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Under 30 Minutes

Toasted Orzo with Olives and Lemon

Toasting the orzo (rice-shaped pasta) in olive oil before cooking it in water gives it a nutty taste and a golden color.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Toasted Orzo with Olives and Lemon

Source: Everyday Food, September 2003


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (2 1/2 cups) orzo
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add orzo; cook, stirring, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 4 cups water and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover, and simmer until orzo is al dente and liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes (if orzo is cooked but liquid remains, cook uncovered to evaporate).

  2. Remove from heat. Stir in olives, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lemon juice.

Reviews (3)

  • alicia101523 23 Aug, 2014

    Really great! I like to sprinkle a bit of goat cheese on top for a creamy bite.

  • eva7g 2 Sep, 2011

    this was so good .. light and yummy ... i made it just as it's written and loved it ...

  • AnnCleveland 20 Oct, 2008

    Simple, tasty, easy sidedish. Next time I would experiment with additional herbs, maybe garlic and diced seeded tomatoes

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