Roasted Broccoli Orzo

4.80 from 10 votes

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Lemon and garlic are the perfect combination for this simple roasted broccoli orzo. While the broccoli florets roast in the oven, you can simmer the orzo on the stove. Then you combine the veggies and pasta with sliced scallions, fresh parsley and chopped almonds. This 20-minute vegan recipe delivers on taste and texture that will have you going back for bite after bite.

Orzo with roasted broccoli, almonds, lemon and garlic on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

It has only 10 ingredients and is ready in 20 minutes. Because the oven temperature is at 425 degrees F, the broccoli roasts quickly in that high heat. 

You can multitask without stress. While the broccoli roasts, you have time to cook the orzo on the stove.

Enjoy this orzo recipe warm, at room temperature or even cold. This is one of the best things about versatile orzo. It works with lots of other ingredients, and you can serve it in more than one way. Treat it like a vegetarian main dish, side dish or even a pasta salad.

What is Orzo?

Shaped like rice, orzo is technically pasta. You can cook it like you would with any other noodle shape in salted boiling water. That’s what I do in this recipe, but you can also approach it like a quicker version of risotto and simmer it in broth. It will take less time than traditional arborio rice. Doing it this way gives you orzo that’s more creamy.

The Ingredients

Ingredients including broccoli, lemon, garlic, orzo, scallions, almonds, oil, salt and pepper.

This is what you need:

  • Orzo: This rice-shaped pasta can be prepared a few different ways. As mentioned, I cook it in salted boiling water for this recipe. You can use any type of orzo including standard, whole-wheat or another alternate pasta.
  • Broccoli crowns should be tightly packed together and green. Avoid any that are yellow because they won’t be as fresh. Either buy broccoli that’s already cut into florets or do it yourself.
  • Lemon: The recipe uses both the zest and juice from one lemon. 
  • Garlic is important to add a nice base of flavor to stir into the orzo. The recipe calls for 2 cloves minced.
  • Scallions add mild green onion flavor and some crispness.
  • Almonds give the orzo some nutty crunch. You can substitute with toasted walnuts.
  • Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley gives the orzo something herby.
  • Olive Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for the best taste. 
  • Salt & pepper season the broccoli before it roasts in the oven. You also may need to adjust the seasonings once everything is combined. Take a bite of the finished dish to see if it needs more salt or pepper.

Optional Additions

Keep in mind with these additions that as written this recipe is vegan. 

  • Cheese: You can add grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino. They both go very well with lemon. Pecorino is stronger and more pungent than Parmesan.
  • Chicken: You can serve this orzo as a side dish or stir in shredded roasted chicken to go with it more as a main.
  • Shrimp: Lemon and garlic are flavors that always work with shrimp.

How To Make Roasted Broccoli Orzo

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Toss the broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can do this right on the sheet pan. Then spread it into a single layer. 

2. Roast the broccoli. Give it 10 minutes to turn bright green with lightly browned edges.

Broccoli on a sheet pan before and after it is roasted.

3. Cook the orzo. Follow the recommended cook time on the package for al dente pasta.

4. Sauté the minced garlic. Warm the oil over medium heat and then add the garlic.

Orzo simmering in a medium pot. Minced garlic sautéing in oil in a skillet.

5. Stir the orzo and lemon juice into the garlic. 

6. Fold in the roasted broccoli, scallions, parsley, almonds and lemon zest. Before serving, taste the orzo and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Orzo stirred into skillet. Broccoli and the rest of the ingredients folded into the orzo.


This orzo can be a vegetarian main dish or you can serve it as a side dish. It’s up to you. Pair it with a salad such as a simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette or an Italian chopped salad. When serving it as a main, I don’t bother with a vegetable side because it has so much broccoli.

Storage & Leftovers

Leftover broccoli orzo can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Warm it in the microwave. The broccoli will lose some of its crisp texture and the orzo will soften a bit. I also love eating leftovers cold like a pasta salad, and I stir in baby arugula or spinach with a little vinaigrette.

Orzo with roasted broccoli in a sauté pan.

Recipe Tips

Don’t roast the broccoli too long in the oven. This recipe is all about texture. There is a good contrast with the softness of the pasta and the crispness of the broccoli.

Don’t overcook the orzo.  It should turn out al dente with a pleasantly toothy bite. You don’t want it to be mushy.

Right after you drain the orzo, rinse it with cold water. This will stop it from cooking and prevent the pasta from sticking together. Remember that you will stir it into the hot oil in the pan, so it will warm up again. Rinsing takes the pressure off timing everything too.

Taste the final dish before serving. Recipes that have a simple and short ingredient list sometimes they need a little more salt and pepper to kick in all the flavors.

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Roasted Broccoli Orzo

4.80 from 10 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Ready in 20 minutes, this roasted broccoli orzo has plenty of lemon, garlic, parsley, scallions and almonds. It can be served as a vegan side or main dish.


  • 1 pound small to medium broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Toss the broccoli, olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Spread it out in a single layer. Roast the broccoli until it is crisp-tender and browned on some of the edges, about 10 minutes.
  • While the broccoli is roasting, cook the orzo in salted boiling water until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander or fine mesh strainer.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, letting it get fragrant. 
  • Stir the orzo and lemon juice into the garlic. Give the orzo a minute to absorb some of the juice.
  • Fold in the roasted broccoli, scallions, parsley, almonds and lemon zest. Taste the orzo and add more salt and pepper as needed.


You can use chopped walnuts instead of almonds.
Store leftover orzo in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Warm it in the microwave. The broccoli will lose some of its crunch and the pasta will soften. Or eat it cold as a pasta salad, adding baby arugula or spinach and a little vinaigrette.
Optional additions include:
Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
Roasted chicken, shredded
Grilled or sautéed shrimp


Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1090IU | Vitamin C: 122mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Pasta
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. After seeing this orzo recipe I couldn’t help but want to make it/ something like it. I unfortunately did not have any of the vegetables so subbed the broccoli for a mix of sautéed mushrooms, onions, and spinach and added rosemary instead of parsley. It was so good! My family couldn’t stop eating this recipe.

  2. 4 stars
    This is so delicious and simple. I’d love to have the nutritional information on your recipes. Do you provide that ever or am I overlooking it?

  3. Recipe looks delicious and can’t wait to make it! Can I substitute orzo with whole wheat orzo pasta? If yes, any adjustments for preparation on this recipe? Thank you!

    1. You can substitute with whole wheat orzo. Just follow the recommended cook time on the package for al dente pasta.