Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

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One-Pan Zucchini-Pesto Orzo

4 servings


25 minutes

total time


2 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces each), diced (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, to taste, more as needed

1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, more to taste

1 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup orzo

1 lemon, zested and halved

1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes

5 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes (1 cup)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces), more for serving

1/4 cup finely chopped mint, more for serving

1/2 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade, more to taste


In a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, combine the zucchini and onion with olive oil, the red-pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook the mixture, stirring once or twice, until the zucchini and onion turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Don’t stir too often, as it can impede browning.

Stir in stock and bring to a simmer. Stir in orzo, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until orzo is nearly cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 14 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss together the tomatoes, mozzarella, a pinch of salt, a pinch of red-pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil, and let marinate while the orzo cooks.

Once the orzo is ready, stir in juice of 1/2 lemon, Parmesan, mint and pesto. Cover the pan, and cook for 1 minute, to finish cooking. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice or pesto, if needed. To serve, top with tomato-mozzarella mixture and sprinkle with more cheese and mint.


Serving Size




Total Fat

38 g

Saturated Fat

11 g

Unsaturated Fat

16 g

Trans Fat

0 g




962 mg

Total Carbohydrate

37 g

Dietary Fiber

4 g

Total Sugars

8 g


24 g

4 servings


25 minutes

total time
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