Serve it hot or cold, this orzo pasta salad with lemon, garlic and thyme mushrooms is a big hit. Simple, delicious flavours and a recipe that takes just 15 mins & 9 ingredients. Think about the basic salmoriglio sauce and then elevate it to this brilliant dish with the addition of mushrooms and thyme.
The light seasoning with garlic, thyme, lemon, parsley, salt, and pepper is just perfect. I like the garlic-y taste so I chop them very fine but if you want to tone down the garlic a bit, just add them whole. I also love the textures of this dish — very smooth, both the orzo and the mushrooms. With each bite, I was literally not chewing it immediately, but savouring it. So smooth and so delicious.
Orzo pasta (or rice pasta as I sometimes call it!) is great for pasta dishes without a sauce. It is small and so doesn’t really occupy the bulk of the dish and because it is small each bite has enough of both orzo and vegetables.
Mushrooms were an acquired taste for me. It took my dad to cook many many dishes, multiple number of times till I started eating mushrooms. For me, the set combination was always mushrooms and garlic. With a little seasoning, mushroom and garlic made for a quick and delicious mushroom sauté. And when I added lemon juice to it! a-maaazzzing! Before I started, I wasn’t too sure how mushrooms will taste with lemon juice but I had to try. The recipe started as an experiment and now proudly sits amongst my easy and quick pasta dinner recipes.
Did you know:
Mushrooms belong to neither plant kingdom nor animal kingdom. They have their own mushroom kingdom! They are really special with great health benefits.
Health benefits of Mushrooms
One of few plant-based sources of Vitamin-D. Super low in calories (1 cup mushroom has 10 calories!), fat-free, cholesterol-free and rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals; it definitely is time to make room for some mushrooms in your diet!
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it below and/or leave your thoughts at the end. It really encourages me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
Orzo pasta salad with lemon mushrooms
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup orzo pasta
- 1 cup chestnut mushrooms thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- 4 cloves garlic small; smashed, peeled and chopped
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves stripped off
- 1 bunch fresh parsley chopped
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring 4 cups water to boil
- Add 1 tsp olive oil and salt to the water. Throw in the orzo pasta to cook until al dente. Takes about 8-10 mins.
- On the side, heat olive oil in a flat pan, on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add the sliced mushroom, sprinkle some salt and sauté till the mushrooms start to sweat. About 5 mins.
- Remove from heat, add fresh thyme leaves, lemon juice and zest. Toss together.
- Drain the cooked pasta (retaining some of the water) and add to the lemony mushrooms. Add in chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper and gently toss.
- Enjoy hot and bonus… it tastes great cold as well!
Original recipe inspiration from the book Nigella Express.
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Patti @ Patty Cake's Pantry
i love orzo, and for some reason, I really enjoy pairing it with something lemony. This is a perfect combination of flavors. I’m going to put this into regular rotation on our menu. Thanks for a great recipe.
Thank you Patti! 🙂
I have also fallen in love with orzo.. it is such a convenient pasta!
Oh this looks so good. This looks like some great pasta and I just don’t have that much experience with orzo. I am going to have to change that.
You have to try orzo. It is such a great pasta especially for pasta salads and recipes without a thick sauce. I am sure you will love it.
LOVE LOVE Orzo and this one looks so delicious! I love the flavors of lemon and you added mushrooms, my favorite. Perfect dish for this cold, windy weather we’ve been having!
We’ve been having the same cold windy weather here too and this simple pasta is a breeze to cook and then go back to that warm blanket with a plateful! 🙂 I am so glad you liked it! Thank you!
I’ve been craving an orzo pasta recipe! This sounds so refreshing and perfect for the upcoming warmer weather. My family would also love this recipe!
I am so happy you liked this recipe.. It tastes good hot as well as cold so perfect for all seasons and very refreshing with the lemony tastes! Thank you!
I love orzo pasta and I the combination of lemon, mushroom, garlic and herbs sounds like a Mediterranean dream to me! Thanks for sharing!
For me it was a dream come true! 🙂 Mushroom and garlic was my usual combination but lemon gives it a refreshing kick! I am so glad you liked the recipe. Thank you!
dixya @food, pleasure, and health
i do enjoy orzo in side salad type dishes and this one with lemon sounds really refreshing for Spring.
Isn’t orzo just perfect for salads.. and you rightly said, with its lemony freshness, this salad is perfect for spring.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
I simply love each of those ingredients. Put them all together then I’m in pasta salad heaven. We find that orzo pasta is so versatile. We always have it in our pantry.
Yes, orzo really is versatile. It is a my new found pasta love 🙂 and I love the combination of mushroom, lemon and garlic!
I have never used orzo before but definitely looks a great and easy dish to put together.
I really orzo.. I is also very quick to cook. If you can’t find orzo, you can use the sauce with other small pastas as well.
Thank you so much!
That sounds delicious! We all love mushrooms, and garlic. I”d never heard of that sauce, though, and must try it!
I am so glad you like the recipe. Mushroom & garlic is a match made in heaven :-). Salmoriglio is a classic Sicilian sauce.. very easy and very delicious. You should definitely try!
Yummy! This pasta seems like it would taste super fresh. I love the lemon/mushroom combo. I just pinned it for later! 🙂
It surely is a very refreshing dish.
Gorgeous dish and the recipe is simple and perfect!! Orzo is so easy and fun to make and I love that you added the health benefits of mushrooms 🙂
It surely is a very simple and refreshing dish. Ideal for both summers & winters.
In our parts, mushrooms are viewed with quite a skepticism among vegetarians so while I didn’t want to write an essay on health benefits of mushrooms (there are so many websites for that), I just wanted to highlight a few. Thank you so much for your feedback!
Yes, I love that this is vegan. I find it so hard to find orzo where I live. I have to travel about 65 miles if I want to buy it from a store. Anyway, the recipe looks so good and I’m definitely saving it.
you can use the same recipe with any other pasta..It will go great with other short pastas and also spaghetti. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!