Lemon Orzo with Cucumber, Green Onions and Parmigiano-Reggiano

I love orzo. I started cooking with it a few years ago and I was immediately hooked. It resembles the appearance of rice but it is actually pasta! Cha Ching! The both of best worlds! It is elegant enough for dinner parties but simple enough to serve for just a few. I have always appreciated the fact that orzo can withstand a heavy tomato based sauce as well as a light olive oil. It is such an easy and impressive side dish that can stand up to any main from seafood to meat. The flavors are light and subtle but leave you wanting more bite after bite!

I remember like it was yesterday the first time I served my man orzo. I said we were having pasta and as I put down the plate in front of him he ever so cleverly stated, “But I thought we were having pasta?” I simple replied enthusiastically , “We are!” This is a small version of pasta that you are going to love!”. He then had the nerve to say “Are you sure you didn’t use rice? It looks like rice and I was really in the mood for pasta~!” What! I just told you it was PASTA! Ughhh……. Okay, I could go on and on with that story but the moral here is don’t judge a book by its cover ( I guess) and NEVER never question the cook, especially when she is your WIFE and only means of food!

I think the hi-light of this dish was not just the flavor of lemon but the flavor of might I say Grilled Lemon! Lemon sprinkled with a dash of sugar and then slightly grilled really hit home. The hints of lemon zest and grilled lemon woven throughout the pasta with splashes of fresh cucumber made it the perfect way to say goodbye summer and hello fall!


Lemon Orzo with Cucumber, Green Onions and Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 1 lemon,, halved
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 TBSP white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, chopped
  • 4 small or 1 large seedless cucumber, sliced


Sprinkle the lemon halves with sugar and place flesh side down on grill over medium to high heat for 5 minutes, turning only once. Meanwhile, place 2 TBSP of olive oil in a medium saute pan along with the garlic and orzo and toast for 2-3 minutes. Add the hot chicken broth and water. Add in the white wine, juice of the grilled lemon along with the rinds of the grilled lemon (cut into slices). Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring ever so often. Season with the pepper and mix in the cheese, cucumbers, lemon zest and green onions. Serve immediately.



  1. Erica

    hahaha- never question the cook! I agree 🙂 I LOVE orzo too! It may be my favorite kind of pasta. Its totally versatile. And lemon does amazing thing to pasta sauces. Delicious combo

  2. Candace

    I.love.orzo. Love.It. And I love this recipe. It’s so light and healthy. I’ve never grilled lemons like that before but I can only imagine how that process brings out the flavor. This is a must try for me. I think I have all of the ingredients to make it this week. Thank you!

    1. kbelleicious

      It really does bring out the flavor Candace. Makes the dish better than just putting lemon juice or zest in the broth!

  3. marla

    Love this summery orzo pasta!! My kids would enjoy this in their lunch boxes 🙂

  4. lindsay

    baby mama! this looks awesome. i love orzo! hope you had a great weekend….i’m sad to be back from vacay. 🙁

  5. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh I tell you I could eat several bowls of this in one setting!! This is just my kind of dish!

  6. The Slow Roasted Italian

    What a great dish. I love lemon with pasta, and grilled lemon, YUM!!!

    Yep, never question your sole provider of food. ; )

    1. kbelleicious

      Glad we are on the same page too! Why do our husbands’ have to question us? Don’t they know better by now!LOL!

  7. Cooking Creation

    I’m an orzo lover, too, and I would love to have a bite of this! It sounds delicious!

  8. Sawsan@chef in disguise

    Believe it or not I have never had orzo before!
    looks like I am missing a lot
    I loved the idea of the grilled lemons..I think they take this to the next level

  9. Kelli

    I love orzo and the rest of my family does as well. This is going to be a hit around this house. It looks amazing!

  10. Jihane @Sinful Sundays

    I’ve never had orzo but would like to try it. I’m definitely going to try this grilled lemon though. It sounds awesome!

  11. Three-Cookies

    I used to see orzo before but supermarkets don’t seem to stock it anymore, and I’ve seen quite a few recipes recently. I might have to combine pasta and rice into one dish.

  12. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    I love orzo too. I know I’d love this recipe. I’d be tempted to throw in some grilled chicken and make it a one dish meal.

  13. allegra

    lovely post!

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  14. Pudding Pie Lane

    I’ve never cooked with orzo before but I’ve always wanted too, thanks for this recipe – hopefully one day I’ll have someone to serve orzo and them get confused as to what it is!

  15. Bonnie

    “Don’t Question the Cook” should be available as kitchen wall art!! Your orzo dish looks delicious!!


  16. Caroline

    I’m currently on an orzo kick. I can’t get enough of it. I love serving it as a side dish or main course. Too funny what your husband said. I agree–don’t question the cook!

  17. yummychunklet

    How deceptive orzo can be! But you make the dish look so delicious I thought it was rice for just a second myself!

  18. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    I could literally sit and eat an entire box of orzo. It’s just so delicious. I love your idea to incorporate green veggies and of course, parmigiano – the ultimate flavor booster! Gorgeous dish!

  19. Sonia

    Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. It looks so fab and inviting, will make it soon, ur way !!! Thanks for stopping by my space and leaving a warm and touching comment. Take care and enjoy blogging. Love all ur recipes too. Regards, sonia !!!

  20. The Food Hunter

    I love orzo too..this is a good one. Can’t wait to try it.

  21. sara@domesticallychallenged

    Yum! Corey would ask the same thing if I put it in front of him! Which of course, would never happen, but you know…

    1. kbelleicious

      You could do it girl. Orzo is easier than boiling regular pasta- yes that easy

  22. Elsa

    I didn’t start cooking with orzo until a few years ago either. I do love it. You can add any flavors to it and it’s great to take to family gatherings. This looks delicious!

  23. Veronica's Kitchen

    Grilled lemon sounds so divine! Actually I have been thinking of cooking orzo for a while, it’s handy to have your recipe now. It would be great to serve with kebabs or some seafood dish.

  24. Blond Duck

    Did he end up liking it?

  25. lena

    these are cute looking little pasta! i only seen them once, not in supermarkets but in one of the cafes here where they do sell some of the stuffs they used for cooking. That grilled lemon sounds like a good tip!

    1. kbelleicious

      that surprises me you don’t see orzo more than that. It is everywhere here in the states. I need to send you some:)

  26. Eva

    Love the fresh flavour of a squeeze of lemon juice, it really brightens up the dish without the use of salt.

  27. rosita vargas

    Una propuesta muy buena y saludable para finalizar el verano ,con el pepino queda espectacular,abrazos grandes.

  28. Reem

    This looks just Perfect my dear,
    What a luscious looking orzo, I tell you I can eat this in insane quantity LOL
    Fresh and Delicious…Yummm

  29. Greg

    Such a perfect recipe to ease into fall. Not that it feels like fall with a high of 96 tomorrow.

  30. Dzoli

    I find orzo tastes really great in dishes like yours:)

  31. Shea

    This looks so fresh, healthy, and delicious. And I love orzo! We use a lot of it in our house!

  32. Foodness Gracious

    I’ve never used orzo but you are inspiring me on my next grocery trip..
    Take care,

    1. kbelleicious

      I live to inspire people to cook with something new- so thank you for that!

  33. kankana

    I am a huge fan of pasta and very recently I ate orzo for the first time and now we eat it so very frequently. This is a great recipe and such light!

  34. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Ooh – fantastic! Lovely dish. To make things easier in our home I just call it pasta rice. 😉
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

  35. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Lemon orzo! Love the citrus flavor and you add cucumber… interesting. I never thought of adding cucumber in orzo. Something to look forward to next time…

  36. Mary

    that’s SO funny! my husband has a problem with orzo!!! what is their problem!!!! I LOVE the look of this dish and wonderful flavors – super pictures 🙂
    Mary x

  37. Mary Elizabeth

    I love orzo but never know what to do with it. This is perfect for me. I love the idea of using lemon and cucumbers together. Can’t wait to try it

  38. Linda

    I love orzo too!! And, wow, adding in a grilled lemony flavor sounds fabulous! This would be a lovely side dish to so many grilled dishes…and for me I’d pack that up for lunch any day!!

  39. Shawn

    Love orzo too! I think this recipe with a side of grilled shrimp and a glass of white are in my immediate future 🙂

  40. kitchen flavours

    I have never tried orzo before, have seen lots of recipes though! Your orzo looks really fresh with the cucumber, love it!

  41. Kristy

    Grilled lemon?! I LOVE it! You’re recipes are seriously feeding my family on a regular basis now. 😉 I’ve never tried orzo, but I think I should give it a shot. It sounds right up my alley (being a pasta junkie and all).

  42. Allison @Alli n Son

    Oh yes, never ever question the cook.

    I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never made orzo, but now I’m going to have to. And grilled lemon? Great idea. I love your recipes.

  43. Marina @ Yummy Mummy

    I love orzo. We just had a similar ones with seared scallops on top for dinner last night. Post coming soon 🙂

  44. My Carolina Kitchen

    I love orzo too and use it quite frequently. Really like the cucumber in this recipe – so healthy.

  45. Karen Xavier

    Ha, I was on the verge of saying the same… that it was rice. Have never seen this stuff, much less heard of orzo before, you make it sound good.

  46. C.E. Hart

    This looks soooo good! I must make it. 🙂 Thank you.

  47. Malli

    Thanks for stopping by and yes I’ve been eating so much on my vacation I can bearly fit into my jeans now:) After seeing your tempting orzo loaded with veggies, I am hungry again. LOL!

  48. sportsglutton

    Beautiful looking and sounding dish.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  49. stephanie

    orzo and lemon–two of my favorite things. my problem is that i would eat this entire recipe all by myself!

  50. Laural @ Being Healthier

    yes please! sign me up for that dish! amazing!

  51. Joanne

    I love orzo…it’s definitely one of my favorite pasta shapes! It does so well in either creamy or super veggie-full pasta salads…so versatile! I love this dish. It has the fresh flavor of cucumber with rich parmigiano!

  52. Deborah

    I discovered like 3 packages of orzo in my pantry, so I’m looking for great ideas to use it up. This looks fantastic!!

  53. nancy at good food matters

    We are big fans of orzo, wonderful texture, and versatility. I really like your lemony almost salad-like take here–light and healthy, but flavorful.

  54. Mary

    This looks wonderful! I’m really liking the flavors you combined.

  55. Swathi

    I haven’t tried anything with Orzo, this one looks awesome perfect to start. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

  56. Alea Milham

    What a wonderful, summery combination of flavors! Perfect for extending summer witht eh end of season harvest. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  57. Ordering the Perfect Takeaway

    […] Lemon Orzo with Cucumber Green Onions and Parmigiano Reggiano […]

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