Vegan Creamy Lemon Asparagus Orzo

May 31, 2022
Asparagus is one of the first veggies that’s ready for harvest in Massachusetts and it stays readily available until the end of spring. There are a bunch of festivals and fairs to honor the asparagus and big bundles of it start to fill up the shelves at the market. I always try to take advantage of seasonal food and enjoy it grown locally while I can, before it has to be imported.

I usually just roast my asparagus with lemon and garlic and then top it with nutritional yeast when it comes out of the oven. I incorporated these same flavors into this orzo to turn the asparagus into more of a meal rather than a side. The pasta water from the orzo helps to make this creamy without using any sort of milk. If you don’t have orzo on hand, you can try to use rice instead, to make a more classic style risotto. You can also try additional add-in’s such as mushrooms, peppers, or seitan.
lemon asparagus orzo on a white plate with brown and black background

Vegan Creamy Lemon Asparagus Orzo

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 2 servings
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  • 2 cups asparagus, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
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1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop up asparagus and coat in olive oil. Bake for about ten minutes, while you prepare the orzo.

2. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

3. Add the orzo to the pot and stir to coat. Add the white wine vinegar and water and sauté for a couple minutes, until the liquid is evaporated.

4. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the orzo is cooked through.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the asparagus, lemon juice and zest, scallions, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote

Lauren is a homebody who likes to spend time with her cat, explore new ideas in the kitchen, relax in the sun with a good book, and promote healthy living to friends and family.


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