This delicious and healthy recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes and can be served as the main meal or as the perfect side dish! So versatile with endless add-on options – this is bound to be a family favorite.
Why you will love this recipe
- This simple zucchini orzo is made in under 20 minutes
- Minimal ingredients to make this recipe
- This recipe is so versatile
- Can be served as main dish or is the perfect side that goes great with any protein like chicken, shrimp, salmon or steak
- So creamy and cheesy
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini – swap with yellow squash, eggplant, or carrots
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Olive oil – you can use avocado oil
- Grated parmesan cheese – swap with feta or goat cheese
- Milk – I used whole milk but you can use non-dairy milk like almond or coconut milk
- Orzo – you can swap for couscous or rice
- Spinach or kale – yay for more veggies!
- ¼ cup pesto
- Chicken, salmon, shrimp or steak
- Roasted red peppers
- Fresh herbs
What is orzo?
Orzo is a thin, oval, rice-shaped pasta. Orzo is made with white flour or whole grain but you can also find gluten free options at the store as well. I have seen cassava flour orzo.
How to prep the zucchini
There are two ways to prep the zucchini:
- Dice into cubes
- Shred using cheese grater or food processor – with this method, you will have to wring out liquid from the zucchini using a cheese cloth or kitchen towel after shredding
How to make zucchini orzo
- Add olive oil, diced zucchini, black pepper and garlic powder to a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes then set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to the package instructions (mine was 8 minutes to al dente). Drain the water then place the pot of orzo back on the stove over low heat.
- Add milk, cooked zucchini, and grated parmesan to the pot of orzo and stir everything until combined for about a minute. The cheese should be all melted and orzo looking really creamy.
- Serve right away!
What to serve with zucchini orzo
How to serve and store
Serve right away while it is at its peak creamiest! Serve with any of the add ons listed above or by itself.
Store in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days in fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you make this for meal prep? Absolutely! It’s a great meal prep recipe that stores and reheats well. To reheat, add a splash of milk or butter to soften the pasta. You can reheat in a pot on the stove, in the microwave or in the oven.
- Can I freeze the zucchini orzo? Yes! You may freeze in airtight container for up to 3 months.