Recipe: Lemony Orzo with Asparagus | MOBE

Recipe: Lemony Orzo with Asparagus

This Italian-inspired pasta side dish is bright, flavorful, and simple to pull together. Make it a complete meal by adding any protein of your choice—try shredded rotisserie chicken, flaked tuna, or grilled shrimp.

Cook time: 9 minutes
Total time: approximately 25 minutes (plus extra time for marinating)
Serves: 8
Serving size: approximately ¾ cup


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon (approximately 3 tablespoons), plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 10-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, sliced
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley


Mince the garlic and add to a mixing bowl. Add oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and roasted red peppers. Mix well and set aside. For best flavor, marinate for a few hours in the fridge.

Trim the asparagus and slice diagonally into thirds.

Bring 4–6 quarts of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook according to directions. Approximately 2 minutes before the pasta is al dente (see note below), add the asparagus. Cook 2 more minutes. Turn off heat, drain the orzo and asparagus, and return to the pot. Add the red pepper marinating mixture. Mix well to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley. Serve.

MOBE kitchen tip:

  • In this recipe we are adding the asparagus to the boiling water for a short period of time. This is called blanching, and it will tenderize the asparagus while allowing it to keep its bright green color.

Recipe notes:

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Follow the package directions to cook the orzo al dente, which means it’s still a bit firm. Add the asparagus two minutes before the orzo is al dente.
  • If you don’t have asparagus, you could use chopped broccoli or your favorite vegetable instead.
  • This dish makes great leftovers. Refrigerate and serve as a delicious pasta salad the next day.
  • Transform this side dish into a complete meal by adding protein—try sliced grilled chicken, shredded rotisserie chicken, white beans, flaked canned tuna, or grilled shrimp.

Nutrition facts per serving

Calories: 280 / Total Fat: 6g (8% DV) / Saturated Fat: 1g (5% DV) / Trans Fat: 0g / Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV) / Sodium: 7.5mg (<1% DV) / Total Carbohydrate: 48g (17% DV) / Dietary Fiber: 2g (7% DV) / Total Sugars: 5g / Added Sugar: 0g (0% DV) / Protein: 9g / Vitamin D: 0mcg (0% DV) / Calcium: 21mg (2% DV) / Iron: 3mg (15% DV) / Potassium: 244mg (6% DV)

Allergen statement: Contains wheat.

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