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Orzo with zucchini, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Garnished with fresh mint and toasted pine nuts

Easy Orzo Recipe with Zucchini and Chickpeas


Super easy Mediterranean-style orzo recipe with zucchini and chickpeas in a tasty, garlicy, chunky tomato sauce. Fresh mint and toasted pine nuts are the perfect finishing touch. Serve this as a simple vegetarian main or as a side next to your favorite protein.


  • 12 oz orzo pasta
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used Greek Private Reserve)
  • 1 lb zucchini (about 3 medium zucchini), diced
  • 10 to 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes (or 5 medium tomatoes, diced)
  • 16 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups fully cooked chickpeas)
  • Black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Toasted pine nuts (I used more than 1/2 cup), optional


  1. Cook orzo pasta according to package instructions (I cooked mine in 3 qt salted boiling water for about 9 minutes). Drain, keeping about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Set aside
  2. In a large braiser or heavy pan like this one, heat 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add zucchini; raise heat if needed and saute for about 5 minutes or so. Season with a little salt.
  3. Now add garlic, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and spices. Add the reserved pasta water. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then lower heat, cover and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or so.  (Occasionally check and stir together, making sure to add a little bit of liquid if needed.)
  4. Uncover, stir in already cooked orzo pasta. Add lemon juice and stir again. Cook briefly until pasta is just warmed trough (a minute or 2.)
  5. Remove from heat and stir in fresh mint. Top with lots of toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!


  • Cook's Tip for Leftovers: Let any leftovers cool before storing in the fridge in a tight-lid container.  If properly refrigerated, this zucchini orzo dish will keep 3 to 4 days. You can enjoy it cold or at room temperature. You can also warm it up a little bit over medium-heat; add a little a tiny bit of water and break up the pasta, if needed, as it warms through.
  • Use whole wheat orzo pasta, if you are following a more strict Mediterranean diet.
  • Recommended for this Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). And from our spice collection: paprika, coriander, and cumin. 
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Orzo recipe, Orzo with Vegetables, Vegetarian Orzo Recipe