Zucchini and Mushroom Orzo

5 from 1 reviews

Add zucchini and mushrooms to orzo and you have a creative and tasty side dish. The onions, garlic, fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese make it even more delicious. You can even add chicken or shrimp to it and have a complete meal that is so easy to prepare. 


  • 8 oz orzo pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced ( I used white button mushrooms, but you can use any mushrooms that you like)
  • 1 medium zucchini, about 8 oz, chopped
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/41/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo according to how you like it, more on the al dente side, if that’s what you prefer, or make it soft and mushy, if you’re like my husband, haha. You’ll be eating it, so cook it however you like, not necessarily by the package instructions.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, prep and cook the rest of the ingredients. If you time things right, everything will finish cooking at the same time, and how cool is that? I love when things work out like that in the kitchen.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat the butter until it melts and then add the chopped onion, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are soft and tender.
  4. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet, also seasoning with salt and pepper and cook for another 5-8 minutes. At first, the mushrooms will get watery, but eventually, all the extra liquid will cook off and the mushrooms will start to get golden.
  5. When the mushrooms start to get some color on them and turn golden brown, add the chopped zucchini and also season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Keep cooking the zucchini for just 3 minutes or so, just until it loses its rawness, but that’s all. Zucchini cooks really fast, and if you keep it on the heat too long, it will get watery and mushy.
  7. At this point, the pasta should be cooked. Drain the orzo and add all the cooked vegetables and mushrooms to the pot, mixing to combine.
  8. Add the Parmesan cheese. You can add just a 1/4 of a cup, or if you want to make it really cheesy, add a full 1/2 cup; it’s totally up to you. Add the chopped parsley and also mix to combine.
  9. Serve hot.


Leftovers reheat really well, so all you have to do is microwave it or add just a teaspoon or two of oil or butter, add the orzo and cook on medium heat until the orzo is hot all the way through. You can add a splash of water or broth to thin it out a bit and to help it reheat faster.

Instead of the orzo, you can use any other type of pasta or even rice.

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