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Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter

This recipe for Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter is a perfect pantry meal that is packed with flavor and so comforting! Ready in just 15 minutes, it’s a family-friendly healthy weeknight dinner that everyone will love. Totally vegan with gluten-free options!

overhead shot of crispy orzo with peas and two lemon rounds

Ingredients Needed for Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter

  • Dry orzo pasta (or your favorite gluten-free alternative, like Banza)
  • Salt
  • Coconut milk – to add more richness while cooking the pasta (water can be subbed)
  • Butter – for the sauce (I like Miyokos as a plant-based option)
  • Garlic cloves – for added flavor
  • Olive oil – to help crisping
  • Frozen peas – for protein and color
  • Parmesancashew parm or regular, for cheesiness
  • Fresh parsley – for brightness
  • Lemon juice and zest – to complement with acidity

side view of crispy orzo in white bowl with silver spoon

How to Make Crispy Orzo

Because this recipe is inspired by fried rice, the preparation method may be familiar to you. To add extra creaminess while cooking the orzo, you will infuse it with coconut milk. Most of this drains away after cooking, but it provides nice body to the pasta.

After draining the pasta, add it to a hot skillet filled with a garlicky butter sauce. Then, press the pasta in an even layer in the pan so that it can begin crisping. It’s important to let the orzo sit, undisturbed, for 4-5 minutes.

Next, toss the orzo with some olive oil, cashew parmesan, and frozen peas while letting it crisp even further. Before serving, add some lemon juice and zest. That’s it! This entire meal comes together in just 15 minutes and is total comfort food.

overhead shot of crispy orzo with peas and two lemon rounds

For another crispy rice dish, feel free to try this tachin (golden saffron rice) recipe next!

For another easy pantry pasta, try this Microwave Cacio e Pepe.

Print
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close up of crispy orzo with garlic butter on grey table

Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This recipe for Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter is a perfect pantry meal that is packed with flavor and so comforting! Ready in just 15 minutes, it’s a family-friendly healthy weeknight dinner that everyone will love. Totally vegan with gluten-free options!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1.5 cups orzo
  • Salt (used throughout)
  • 1 can coconut milk (or just use more water)
  • 3 TBS butter, plant-based if needed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 23 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • .5 cups cashew parmesan (or regular parm)
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

Instructions

  1. Begin by adding coconut milk to a large pot with 4 cups of water. Bring this mixture to a boil. Add orzo and a big pinch of salt, stir, and let cook until al dente (6-7 minutes for regular pasta). Drain and set aside without rinsing*.
  2. While orzo is boiling, heat butter in a cast iron skillet over medium low. Add garlic and stir until foamy, about 1 minute. Add orzo on top of garlic butter and spread to coat the entire bottom of the pan, going up the sides as needed. Pack down a bit with the back of your spoon, creating as even of a layer as possible. Cook, undisturbed for 5 minutes. This is when the majority of the crisping happens.
  3. Lift up a bit of the rice to check for browning. Add olive oil, peas, and parmesan. Stir orzo so that the opposite side can begin crisping. Let cook for at least 4 more minutes, until browned throughout but not burnt.
  4. Remove from heat and toss in fresh parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Serve hot.

Notes

I prefer small clumps in my pasta while it crisps. If you would prefer individual grains of orzo, I recommend rinsing the pasta here to remove excess starch.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One fourth of recipe
  • Calories: 326 calories
  • Sugar: 2.3 grams
  • Sodium: 212 milligrams
  • Fat: 20.2 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 3.9 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 16.3 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 29 grams
  • Fiber: 3.4 grams
  • Protein: 7.1 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: orzo, pasta, dinner, pantry, garlic, peas

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This recipe for Crispy Orzo with Peas and Garlic Butter is a perfect pantry meal that is packed with flavor and so comforting! Ready in just 15 minutes, it's a family-friendly healthy weeknight dinner that everyone will love. Totally vegan with gluten-free options!

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

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