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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


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!


  • 1 can coconut milk (or just use more water)
  • 1.5 cups orzo
  • Salt (used throughout)
  • 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


  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.


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


  • 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