Roasted Tomato Zucchini Orzo

5 from 6 votes

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The vegetables cook on the same sheet pan in the oven for this roasted tomato zucchini orzo. Ready in 30 minutes, this easy pasta dish has only 9 ingredients. Pesto adds plenty of herby flavor that’s always tasty in tomato and zucchini recipes.

Tomato zucchini orzo on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

It has less than 10 ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes. It’s a total win-win. By kicking the oven temperature up to 425 degrees F, the zucchini and tomatoes roast more quickly in that high heat.

You can multitask. While the vegetables are in the oven, you have time to simmer the orzo on the stove. There’s no rushing when you overlap these steps. 

Pesto is an instant flavor boost. That’s why it’s one of my favorite sauces. Besides being incredibly versatile, when you stir pesto into pasta, cooked grains and even salad dressings, it transforms them. It’s such a simple way to give a dish something special.

You can serve this orzo recipe warm, at room temperature or even cold. That makes it easy to serve it as a vegetarian main dish, side dish or even a pasta salad.

What is Orzo?

One of the smallest pasta shapes, orzo looks like rice. You can cook it in salted boiling water like you would with any type of pasta or you can simmer it in broth to get it to turn out creamier. You can eat orzo warm on its own or in soup. Orzo is also great for pasta salads.

Orzo is classified as pastini, which means “little pasta” in Italian. It’s easy to find at the grocery. And you can buy whole wheat and gluten-free versions. They will all work in this recipe. 

The Ingredients

Ingredients including zucchini, tomatoes, orzo, pesto, parmesan, chives, olive oil, salt and pepper.

This is why you need:

  • Tomatoes: You can use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. All you have to do is slice them in half. Before you roast them.
  • Zucchini: The recipe calls for 2 medium zucchini, diced. Yellow squash is a good substitute because they are almost the same and are both part of the summer squash family.
  • Orzo: As mentioned, you can use plain, whole wheat or an alternative type of orzo that is gluten-free. You can also swap out the orzo and cook barley or farro instead.
  • Pesto: You can stir homemade basil pesto or store-bought pesto into the orzo. Try to find pesto in the refrigerator case at the grocery if you buy it. It will have a fresher, less processed taste than shelf-stable jarred pesto. 
  • Parmesan: I like to use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice Parmesan cheese off a block. 
  • Chives: For fresh herbs, I love chives because they have light onion flavor. Parsley and basil are other good options. 
  • Olive oil: You need to toss the tomatoes and zucchini in oil before roasting them.
  • Salt & pepper season the vegetables.

How To Make Roasted Tomato Zucchini Orzo

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Roast the zucchini and tomatoes. You can toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper right on the baking sheet. It is important that they aren’t overlapping and to flip over the tomatoes, so they are cut side up. If not, they will stick to the pan.

Tomatoes and zucchini on sheet pan before and after they are roasted.

2. Cook the orzo. You can do this while veggies are in the oven. Just follow the recommended cook time on the package instructions, so the orzo turns out al dente and has bite.

3. Stir the pesto into orzo. You should do this right when the orzo has finished cooking, so it doesn’t stick together.

Orzo in a strainer. Pesto stirred into orzo in a bowl.

4. Fold the roasted zucchini, tomatoes, chives and Parmesan into the orzo.

Vegetables stirred into orzo in a bowl.


You can serve this roasted veggie orzo as a side dish or a vegetarian main dish. Pair it with a salad like this Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette or an Italian Chopped Salad. They are both fantastic with pasta recipes.

As mentioned, the serving temperature depends on how you want to serve it. This zucchini tomato orzo is good warm or at room temperature. Or eat it cold like a pasta salad.

Leftovers & Storage

If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, You can eat them cold like an orzo salad and add greens. Or warm them in the microwave.

Recipe Tips

Don’t overcook the orzo.  You want it to be al dente, so it has a nice toothy bite. Or the overall texture will be mushy.

Right after you drain the orzo, stir in the pesto. This will prevent the pasta from sticking together.

Slowly stir the roasted tomatoes and zucchini into the orzo. The tomatoes are more delicate than the zucchini, so some of them will break apart. But the more gently you combine them, the less this will happen.

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30-Minute Roasted Tomato Zucchini Orzo

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Roasting the veggies together on a single sheet pan makes this 30-minute roasted tomato zucchini orzo a simple pasta with a few spoonfuls of pesto stirred in to finish it.


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • On a sheet pan, toss the tomatoes and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread into a single layer. Make sure the tomatoes are cut side up. Roast the tomatoes until they are wrinkled and the zucchini is lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.
  • While the zucchini and tomatoes are roasting, cook the orzo until al dente according to package instructions. Drain the orzo and transfer it to a large bowl.
  • Stir the pesto into the orzo.
  • Fold in the roasted tomatoes and zucchini, chives and Parmesan.



You can use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
Besides chives, you can also add chopped parsley or basil.
Stir the pesto into the orzo right after you have finished cooking it, draining it and transferring it to a bowl. This will prevent the grains from sticking together.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. You can warm them in the microwave. Or eat them cold as a salad and you can add greens such as arugula or spinach.


Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 795mg | Potassium: 650mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1206IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Pasta & Noodles
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious!! I did add mushrooms, minced garlic and red onion to the zucchini and tomatoes when I roasted the vegetables and added ground Italian sausage. My family loved it!!! Thanks for sharing this super easy recipe!!!!