Lemony courgette orzo

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» Lemony courgette orzo

A light and easy meal to make for lunch or dinner, the courgette is barely cooked to add a bit of texture to the very soft and almost buttery orzo grains. 

Serves 2 peoplephotograph of lemony courgette orzo in a pan against a yellow background


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 150 g orzo 
  • 500 ml hot vegan stock 
  • 2 large courgettes, cut into thin strips or coarsely grated 
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon 
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 8 basil leaves, to serve 


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan or large frying pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for about 8 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the orzo, pour in the hot stock and simmer for 10 minutes until the orzo is cooked but with a slight bite to it. Add the courgettes, lemon zest and juice and chilli flakes. If the orzo has absorbed all the liquid, add a little water until it is the consistency you prefer. Simmer for 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and topped with the basil leaves. 

For pea and spinach orzo

  1. Put the orzo in a medium‑sized saucepan or large frying pan, pour in 400 ml of the hot vegan stock and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, put 150 g (5 oz) defrosted frozen peas, the remaining 100 ml (stock and 50 g roughly chopped spinach in a blender and blitz until you have a smooth puree. Add the spinach blend to the orzo with an additional 150 g peas and 50 g (2 oz) spinach and cook for another 5 minutes. Season and then stir in the zest and juice of 1 lemon with ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes. 

Recipe from Broke Vegan: One Pot: Over 100 simple plant-based recipes that don't cost the Earth, by Sam Dixon, published by Aster, December 2022, £12.99 hardback (octopusbooks.co.uk)   

Photographer: Charlotte Nott–Macaire  

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