cooked orzo and asparagus in a white bowl topped with fresh herbs

Asparagus Orzo

  • Author: Lauren Grant-Vose
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 ½ cups 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Ameran
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A light and fresh pasta side dish studded with tender in-season asparagus and loads of lemon and fresh herbs.



  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) dry orzo pasta
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season generously with salt then add orzo and cook until al dente according to package directions. Add asparagus in last two minutes of cooking. Drain orzo and asparagus.
  2. Return pot to stove, not over heat, and allow to dry (or wipe out).
  3. Whisk together Parmesan, basil, dill, oil, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.
  4. Add orzo and asparagus back to now empty pot. Place over medium-low heat and stir in butter, continue stirring until butter is melted. Off heat, add Parmesan-herb mixture and gently stir until completely combined.
  5. Season with additional salt and pepper flakes to taste.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 109
  • Fat: 9.4
  • Saturated Fat: 3.6
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8
  • Fiber: 1.5
  • Protein: 4.5
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