Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas is a delicious vegan one-pot meal. You only need 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes to make it.
Do you love one-pot meals as much as I do?
And while I’ve always been a fan of orzo pasta, I hadn’t eaten in years since I have a gluten sensitivity.
But recently I discovered a gluten-free orzo, and I’ve been enjoying it in this Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas.
Orzo is a short pasta that looks like rice.
Also known as risoni, or big rice, orzo means “barley” in Italian.
But rather than containing barley, it’s typically made from wheat.
However, now it’s relatively easy to find gluten-free versions of most pasta shapes on the market.
The orzo I purchased is a blend of corn and rice.
And to make Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas, you only need 5 basic ingredients, plus salt and pepper:
- chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- olive oil
And this one-pot meal comes together in about 30 minutes.
Before making Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas, I like to prep the ingredients.
While I’m waiting for the water the boil to cook the orzo, I start by removing the tough ends of the asparagus.
Gently bend the spears, and the woody ends will naturally snap off.
Then I slice the asparagus into bite-size pieces.
Next I work on the lemon.
For Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas, we’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
First I use a microplane or lemon zester to remove the yellow part of the rind.
Then I cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice in a small bowl, removing the seeds, as necessary.
Now we’re ready to start making the Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas.
Making Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas is really easy.
Start by cooking the orzo according to the package directions.
When the pasta needs two or three minutes more to cook, add the sliced asparagus to the pot.
Allow the orzo and asparagus to cook together for a few minutes until the pasta is al dente and the vegetables are bright green and tender.
Be careful not to overcook them.
No one wants mushy pasta and asparagus.
When they are just right, drain the orzo and asparagus and return them to the pot without rinsing.
Then stir in the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Give it a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
And if you like it more lemony, feel free to add extra lemon juice and zest.
I recommend serving the Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas with some extra lemon wedges on the side.
Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas is a filling one-pot meal.
Even though it doesn’t look like much when you serve it, I always feel very satiated after a eating a bowl.
But don’t worry if you end up with leftovers.
Lemon Orzo reheats wonderfully and will last refrigerated for several days.
I’m always happy to have it for lunches with an extra squeeze of lemon.
In fact, I may have recently eaten it three days in a row, yet was sad when it was all gone.
Now let’s make Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas!
Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Chickpeas
- 12 ounces orzo, (I use gluten-free)
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 can chickpeas, (15.5 ounces or 1 1/2 cups cooked) rinsed and drained
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, zest and juice (See Notes)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
- Start cooking the orzo in large pot of boiling water according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, prep the asparagus by breaking off the tough ends and slice the spears into bite-size pieces.
- When the orzo is almost cooked but needs a few more minutes, add the asparagus to the pot. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes more until the asparagus is tender and bright green, and the pasta is cooked al dente.
- Drain the orzo and asparagus, but do not rinse. Return the orzo and asparagus to the pot.
- Add the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the orzo and asparagus and fold to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with lemon wedges on the side in case you want to add more lemon juice as you're eating.