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Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo!! Kind of like risotto, kind of like soup, kind of DELICIOUS…the ultimate bowl of summer comfort. This simple zucchini orzo is made in under 30 minutes, uses just one skillet, and is a great way to use up that summertime zucchini. It’s creamy, garlicky, packed with zucchini, and finished with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese. Perfect cozy, summer dinner or easy side, any night of the week. Everyone in the house will enjoy this dish, veggies and all!

overhead photo of Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo with hand on pot

If I could describe this dish in just a few words, I’d tell you that it’s a cross between risotto and soup. It’s not quite as thick or heavy as risotto, but not nearly as soupy as soup. It’s somewhere in between the two, and most importantly?

It. Is. SO GOOD.

It’s comfort in a bowl and clearly I love this recipe. Before I dive into all the details, some background info for you all. Growing up, my mom would make what she called “souper rice”. Basically, it was cream of chicken soup plus a whole lot of rice. So much rice that you really couldn’t call it soup anymore…enter “souper rice”. I can’t fully remember how she made it, but I know it involved minute rice and cream of chicken broth. That might have been it actually. Either way, it was incredibly basic…and yet she loved it. She would eat it with homemade air-popped popcorn on top. Yes, that’s my mom, carb-loving, and all about comfort. And I love her for it.

To this day, “souper rice” is still a food she would happily enjoy if someone were to make just make it a bit healthier.

I actually made my take on “souper rice” a few years back and it’s kind of what inspired today’s recipe. Honestly, I was sitting outside pondering in my head about what I wanted to make. Zucchini was on my mind and so was orzo. I put the two together and this is what I came up with. Then I remembered mom’s “souper rice” and that’s when I decided I was making “souper zucchini orzo”. I knew even before I made it that I was going to love it.

This is SIMPLE. So SUPER SIMPLE, but my gosh, it’s good. It’s what everyone needs a little dish of in their life today.

raw zucchini photo

Also? I sent these photos to my mom, who at the time was driving back to Colorado from California. And immediately her response was…

Yum! ? LOVE❣️

Yep, I copy-pasted that. And when I told her that I gave some of the dish away, she almost panicked that she wouldn’t have any to eat upon getting in at 12 am. I assured her that I saved her plenty. I knew this was her kind of recipe. She literally gave a sigh of relief. Dramatic, but it’s all true.

overhead close up photo of Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo

OK, moving along here.

The details.

As I said, this dish is quick and easy. Start by cooking the butter and garlic together until your kitchen smells amazing, so a minute or so. Add the orzo and plenty of fresh thyme. The garlic and thyme are the big flavors here, so don’t be shy.

Allow the orzo to get a little toasty, then toss in lots of shredded zucchini and a bit of kale too. If you hate kale, not a problem, simply use spinach. If you hate greens, not a problem, leave them out. Next, slowly pour in the chicken broth. For anyone who’s a vegetarian, just go with vegetable broth instead.

Cook the orzo risotto-style, stirring every few minutes until it’s al dente and creamy. This only takes a few minutes, so don’t worry, no standing at the stove for an hour.

Once the orzo is al dente, stir in a splash of milk (I like using canned full coconut milk, it’s delicious, dairy-free, so creamy, and no, you do not taste any coconut) and plenty of fresh parmesan cheese. As you are stirring, smells of garlic, thyme, and parmesan will quickly hit your nose.

It’s wonderful.

Remove from the heat, and simply finish off with fresh thyme. And please, eat immediately. This is meant to be on the soupy side, meaning there should still be broth around the orzo. The orzo will soak the broth up if it sits too long. So enjoy it right away it will be just perfect.

And that’s it. Enjoy a bowl topped with fresh thyme and settle into a cozy summer meal. Yes, meal, I know this might be considered more of a side dish, but around here, this is dinner.

overhead close up photo of Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo in cooking pot

If you’d like to make this a little heartier, try adding a fried or soft boiled egg.

Alternately, if you’d like to serve this as a side, that works great too. I’d recommend my favorite creamed corn chicken, this colorful creamed spinach salmon, a simple roasted chicken, or even a grilled steak. Any of these would be delicious paired with this orzo.

What I love most? Even though this is best right off the stove, the leftovers are still so good. The orzo becomes more like risotto and when heated up, it makes the perfect lunch the next day. Love a dish that you can enjoy for dinner one night and lunch the following day!

overhead photo of Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo in serving bowl

OH, and of course, how could I forget. This is a great way to get in your vegetables and use up all the zucchini you have growing in the garden.

Or maybe you just picked up a few too many zucchini at the market, this is your dish. Biggest bonus? Your kids will love this too, just tell them the green specs are herbs. Or maybe double the parmesan, in my book adding more cheese is always a good idea…whether you’re a kid or an adult.

overhead photo of Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo

If you make this souper creamy lemon butter cheesy zucchini orzo be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Watch The How To Video:

Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 328 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and garlic, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the orzo, and thyme, and cook until golden and toasted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and kale, cooking another 2-3 minutes, until wilted. Add the 1/2 cup broth and de-glaze the pan. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, onion powder and season with salt and pepper. Slowly continue to pour in the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer 8-10 minutes until the orzo is al dente, stirring often. It should become very creamy.
    2. Stir in the milk, parmesan, and parsley, cook another few minutes until warmed through. As the orzo thickens up on you, add additional broth to thin. It should be creamy, but with just a touch of liquid.
    3. Divide the orzo among bowls and top with fresh thyme...add additional butter...and parmesan, if desired. Hint? It's very desirable...

Notes

Gluten Free Orzo: I love DeLallo brand gluten free orzo

horizontal photo of Souper Creamy Lemon Butter Cheesy Zucchini Orzo

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and added chicken – Delicious and so easy with only one pan and a chopping board to clean up!

    1. Hey there,
      I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious! I love making this to have for lunch throughout the week. Even my toddler gobbles it up!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! I love zucchini however, it is not my spouse’s favorite. He loved this! The flavors were perfect and the whole thing came together very quickly. I will be adding to our weekly rotation. Thanks for this recipe!

  4. This was delicious! I had the heat up a bit too high so my Orzo stuck to the pan a bit but other than that, all went well for a first time making this. We had it for a midday holiday lunch on a stormy day, just divine! I am looking forward to adding this to my regular meal prep/lunches for work roster.

    1. Hey there! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Have a lovely week! xTieghan

  5. This is the perfect side dish with marinated grilled chicken. Who am I kidding it’s an amazing dish period! This dish packs so much flavor, you’ll keep going back for more.

    1. Hey April,
      Fantastic! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! Have a great weekend☀️ xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I have made it several times now and always is delicious, as a side or as an easy lunch or dinner! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! xxTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    We made this last night and I’ll be honest I was scared the broth wasn’t going to cook out before the orzo over cooked!

    I added chicken and toasted pine nuts and it was superb!

    1. Hey Kristin,
      Happy Friday! I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! xxTieghan

    1. Hey CJ,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a wonderful day:) xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    I made this as a side for our Memorial Day cook out and it was soooo good! I received so many compliments. I did not use kale (didn’t have it) and still turned out great. I love that it is one pot too!

    1. Hey Natalie,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe, I am so glad that it was enjoyed! ☀️xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    I love this recipe so so so so much. My flatmates and I make this at LEAST once a month and I’ve cooked it for other friends and family who have also loved it. It has easily turned into all of our favourite foods and we’re all picky people.
    Love love love, would recommend to anyone. THANK YOU for creating it (along with every other recipe you create!)

  10. 5 stars
    Soooooo good thank you for sharing!! I didn’t have kale so I doubled the zucchini and added some leftover leeks and it was delicious! It goes to show how versatile the base recipe is, it can be modified into anything and still be so good.

    1. Hey Ada,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! Have a great Sunday:) xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan,

    Love your recipes and the new website, but would you be able to include how many servings per recipe? I usually need to halve them and I don’t seem to see the number of servings anymore! Thank you so much

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Thanks so much for your kind message! Yes, I will add this to the list of items that need adjusting. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! xTieghan

    1. Hey Renee,
      Fantastic! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    I have made this dish several times for my family and for friends over for dinner. This is an amazing upscale taste but super easy to make. My teens love it and so has everyone else that has tasted it! Just wanted to let others know, I never add kale, onion powder, milk or parsley and it still turns out creamy and amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Hey Anna,
      Happy Friday!! I am so excited that this recipe was enjoyed, I appreciate you giving it a try!! xTieghan

  13. I was wondering if you could make this ahead of time and reheat? I know with a lot of cream sauces they seperate.

    Thanks- Heather

    1. Hey Heather,
      I think that would be fine to do, just reheat on the stove top. I hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    I LOVED this recipe!! I made it completely vegan with earth balance vegan butter, vegetable broth, follow your heart vegan parm, and coconut milk. It was insanely good! Will be on regular rotation! Served with crab cakes for my meat eating husband. He also loved!! Thank you!

  15. Hello! I have frozen zucchini noodles. Could I substitute that into this recipe for fresh zucchini? And if yes, how? Would I cook it first? Thanks!

    1. Hey Kim,
      Sorry I have never worked with frozen zucchini noodles, I am not sure how you would use them in this recipe. xTieghan

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe multiple times and it never disappointes! It’s one of my partners favourites. I love your content, and your recipes. What I love most is they inspire me to create delicious meals, even if I don’t make your full recipe, I love to take parts and create from there! You’re a wonderful human ♥️

    1. Hey Maria,
      Basmati rice will work well here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  17. Could this possibly be made in an instant pot or crock pot? Similar to how crockpot risottos are done? Can’t wait to try it!!

    1. Hey Meridith,
      You could try adding all ingredients to the instant pot and cooking on high pressure for 6-8 minutes. I actually think that could be really good! Please let me know if you have any other questions and how this comes out for…I am curious! I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  18. I’m not one to comment on recipes but this is hands down my favourite recipe you’ve created. It’s sooo satisfying, creamy, lemony and comforting. I once subbed shredded carrots instead of zucchini when they were out of season, and it’s still #thebomb.

  19. 5 stars
    A staple in our household and one of the most requested by our boys. I started making it in our instapot with a few modifications.
    We omit kale and add an extra zucchini
    Increased broth to 4cups.

    Followed recipe instructions and used the sauté function thru add broth.
    Set IP on Manual 4min, quick release at end of cycle.
    Then add grated parmesan and 1/2 can coconut milk. If we are feeling peppy we toss some arugula in. This is hands down one of our favorite meals!

    Thank you Tieghan!

    1. Hi Nicole! I am so happy this recipe turned out so well for you! I hope you continue to enjoy this and other recipes of mine! Thank you so much! xTieghan

  20. QUESTION,
    What is the best way to veganize this? I know to substitude butter for margarine, but what about the cream/milk? would something like soy milk or full fat coconut work? thanks so much!

    1. Hey Diana,
      I would use full fat canned coconut milk. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  21. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good and so easy! So many recipes promise dinner in 30 minutes, but with chopping, prepping it never is. Well, this one is! Quick and delicious. What a win. I worried about the lemon zest but it was perfect. thank you AGAIN.

  22. 5 stars
    Made this exactly as the recipe called for and it was awesome! Lemony, creamy, cozy, but didn’t leave any of us feeling “weighed down” after. Served it with a side of crispy shredded Brussels sprouts and pancetta, perfect late summer meal.

    Will definitely make this one again and again

    1. Hey Whitney,
      Yes I would do that. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Annie,
      It is about 2 cups of zucchini. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  23. 5 stars
    YUM! I eat gluten free, so as a substitute for orzo, I used Trader Joe’s Risoni (made with chickpeas and lentils). I altered the directions just a tad to accommodate the risoni cooking recipe but thankfully, they both worked together. Perfect, hearty vegetarian meal. Thanks for this recipe!

  24. 5 stars
    This was super creamy, super cheesy, super good!! WOW! Loved it! And very easy to make! Will be remaking this one for sure. Love all your recipes, Tieghan!

  25. This looks delicious! When we have guests I like to make Food ahead of time , I’m guessing add more broth so it won’t dry up?

    1. Hey Debbie,
      Yes that will work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  26. 2 medium squash and half a bunch of kale can be quite a range depending on one’s interpretation; do you have a bit more specific measurement?

    1. Hey Katherine,
      Sorry these are the measurements that I have, they don’t need to be super specific to the cup, just an estimate. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  27. 5 stars
    Delicious. Bright. Creamy. Cheesy. This recipe hits all the right marks. Even my vegetable-averse brother couldn’t get enough of it. This will be on repeat in my household!

  28. Thoughts on cooking cubed chicken in the skillet first, then starting the recipe with the “pan starter flavors” and making it a one-pan meal?? Trying this tonight!

    1. Hey Michelle,
      This would definitely work! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  29. Really nice Summer side dish! The flavors are fresh and it’s very creamy. I used Summer squash instead of zucchini because it’s what was available.

  30. 5 stars
    THIS WAS SO GOOD! My very picky 12 year old ate two giant bowls before we told him what was in it. Probably the healthiest thing he’s eaten all year. We used spinach instead of kale and almond milk instead of regular milk. I also added extra broth, maybe 3/4 of a cup by the end. Another keeper!!

  31. 5 stars
    This was delicious and easy to make. I wish I had cooked in a small Dutch oven type of pot because the space in a large cast iron skillet was tight.
    I may have let it sit a little too long because it got pretty thick and was multi-tasking making the barefoot parmesan chicken at the same time; delicious dinner but a lot of work!
    Love your recipes and like you said, needed to use up the zucchini!

    1. Hi Liza,
      You could totally do that too! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  32. This is insanely good. Subbed spinach for the kale and served it with roasted chicken. Even my toddler wanted seconds, and she normally hates zucchini. Definitely adding this to the rotation!

  33. I have everything in my house except zucchini which I will buy at the market. I will make it this week, sounds like something
    I could eat all week. I know I will love it, in fact since this is tomato season, I might add little grape tomatoes I have growing.

  34. 5 stars
    Mmm, this was delicious! I added spinach and petit pois and used regular whole milk! Loved how easy it was. I’m a vegetarian and love your recipes, have tried 3 or 4 now and all have turned out beautifully! Please keep them coming! Thanks 😊

  35. 5 stars
    I made this for our family and it was gone so fast I couldn’t even get a photo. This recipe was very easy, even for a horrible cook like myself! So perfect for summer, filling yet light. Highly recommend.

  36. 5 stars
    Easy and delicious! This was a great way to sneak in some veggies. Added a fried egg on top for some extra protein. Might try it with a can of roasted chick peas. Thanks for a great recipe!

  37. Love this idea! Going to make with asparagus this week. Just started following you during quarantine… you are a content powerhouse! Love the naan, coconut butter cauli, oatmeal chocolate chunk bars, jalapeño cheddar cream cheese biscuits, and marinated grilled veggie sandwiches.

    1. Haha you are too sweet! I am really glad you have been enjoying my blog and I hope you continue to! xTieghan

  38. 5 stars
    THE perfect, comforting summer side dish–the taste of summer with zucchini, squash, and lemon, but the cheesy, creamy comfort of more hearty winter dishes. Made this tonight with pan seared salmon on the side. My boyfriend and I can’t wait to have this all on its own tomorrow for lunch!

  39. 5 stars
    This was delicious!!! I did not have zucchini or squash on hand so I subbed fresh asparagus. I had the other ingredients and this worked really well as written in place of the zucchini. Thank you for such a versatile recipe.

  40. 5 stars
    Phenomenal. This is my first half baked harvest recipe, and it is perfect. I couldn’t find orzo at 3 stores, so I substituted orecchiette. Hopefully the stores stock orzo again soon!

    1. Aw that is so amazing to hear!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe, Jen! I hope you continue to love my recipes! xTieghan

  41. 5 stars
    Great way to sneak in some veggies while eating this creamy delight! I skipped the kale and added some extra cheese to make it less soupy and more creamy. Loved it! Will definitely make it again.

    1. Hi Ellen,
      Glad you enjoyed the recipe, I do not skin the zucchini. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  42. 5 stars
    I made this last night, I had to modify some because of what I had but it was delicious! I used quinoa for the grain, kohlrabi greens instead of kale, and didn’t have any Parmesan. I am looking forward to making it again when I have all your ingredients! Thank you!!

  43. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious. I didn’t have all the ingredients given my limited trips to the store. Didn’t have thyme or kale, but added some romaine lettuce and artichokes. Was so easy to make and delicious. Will definitely make again. Thanks!!

  44. This recipe look so yummy! Very excited to try it out this week. However – I haven’t been able to find any fresh thyme – would it be ok to use dry and if yes, how should I adjust the recipe? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Nupur,
      Yes you can use dried thyme, I would use 1 teaspoon. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  45. 5 stars
    This meal is amazing. We have been trying to eat less meat in our household and this recipe was great for the whole family. I used a diced onion in place of onion powder and added a splash of white wine into the orzo after roasting. Yummmm!!!

  46. 3 stars
    Very good texture and flavor, but wow the salt in this… I used unsalted butter and yet, this was way too salty salty (mostly coming from the parmesan). I’d recommend using unsalted butter and diving the parmesan serving by 1/2 so that the salt doesn’t overpower the other flavors.

    1. Hi Naomi! I am sorry this was too salty for you. Please let me know if there is anything I can help with! I hope you love other recipes you try of mine! xTieghan

    1. Hi Mukta,
      Yes that would work well! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions!

  47. 5 stars
    Just did it with maccaroni instead of orzo and it turn out AMAZING!!! Rainy day here in Spain… Thank you Thiegan!

    1. Thank you Patrizia! I am so glad this turned out so well for you! I hope you are staying healthy and well! xTieghan

  48. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was great. I think served with roasted chicken would be great with it like you suggested. I will make this again, but will half it. For 2 people it makes a ton. All that we have tried in the last couple of months have been wonderful. Keep up the good work.

  49. 5 stars
    I absolutely LOVED this meal! Quick, easy, minimal clean up, and absolutely delicious! I was able to use a lot of ingredients that I already had in my fridge! Although next time, I would get some fresh herbs and double down! I honestly could have eaten this before adding the milk and cheese, it was so lemony and delicious! But the dairy certainly helped make it creamier!
    I followed the directions to a T but I just gotta ask, why use onion powder and not just an onion?

  50. 5 stars
    WOW. This will be one of my new comfort food go to recipes! I used the asparagus and spinach I had on hand and it turned out amazing!

  51. 5 stars
    Amazing! Adding this to my favorites list. Easy. Filling. I used chopped cauliflower because I had no zucchini and I loved the added texture.

  52. I made this for dinner tonight. It was easy and delicious! I didn’t have zucchini so I substituted chopped cauliflower. Love the texture it added.

    1. Hi Sa! I would suggest using a non dairy cheese.. If you do not have you can omit, it just will change to end flavor! I hope you love this recipe! xTieghan

  53. Can you replace the zucchini with other fresh veggies like green beans? Would it cook for the same length of time?

    1. Hi Kimberly,
      Yes that would be a great idea! I hope you love the recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  54. 5 stars
    We loved this dish! It’s really easy, quick cleanup. The first time I made it, I put in the kale when instructed and the entire dish turned a grayish color, along with the kale (still tasty though!). Next time I made it, I added the kale immediately before serving, letting it wilt fully, and it retained its color and had a bit more texture/taste. Definitely in the future any time I cook with kale I’m adding it in at the end! But once I did that, this meal was perfect. I’m a sucker for savory lemon flavors.

    1. Hi! I am so glad this recipe turned out so well for you! And thank you for the point about the kale… so odd! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes! xTieghan

  55. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe–we love it!
    Have made it a few times and now we always make a double recipe so we can have delicious leftovers! I did add mushrooms to this dish one time (cooked them first to get the water out of them) which worked well. And, of course, lots of extra cheese! Yum!

  56. Do you squeeze the excess water out of your grated zucchini? Or it’s ok to go from box grater direct to the pan? Thanks!

    1. Hi! No need to squeeze the water out of the zucchini. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  57. 5 stars
    Yummm super busy weeknight made easy. I picked up a rotisserie chicken and decided to make this as our side dish. I improvised with what I had in the house. I substituted spinach for the kale and used coconut milk. I also did a drizzle of lemon evoo on top. Creamy and delicious! ? This was my first side dish of yours to try, and it’s a keeper.

  58. We just made this last nite!!! YUM!!! My grandson LOVED it and knowing the amount of zucchini makes us feel good that he is getting some good veggies!

  59. 5 stars
    I saw the video for this on instagram, and I decided to make it the same day. I pre-made it last night for what I am making for dinner today (dill lemon meatballs), but I couldn’t help grabbing some this morning for breakfast (it reheats really well). It is so delicious. And it’s so simple! I love how the orzo toasts up a little bit in the butter, and how fragrant all the herbs are. I think this will be something I add to my meal repertoire! Amazing recipe.

    1. Hey Lauren! You could try adding all ingredients to the instant pot and cooking on high pressure for 6-8 minutes. I actually think that could be really good! Please let me know if you have any other questions and how this comes out for…I am curious! I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ??

  60. 5 stars
    Wow this was so, so good! Added a bit of extra kale and served it with pork tenderloin- delicious. 10/10 the whole fam would recommend!! Thanks again, Tieghan!

  61. 5 stars
    Made this for the second time and, just like the first time, the dish was a huge hit. This is one of those dishes where every person immediately exclaims how good it is immediately after their first forkful. However, for my second time I didn’t have zucchini or kale, so i kept things pretty simple and used thyme PLUS dill. Lemon, dill, and cheese work wonderfully together!

  62. Sooooo good! Sooooo simple! Sooooo easy! Sooooo quick! Did I mention it’s sooooo good?? Thanks and cheers from Newfoundland Canada!

  63. Thank you for this delicious recipe! Made it using spinach instead of kale and cream cheese instead of cream, that’s what I had on hand. So light, bright, love the addition of lemon juice and peel. Very adaptable, can imagine it would taste great with green peas or roasted fennel mixed in towards the end. But always with zucchini and always grated:) Great on its own or as a side to grilled fish.

  64. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner on Monday night after getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday! It was a delicious soft dinner that everyone could eat together. My parents wanted to save the recipe! I used five cups of broth and cooked the orzo well past al dente.

  65. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner and my family went crazy over it!! It has got to be the best side dish I have ever cooked. So healthy to boot!! I chopped the squash instead of grating it be because I was lazy?
    My family insists their all time favorite dinner is your turkey enchilada quinoa soup. Thank you for making me a hit!

    1. Hi Fee, the rice will take longer to cook, about 20 additional minutes. I would recommend covering the pot after adding the broth, and cooking on LOW for 15 minutes, then add the milk and finish as directed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  66. 5 stars
    Made it vegan – vegan Parmesan, coconut milk and butter- so, so, so delicious!! It will be a staple this winter!

  67. Thank you for another wonderful recipe! I made this for dinner tonight and am currently eating my second bowl! Super easy, quick and very delicious! My kids enjoyed it as well. I will definitely be making this again!

  68. 5 stars
    I made this last week, and it was so delicious! We are not always good about eating our leftovers….not the case with this one!
    All the leftovers were gobbled up as well, and it was just as good re-heated. It has been added it to our list of favorites. Thank you!

  69. 5 stars
    This recipe is SO good. Really easy, minimal prep, and one pot. Feels both like comfort food and something a little special. I think shrimp or chicken would both go great in this dish if you wanted to add a protein. Will definitely be making again!

  70. 5 stars
    O mi gawd-this was SO good! I had no kale so I subbed in spinach; I had no thyme so I subbed in basil & had no garlic so I added onions & some red bell pepper. This is in the permanent rotation-thanks so much

  71. 5 stars
    Made this as a side dish with an “oven fried” chicken Milanese tonight, Oh my! SO delicious! Once again Mr. “I don’t like zucchini” cleaned his plate. ;o) Thank you Tieghan! Hmmm 36 years and finally eating zucchini – what other miracles could be possible?!

  72. Hi, Tieghan! Thank you so much for all of your recipes and work: you and your food make me really happy! I want to ask a question about thyme because I get so tired out by stripping the tiny leaves off of it that it discourages me from using fresh thyme, and I think that is a tragedy! Do you have tips for stripping thyme? When I find a stalk that doesn’t have small branches growing from it, then it’s fairly easy because I can just run by thumb and finger down the stalk from top to bottom and the little leaves pop off. But what do you do with the stalks that have lots of little side branches coming off? Helppp.

    1. Hey Courtney!! You can do one of 2 things…

      1: you can simply throw the entire thyme spring in whatever you are making, then just remove the sprig before eating if it hasn’t broken apart into the sauce. This works really well and I do it with “saucier” dishes almost always.

      2: if the thyme sprig is really light and delicate (i.e it does not have a woody’s, firm stem), then you can just chop the entire sprig and use in your recipes. I also do this very often!

      Hope this helps you!! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  73. 5 stars
    This was so DELICIOUS! My kids hate zucchini, so they say..but they both went back for second helpings. Thank you so much for continuing to create such awesome recipes!

  74. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight – so lemony, creamy, and delicious! Added some shredded, cooked chicken thighs to make it a one dish meal, along with another cup of broth to keep it soupy. So good! Will make this again!

  75. Been making recipes from your site off and on all summer–just finished the Raspberry-Peach Oat Crumble bars this morning and am waiting for them to cool.
    My question for this dish–do you drain the liquid off the grated zucchini, or do you put it into the dish?

  76. 5 stars
    OMG. I’ve made countless recipes from your blog/cookbooks but this is easily in my top 5. So easy and delicious! Paired it with some smoky grilled chicken thighs. Amazing!

    1. Hey Kayla, it was arugula, but spinach would be great too! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  77. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! What a great way to change up how to use our massive stock of zucchini! The flavors were incredible and you were so right; felt like a comfort food dish but it was so light! The zucchini basically disappeared into the orzo & sauce – so good!! This is 100% added to our summer recipe rotation.

  78. I plan on making this tomorrow evening but I only have whole wheat orzo. I’m thinking it may require more time and perhaps more liquid? Thoughts?!

    1. Hi Jules! I am not really sure as I have not tested this with whole wheat orzo, BUT I think the cooking time and liquid amounts should be fairly similar, just adjust as you are cooking. I am sure it will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  79. I just made this but used an 8.8 oz quick-cooking Farro plus a bunch of riced cauliflower in place of the orzo. I’m sure the texture is different than the intended recipe but it is SO good!

  80. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan! My boyfriend and I like to do Meatless Mondays and decided to try this last night. I used baby bella mushrooms in addition to the zucchini and used some heavy cream instead of the milk. I loved how creamy it turned out to be and for someone that has a fresh herb obsession like me, the fresh thyme in the end was perfect. Both of us really enjoyed the dish and we will be making it again 🙂

  81. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was a winner! I used spinach instead of kale as that was what I had at home. Very very good!

  82. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. It’s easy to make, full of flavor, comforting, yet light. It will definitely be on repeat in my kitchen. Thank you HBH for continuing to inspire me to cook intuitively (and creatively!)

  83. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night and it was great! Added more zucchini than the recipe called for but in smaller shreds – it melted into the sauce and the whole thing got thumbs up from everyone for its creamy cheesiness. I made a big batch and there were leftovers, so tonight riffed on the creamed corn orzo with shrimp recipe to deliciously repurpose these: followed the steps to sauté the corn then added chicken stock, wine, and then the leftover orzo, which warmed through and got saucy and delicious. A bit more cheese on top and it was a hit for the second night in a row. Highly recommend this recipe as-is and as a base to be creative!

  84. Just made this recipe! Super easy & quick which is always a plus on a weeknight. Loved all of the flavours together – we subbed almond milk and our dad asked if there was cream in it (I consider this a success!). Thinking of trying with quinoa, would it turn out similar?

    1. Hey Spencer! I would recommend using around 2 cups of dry quinoa.It will be a little different, but I think it could be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am so glad love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  85. I have a question. I can’t find gluten free orzo where I live. Is there anything you could think of to substitute? Gluten free pasta or risotto?
    Thanks!!

    1. Hey Amy! I would recommend the smallest shaped gluten free pasta that you can find. This should have a similar cooking time to the orzo pasta. Also, I linked to my favorite GF orzo below. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

      https://thrivemarket.com/p/montebello-organic-orzo?utm_medium=pla_smart&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Shopping_Engagement_Smart_Members&utm_content=015532101170&utm_term=na&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwIPrBRCJARIsAFlVT89HSTpBI8xomxnQbqsKWLHTySAStge4GvGyRMWcUztoK8uKw2ukdJoaAuJXEALw_wcB

    1. Hey Jenna, 1 pound of orzo is roughly 2 cups dry orzo. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hey Anna! You can either use gluten free orzo or rice. If using risotto style rice, you’ll need to tack on about 20-30 minutes of additional cooking time and make sure to stir as the risotto cooks. Either of these options will be delicious! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  86. 5 stars
    Great Recipe! Nailed it again. When do you add the parsley? I just topped it off at the end but it would be nice to see in the recipe.

    1. Hey Katie! Topping with the parsley is great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am so glad you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  87. This meal was amazing!!!! My husband and I had to literally walk away from the table so we would not eat ourselves sick. I roasted chicken and made the orzo a side and it was perfect. My sister made it last night and loved it, too. Thank you for the great recipe!!!

  88. 5 stars
    Delicious! I was running around doing errands, making your zucchini bread with chocolate chips and needed something quick for dinner and work lunches. This was perfect! It was easy to make and absolutely delicious! Another winner.

  89. Love making your recipes!! Do you have any suggestions for substituting the whole/coconut milk? (Low fat milk, etc)

    1. Hey Lydia! Honestly, using whole milk or coconut milk is best for a creamy orzo. That sauce, a low fat milk will also work, but you will not get that “souper” creamy orzo. I am sure still delicious though! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  90. I made this last night because I wanted some CARBS before a big race. It was perfect. Zucchini lightened it just enough for me to feel “healthy” and it honestly tasted so much like Rice-A-Roni I had flashbacks. Awesome dish–thanks!

  91. I was wondering would this recipe work with fresh Rosemary instead of Thyme? We don’t have thyme but plenty of Rosemary.

    1. Hey Abby! I am sure rosemary will be so delicious! Great idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  92. 5 stars
    We made this for dinner last night and it was simply delicious! A “souper” tasty recipe. Perfect for zucchini!

  93. Made this for dinner tonight. I live pretty far from a grocery store and didn’t have any kale.i substituted frozen peas and it was delicious!!! Will definately make this again.

  94. 5 stars
    This recipe was even better than advertised! I doubled it, which made plenty of leftovers for lunches. In our house a very important criteria especially since school is back in full swing. The thyme, parmesan, and cilantro (I didn’t have parsley) really were beautiful flavor enhancements. The texture of this dish was very appealing. Everyone at our table had seconds. I didn’t see where to add the lemon juice and zest so I added it before the coconut milk. Thank you for another great recipe.

  95. 5 stars
    This is delicious and super creamy. My kids (who are usually picky about zucchini) loved it! They asked for seconds and even thirds! Thank you!

  96. 5 stars
    Wow!! Another killer recipe, we halved it since I was just cooking for two. I would make this again in a heartbeat! Thank you Tieghan for all that you do, your recipes have brought us tremendous joy.

    1. Hi Abby! The lemon juice and zest are added with the broth. Recipe all fixed! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  97. Sounds so yummy! The recipe does not include the lemon juice and zest – when should they be added?

    1. Hi Valerie! The lemon juice and zest are added with the broth. Recipe all fixed! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hi Karla! I recommend using orzo or another small cut pasta such as small shells or elbows. That said, I think orzo is best as it creates a more risotto like texture and easily soaks up the sauce. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  98. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan! Another stunning dish you’ve created! Can’t wait to try it with all the late summer zucchini from my garden! I absolutely love the blue and white bowl in your photo! May I ask where you got it from? Thanks!

    1. Hi Heidi! I bought these bowls on Etsy and sadly they are currently sold out. I am so sorry! I wish I could give you a link to shop! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  99. I’m going on holiday tomorrow, staying in a cottage with friends, I am going to take this recipe with me as I think they will all love it! Thank you!

  100. So unfortunate that we do not get orzo rice in India – the flavours look absolutely amazing!!! Love your writing style: Start by cooking the butter and garlic togetherU UNTIL YOUR KITCHEN SMELLS AMAZING – love it! 😀