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Family-Friendly Vegan Recipes / Raw Vegan Recipes / Vegan Mains

Quick Creamy Lemon Orzo (Risoni) with Greens

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. 


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. 

THIS QUICK LEMON ORZO TICKS ALL THE HEALTHY FAST FOOD BOXES

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                         ✓ 

This recipe base is made from ingredients most people will have in their kitchen already. 

No fancy ingredients or extra shopping. 

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.

ARE 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. 

MAKE IT YOUR OWN

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

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. 

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5 from 1 vote

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. 
Course Main
Cuisine Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 321kcal
Author Amanda at MGK

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

About Author

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

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