There's something special about delicate orzo pasta that sets it apart from other types of pasta. So, I decided to cook vegetable orzo for dinner tonight. I love this vegetable orzo recipe because it's easy to make, and it all happens in 20 minutes.
Orzo, also known as risoni, is a short-cut pasta shaped like a giant rice grain. Orzo is traditionally made from white flour, but it can also be made of whole grain.
Vegetable Orzo Ingredients
- Whole-grain orzo
- Brussel Sprouts
- Tri-colored snacking tomatoes (or tomatoes of choice)
How to roast vegetables without oil
Roasting without oil, although easy, sometimes confuses people. In fact, roasting without oil brings the vegetables' true flavor to the surface without an oily taste.
First, cut the vegetables into similar sizes. As a result, the vegetables cook evenly. Also, rinsing the vegetables before roasting them allows for the seasoning to stick to the vegetables.
Another helpful hint to roasting vegetables is to toss the vegetables together, so the flavor of the onions and tomatoes enhances the other vegetables on the roasting pan.
Similarly, separating the cruciferous vegetables, which take a little longer to rost, allows for perfectly roasted vegetables.
When roasting vegetables, I always use a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to avoid a mess.
Roasted vegetable seasoning blend for savory goodness
For some reason, oil is often misconstrued with flavor, when indeed it is the seasonings, and natural vegetable tastes that make roasted vegetables wonderful.
What seasonings are in the roasted vegetables for this vegetable orzo recipe?
- Turmeric: Turmeric is best when paired with other spices and herbs. Think strong, warm spices with complementary flavor profiles, like cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger
- Paprika: This vibrant red spice varies in flavor, heat levels, and color depending on the type of peppers used to make the paprika. ... Some paprikas are hot and spicy, with predominant notes of fiery hot peppers. Others are sweet, with no heat and a mild flavor.
- Italian Seasoning Blend: The main herbs commonly used are oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder works in any recipe that calls for dried or fresh garlic. The difference is intensity.
Even though I can't explain why this spice combination tastes so fabulous, I suggest making a giant batch and strong it in an air-tight container for up to 6 months in the pantry for other recipes.
Once roasted, allow the vegetables to cool completely while preparing the orzo.
How to cook perfect orzo every time
- Bring 6 cups of water and 1 Tablespoon salt (yes, 1 Tablespoon; don't worry, you rinse it off) to a boil.
- Add 1 ½ cups dry orzo pasta and stir.
- Once boiling again, reduce heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes.
- Then, transfer the pasta to a colander and rinse with cold water, moving the pasta around to ensure all the pasta is cooled to room temperature.
- Shake any excess water out and place cooled pasta into a large bowl.
Making a simple yet savory, oil-free dressing.
Now, it's time to combine the orzo and the roasted vegetables and dress. Because the seasoning blend is so fabulous, the oil-free dressing consists of 3 simple ingredients:
- Champagne vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Lemon juice
Then, toss it all together for an incredible vegetable orzo salad!
Serve Vegetable orzo as an entree or side dish!
I chose to serve the vegetable orzo cold for this particular recipe, but if you prefer it warm, do not rinse the but add the vegetables warm, dress, and serve immediately.
If you love pasta loaded with vegetables, try these great recipes
- Lemony Orzo Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Asparagus Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Chickpea Pasta Salad
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Cajun Pasta Salad
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Spinach Pasta Salad
Roasted Vegetable Seasoning Blend
- 1 Tablespoon ground dried turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon paprika regular, hot, or smoked; I used smoked
- 2-½ teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
- 1-½ teaspoons garlic powder
Vegetables (cut all vegetables into uniform sizes)
- 1 broccoli crowns cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 cups Brussel sprouts ends removed and cut in half
- 1 bunch asparagus ends removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 yellow or white onion cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup snacking tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 1 ½ cup whole-grain orzo
- ⅛ cup champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the vegetables into uniform sizes; separate the broccoli and the Brussel sprouts from the rest of the vegetables.
- Place the tomatoes, onion, and asparagus mixed on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Do the same with the broccoli and Brussel Sprouts.
- Combine all the spices in a bowl and sprinkle generously over the two pans with the vegetables.
- Roast the broccoli and Brussel Sprouts for 20 minutes.
- Cook the baking sheet with the asparagus, tomatoes, and onions for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring 6 cups of water and 1 Tablespoon of salt to a boil in a pot.
- Add 1 ½ cup dry orzo, and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 7 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and rinse in a colander by running cold water through it. Make sure to move the orzo around so all the pasta cools.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Once the vegetables are cool, place the cooled orzo in a large bowl
- Pour the dressing into the pasta and stir.
- Then, add the cooled roasted vegetable, toss and serve.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂