Orzo with Roasted Vegetables – a delicious Italian dish that is perfect for meal prep time, or anytime! Make it with any veggies you have on hand, cooked orzo, and balsamic vinegar.
This vegetarian Roasted Vegetable and Orzo dish is full of delicious veggies, sweet and tart cranberries, and hearty orzo for an easy, healthy meatless meal.
I may have a mild obsession with roasting vegetables. It happens almost every Sunday and my husband inevitably rolls his eyes as he watches me fill up three or four sheet pans with veggies, asking who could possibly want to eat that many vegetables. But I just love them. They are the perfect thing to add to salads, sandwiches, your morning eggs, and dishes like this Roasted Vegetable and Orzo dish.
It starts with an Italian inspired combination of zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, and red onion that are simply tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper. You could add some more spices, but I love the flavor of the veggies when they are seasoned simply. While the veggies do their thing, the orzo is cooked in vegetable broth with some dried cranberries for little sweetness. Then everything is tossed together with your favorite balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I add some fresh herbs as well - basil, sage, parsley, or thyme are all delicious. And if you want some protein, add shrimp, grilled chicken, chickpeas, white beans, or tuna.
How to Make Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables is an incredibly easy dish to make – in fact, it's so easy your kids could make it – if you could get them to!
It all starts by tossing your veggies in some olive oil, salt, and pepper and then roasting them in the oven until tender; about 20 minutes. While they’re roasting away, cook the orzo in vegetable broth instead of water. When it’s boiling add your dried cranberries and season with salt and pepper.
When it's finished, toss the orzo with green onions, then top with the vegetables and balsamic vinegar.
What is Orzo?
At first glance you might think that orzo is an odd type of rice that you’ve never seen before, but it is actually a very small type of pasta, made with semolina flour to look like rice. Orzo is often found in soups like minestrone, but that's not it's only place. Orzo is so versatile that it can be boiled, then fried to make a pasta dish similar to risotto, and it's friendly for low-carb diets!
However, this is not a gluten free pasta – you can substitute a long grain brown rice for orzo if that is a concern for you.
Orzo and roasted vegetables both work amazingly well for meal prep, and putting them together – like in this dish – is the perfect way to have them.
Simply store the meal in an airtight container and eat it within 3-4 days; otherwise, the veggies start to get a little soggy. Taking a folded paper towel and laying it atop the food in the container is one way you can combat limp vegetables.
This will soak up some of the moisture that will build up in the container and keep the food good.
They don’t do very well in the freezer at all. I sincerely believe that you shouldn't plan on any freezing in this case – unless you don’t mind a baby food like consistency.
How to Add Protein & Recipe Ideas
Both chicken and tofu can easily be added to this dish to transform it into a complete meal, protein source included. This dish is also delicious with salmon, shrimp, or even canned tuna. For a plant-based protein option, add some canned beans like chickpeas or white beans.
- Vegetables: This recipe will work with all different types of roasted vegetables. Consider trying it with butternut squash, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or any of these roasted vegetables.
- Protein: Add cooked chicken, fish, shrimp, tofu, or canned beans.
- Cheese: If you are like me, you immediately think about cheese. Add Parmesan, feta, or goat cheese. This is also delicious with some freshly sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil for a Caprese style dish.
- Spices and herbs: This recipe can easily be customized with different spice blends like lemon pepper, Italian seasoning, or steak seasoning. Then add fresh herbs to finish like parsley, basil, or cilantro.
- Dried fruit: Instead of dried cranberries, swap in apricots, dates, or golden raisins.
Eat Hot or Cold
While there is no arguing that this dish is best served hot, it also makes a really great food to bring on a picnic or eat at room temperature if you don't happen to have a microwave handy. Think of it as an alternative to pasta salad.
More Roasted Vegetable Dishes
Roasted Vegetables and Orzo
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- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 U red onion, chopped
- 1 U zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch disks
- 1 U summer squash, sliced into 1/4 inch disks
- 1 U eggplant sliced into 1/4 inch disks
- 2 U red peppers, sliced into quarters
- 2 U portabella mushrooms
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 3 U green onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or more)
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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