, or double the serving and enjoy as a main course.

  • 5 oz raw orzo pasta
  • 1/2 large zucchini, 1/4 inch cubes (5 ounces total)
  • 1 small plum or Campari tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino cheese
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water as indicated for al dente.

  • Reserve about 1/2 cup of liquid before draining. Drain the orzo in a strainer and add the oil to the pot.

  • Saut√© garlic 1 minute, until fragrant, add zucchini and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Cook until tender, 3-4 minutes.

  • Add cooked orzo and stir to combine everything. Add a little of the reserved liquid as necessary so that the pasta is not dry.

  • Add freshly grated cheese and stir.

Serving Size: 3/4 cup, Calories: 144kcal, Carbs: 17.5g, Protein: 5.5g, Fat: 5.5g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 119mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 1.5g

Blue Smart Dots: 3

Green Smart Dots: 3

Purple Smart Dots: 3

Keywords: Easy Garnish, Kid Friendly, Orzo and Zucchini

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