Lemon Parmesan Orzo

Lemon Parmesan Orzo

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This dish is creamy, cheesy, bright and filling! This #glutenfree #onepot meal is a risotto-like dish that is higher in protein than a traditional pasta recipe. You can make yours with meatballs, like I did. Or you can keep it #meatless . There is no cream in this recipe, but it still has the creamy texture that is so satisfying! The lemon and dill are the perfect complements to the cheesiness.

I’m not sure what it is about orzo, but it is one of my favorite pasta shapes! It’s kind of like rice, but really a pasta, which is fun. I think the texture is really great and it’s easy to bite in one scoop vs a long spaghetti noodle. Mayne that is why I like it so much, haha anyway…I am kind of obsessed with how this recipe turned out. You cook it all in one pot, which is so nice (less dishes!). It is ready in under 30 minutes, and it has minimal ingredients. Lots of pantry friendly items, which you typically had on hand.

Here I use Banza pasta, which is a pasta made with chickpeas. It is higher in protein than regular pasta and also gluten free! You can use whatever you like, including regular orzo. Just remember the nutrition facts will change. In my family, we really love red lentil pasta. I haven’t seen it in an orzo shape (yet!). My kids even love it! I love that they are getting plant based protein in with their comfort food.

Feel free to choose your favorite fresh herbs to include on top. I think dill goes really well here, but basil or chives would be great as well! Feel free to double this recipe if you are feeding more people!

Lemon Parmesan Orzo

Recipe by Stephanie SmithCourse: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time












  • 1/4 cup shallots. finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup Banza (Chickpea) Rice, dry (100g) – or regular orzo (nutrition will change)

  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup parmesan, freshly grated

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • Fresh herbs of choice, I used dill


  • Saute the shallot in a non stick skillet over medium heat until translucent (about 3 minutes)
  • Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds
  • Add dry orzo (rice) to the pan and toast for 60 seconds
  • Pour in the broth
  • Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally, adding spinach in final minute of cooking
  • Remove from heat and stir in salt, parmesan, and red pepper flakes.
  • Serve hot and top with fresh herbs, lemon slices, and meatballs if you like. Squeeze half the lemon over the top.


  • Feel free to eat without meatballs or add your favorite meatballs on top once you are done cooking it.

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