Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Halloumi

Welcome spring with this seasonal lemon asparagus orzo with fried halloumi. A delicious vegetarian meal filled with flavors and fresh ingredients including asparagus, basil and lemon.

We are going full spring here! Bring the asparagus. Bring the citrus fruits. Heck, bring the radishes! Everything except peas. I’m not a fan of these … except sometimes super fresh English peas. I make an exception for those.

At the end of summer I’m ready for soups and stews and at the end of winter I’m ready for salads and fresh veggies! I feel like this lemon orzo with fried halloumi is a nice in-between. The vegetables are cooked and reheated but the orzo has a fresh citrus flavor with a hint of basil. It’s chic but it’s not. Because we’re all about things that feel fancy but not really fancy here. Pretty sure it captures the halloumi perfectly, which seems like a fine cheese, but really is just a cut above the basic cheddar.

Enough of the chatter, let’s get ready to cook …

What you need for lemon orzo:

  • Orzo – don’t hesitate to use whole wheat orzo or gluten-free orzo
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon – zest + juice
  • Fresh basilic
  • Halloumi cheese – a traditional version made from sheep’s or goat’s milk is ideal
  • Chickpeas – I use canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas.
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Spices – paprika, cumin and salt and pepper

What is Orzo?

Orzo is a small paste shaped like rice. It actually means “barley” in Italian because of its resemblance to barley grain. Orzo can be tossed in soups and salads and even casseroles… or better yet, this lemon orzo!

Orzo is usually made from white flour, but I really like this whole wheat version of Delallo. If you are gluten free you can also buy gluten-free orzo as well as.

What is Halloumi?

If you’ve never tried halloumi before, you’re missing out. It is cheese made from goat’s or sheep’s milk or a mixture of both. It retains its shape when heated and therefore is perfect for lightly broiling or frying (that’s what we’re doing in this recipe!). It is perhaps the only cheese that is recommended to be heated rather than eaten raw. Consider eating a marshmallow – sure it’s raw but when you roast it it’s perfectly crispy on the outside and melted on the inside … this this is what halloumi looks like! It is a good source of protein, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A and B.

How to make a lemon orzo with fried halloumi:

STEP 1: Prepare the orzo according to the directions on the package. Once the orzo is filtered from the liquid, return it to the pot and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest + juice, sliced ​​basil and salt and pepper, to the taste. Stir to combine and set aside, covered.

2ND STEP: Slice your halloumi into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and place the halloumi directly into the pan. No need to add oil. Cook, 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until halloumi is golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside covered with a tea towel to keep warm.

STEP 3: Over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chickpeas, paprika and cumin to the same pan and cook until the chickpeas are well coated and starting to brown, approximately. 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the asparagus and minced garlic and continue cooking with the chickpeas until the asparagus is cooked through and lightly charred, about 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

STEP 5: Plate each serving with a lemon orzo base, garnished with the chickpea-asparagus and halloumi mixture on top. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

More vegetarian dishes

We love a good vegetarian recipe around here, and this lemon orzo with asparagus and halloumi is no exception! If you’re looking for more vegetarian options, here are some THM classics!

To print

Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Halloumi

Welcome spring with this seasonal lemon asparagus orzo with fried halloumi. A delicious vegetarian meal filled with flavors and fresh ingredients.

  • Author: Davida lederle
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1X
  • Category: Having dinner
  • Method: cook
  • Diet: Vegetarian
  • 1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 3 vs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, zest + juice
  • 1/2 Chopped off fresh basil, sliced, and more for serving
  • 1 block of halloumi cheese
  • 1 can chickpeas (14 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 head of asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • salt + pepper, to taste

  1. Prepare the orzo according to the directions on the package.
  2. Once the orzo is filtered from the liquid, return it to the pot and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest + juice, sliced ​​basil and salt and pepper, to the taste. Stir to combine and set aside, covered.
  3. Slice your halloumi into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  4. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and place the halloumi directly into the pan. No need to add oil.
  5. Cook, 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until halloumi is golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside covered with a tea towel to keep warm.
  6. Over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, chickpeas, paprika and cumin to the same pan and cook until the chickpeas are well coated and starting to brown, approximately. 5 minutes.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the asparagus and minced garlic and continue cooking with the chickpeas until the asparagus is cooked through and lightly charred, about 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Plate each serving with a lemon orzo base, garnished with the chickpea-asparagus and halloumi mixture on top.
  9. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Keywords: lemon orzo, asparagus orzo, fried halloumi, orzo and halloumi

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