Family-Friendly Vegan Recipes / Vegan Mains

Quick Creamy Lemon Orzo (Risoni) with Greens

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Last updated on July 2nd, 2020 at 07:58 am

Put your fork away. You’ll be needing a big spoon for this wonderfully creamy pasta bowl with silky lemon orzo, baby spinach and peas. Oh, you’ll also need around 10-minutes to get this on the table. This is fast food at its most fabulous.

A close up of a white bowl of pasta on a blue napkin


With the festive season but a breath away you’re going to need some super quick and nutritious meals to get you through. What with all the Christmas shopping, school concerts, dance recitals, menu planing and general hoopla. That’s OK, I got you covered.

You can power up with my 3-ingredient vegan zucchini soup, my 5-ingredient pumpkin lentil soup with ginger or slam down a quick vegan shawarma with roasted jackfruit. Or, you can try this dreamy orzo bowl.

Orzo is Faster and More Convenient than Take-Away

It’s:

  • SUPER FAST FOOD  have dinner on the table in under 10-minutes
  • ONE-POT COOKING one pot = only one pot to wash = happy cook
  • PULLED FROM THE PANTRY  the recipe base is made from pantry-friendly staples
  • CHEAP AS CHIPS it only costs a few dollars to feed 3 people with this easy orzo.
  • ADAPTABLE  make it your own with your favourite greens or vegan cheese.

A spoon holding dried pasta before the pasta is cooked

Is Orzo and  Risoni the Same Thing?

Yup. Risoni in Australia = Orzo pretty much everywhere else. We also call swimsuits “toggs,” thongs “g-strings” and football “footy.” Don’t ask me why, I just live here.

Risoni and orzo are different names for the same little rice-shaped pasta that is fast becoming my new food crush. It’s super quick to cook and when made in a single pot, like this creamy lemon orzo, it’s like eating risotto with less than half the cooking time.

Orzo cooks in 7-minutes and continues cooking so by the time you’ve thrown some plates on the table, dinner is served.

Pasta ingredients on a grey background

Make it Your Own with Your Favourite Toppings

This simple lemon orzo is so adaptable. If peas and spinach aren’t your thing make it your own by adding a twist. We’ve tried and tested these variations:

  • finely sliced kale
  • asparagus spears
  • sliced rainbow chard
  • vegan parmesan
  • lots of pepper!
  • roasted chickpeas served on top
  • sautéed shredded oyster mushrooms
  • basil

A close up of a bowl of pasta with sauce and peas and spinach

Fantastically creamy with a hint of lemon, oregano, green peas and baby spinach, this lemon orzo is like a quick bear hug. A perfect bowl of comfort on chilly days and pretty darn good served cold when you need it – don’t judge, sometimes a girl can’t wait to re-heat. A simple little recipe for the back pocket when you need fast food but you want it fabulous.

Faq’s

Can I refrigerate leftover risoni?

Totally. You can refrigerate leftover risoni in a sealed container in the fridge for a day or two. While it will be delicious it won’t be as “saucy” after refrigeration.

Can I freeze risoni?

Yes. Allow the risoni to cool completely before popping it in to a freezer-proof container and freezing it for up to 3 months.

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If you like this recipe, please check out my cookbook. Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family is full of simple, carnivore-approved family recipes.

A bowl of risoni pasta on a blue napkin

Quick Creamy Lemon Orzo with Greens

You'll be needing a big spoon for this wonderfully creamy pasta bowl with silky lemon orzo, baby spinach and peas. Oh, you'll also need around 10-minutes to get this on the table. This is fast food at its most fabulous. 
3.9 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Pasta
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Amanda Logan

Ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek white only, finely sliced (use a small white onion in a pinch)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup green peas frozen or fresh
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter spread
  • 1 cup finely sliced spinach
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet or pan over low-medium heat. Add the sliced leek and cook, stirring regularly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the leek is soft.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute before stirring in the dried oregano and the orzo (risoni).
  • Stir the mixture together and then add the vegetable stock, the lemon zest and juice and the dairy-free milk. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture up to a boil before reducing the heat again to a simmer.
  • Cook the orzo for around 7 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan, adding the peas at the 5-minute mark.
  • Remove the orzo from the heat, stir in the sliced baby spinach and a tablespoon of vegan butter and set it aside for a minute for the spinach to wilt and the orzo to finish cooking.
  • Serve with a cook crack of pepper and some fresh herbs. I often use parsley or fresh basil.
  • Add parmesan cheese if you like although it isn't necessary. Serve and enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2245IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Please rate it & leave your feedback in the comments section below. Or you can tag @mygoodnesskitchen or hashtag #mygoodnesskitchen on Instagram. Thank you!

An overhead image of a bowl of risoni pasta

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About Author

Amanda Logan is a published cookbook author, recipe developer and food photographer based in Australia. She is a contributor to Nourish Australia magazine and has appeared in Thrive Magazine, Vegan Food and Living, The Zoe Report and The Australian Vegan Magazine.

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