Lemon butter zucchini orzo is creamy, garlicky, packed with zucchini, and finished with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.  This one skillet dish is perfect for a quick and insanely delicious weeknight dinner!

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons salted butter 
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 package dry orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash 
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup whole milk 
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the butter and garlic, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. 

Stir in the orzo, and thyme, and cook until golden and toasted, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the zucchini, cooking another 2-3 minutes.

Add the 1/2 cup broth and de-glaze the pan.

Add the lemon zest and  lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Slowly continue to pour in the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth and bring to a boil over high heat.

Simmer 8-10 minutes until the orzo is al dente, stirring often. It should become very creamy.

Stir in the milk, parmesan, and parsley, and cook another few minutes until warmed through.

As the orzo thickens up, add additional broth to thin. It should be creamy, but with just a touch of liquid.

Divide the orzo among bowls and top with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.


Sarah Biddle Image

Recipe compliments of Home Chef Sarah Biddle and OPL Community Member


OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.