One pot, 5 ingredients, and 30 minutes are all you need to make this delicious vegan Lemon Asparagus Orzo with chickpeas. It's a complete meal on its own perfect for busy weeknights and make-ahead dinners.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's loaded with lemony flavor and only requires 5 ingredients (plus salt and pepper).
- You can make it in half an hour.
- The leftovers taste amazing, making it perfect for meal prep.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Orzo: If you or someone you cook for follows a gluten-free diet like I do, I recommend DeLallo Gluten-Free Orzo.
- While waiting for the water to boil to cook the pasta, remove the tough ends of the asparagus. Gently bend the spears, and the woody ends will naturally snap off. Then slice the asparagus into bite-size pieces.
- Cook the orzo according to the package directions.
- When the pasta needs 2 or 3 minutes more to cook, add the sliced asparagus to the pot. Allow them to cook together until the pasta is al dente and the vegetables are bright green and tender.
- Drain the orzo and asparagus and return them to the pot without rinsing.
- Add the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pot.
- Fold the ingredients together. Give the mixture 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.
Be sure to zest the lemon before squeezing out the juice. It's quite difficult to do it in the opposite order.
If you're not a fan of asparagus, or it's unavailable, try substituting your favorite green vegetable in its place. Broccoli, green beans, and even defrosted frozen peas all work well in this recipe.
I recommend serving this one-pot dish with some extra lemon wedges on the side. After all, you can never really have too much lemon, and the garnish makes this simple dish look extra fancy.
While this meal is delicious on its own, you can also enjoy it with any of the following:
Lemon Asparagus Orzo reheats well. Store the leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Add some fresh lemon juice to the leftovers before serving to refresh the flavor.
For best results, I do not recommend freezing.
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, gluten-free orzo is available.
Orzo is located in the pasta aisle of major grocery stores.
Any small pasta can be used such as acini de pepe, ditalini, or small orecchiette. Or try this recipe with rice, couscous, or quinoa.
More orzo recipes
If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend trying these other Mediterranean-inspired recipes staring orzo pasta:
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad (tofu feta, chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, and a tangy dressing)
- Creamy Lemon Orzo Soup (pasta, chickpeas, and vegetables in a silky broth)
- Spinach Orzo Salad (tender baby spinach, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes)
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Lemon Asparagus Orzo One-Pot Meal
- 12 ounces orzo, (I use gluten-free)
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 can chickpeas, (15.5 ounces or 1 ½ 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)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, prep the asparagus by breaking off the tough ends and slice the spears into bite-size pieces.
- Cooking the orzo according to the package directions.
- 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 in a colander, 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.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
This recipe was originally published 1/17/2019. It was updated for better reader experience.