Orzo Al Limone

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What if you could enjoy the creamy delight of risotto without rice? Enter orzo al limone, where orzo pasta takes center stage in a dish bathed in lemony goodness.

Molly Baz put this lemony, cheesy wonder on the map, and our version follows suit, with orzo simmered slowly in chicken broth and finished with a generous sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese, accompanied by bursts of lemon flavor throughout.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • This recipe is a breeze to whip up. It’s a one-pot wonder ready in under 45 minutes, where the pasta is cooked and served in the same pot.
  • When it comes to lemons, juicy ones are the way to go! Don’t judge a lemon by its appearance; the juiciest ones might not always look the prettiest.
  • While Pecorino Romano brings a unique flavor, Parmesan can be a worthy substitute. If you can, opt for Locatelli Pecorino Romano for its exceptional taste.

Orzo Al Limone

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 8 ounces dry orzo
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus extra
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives


  • Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook garlic until soft and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add lemon zest and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Step 2: Increase heat to medium. Add orzo, salt, and pepper. Toast the orzo slightly for about 1 minute. Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Once the pasta starts absorbing the broth and it reduces by half, add another cup of broth. Repeat with the remaining broth until a creamy sauce forms, and the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes in total. Season with salt.
  • Step 3: Remove from heat. Stir in Pecorino Romano, parsley, lemon juice, and chives.
  • Enjoy your creamy orzo al limone, bursting with zesty flavors!

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