Lemon Butter Orzo
Lemon butter orzo is a simple side dish that's deliciously buttery with fresh lemon flavor. In less than 15 minutes you can have a rice-like pasta side that goes well with nearly any main course.
What is orzo
While orzo looks a lot like rice, it's actually a tiny, grain-shaped pasta. In Italian, the word orzo means barley as it resembled unhulled barley.
Just like other pasta shapes, orzo is made with semolina flour, so it is not gluten-free. If you're looking for gluten-free orzo, you can usually find a few options next to the regular orzo in the grocery store.
Orzo is often used in soup, like our lemon chicken orzo soup. But it also makes a fantastic rice-like side, which is how we've made this lemon butter orzo.
How to make this lemon butter orzo recipe
If you've never made orzo before, don't worry, it's very easy. Cooking orzo is just like cooking rice!
- Put the stock, orzo, salt, and pepper into a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer it gently for 10-12 minutes. You'll know it's done when there's no visible liquid left in the pot and you see little holes over the surface of the cooked orzo – you can see this in the picture in the recipe card below.
- Now, all that you have to do is mix in some butter, lemon juice, and minced parsley and your lemon butter orzo is ready to serve!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Variations to try
We love the recipe exactly as written. But it's also delicious with these variations:
- Instead of butter, use olive oil.
- Swap the parsley for some minced basil.
- Saute a little garlic in the pot before you add the orzo and stock.
Cooked orzo will keep well for 3-5 days if kept in a sealed container in your fridge.
Add about a tablespoon of water to the orzo then reheat it in a microwave or gently over low heat on the stovetop. The pieces will stick together so you'll need to use a spoon to gently separate them.
What to serve with lemon butter orzo
Lemon butter orzo is a versatile side dish that goes well with so many different mains. Here are a few that we love to serve with it:
- Greek Chicken with Tomatoes and Feta
- Chicken Puttanesca
- Italian Dressing Chicken
- Juiciest Baked Pork Tenderloin
- Baked Fish with Lemon Garlic Butter
Popular carby sides
- Garlic Butter Rice
- Smoky Roast Potatoes
- Greek Lemon Potatoes
- No Yeast Bread with Herbs and Cheese
- Spicy Mexican Rice
Lemon Butter Orzo
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh is best!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley, optional
- Add the stock, orzo, salt, and pepper to a small pot over high heat and bring it to a boil.1 cup orzo, 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock, ½ teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
- Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook the orzo for 10-12 minutes, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, butter, and parsley.2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon minced parsley