AK Zucchini Week is HERE! I’m so excited to share 5 brand new, incredible zucchini recipes with you this week. If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up here to get our FREE printable Zucchini E-Book with 10 of my very best zucchini recipes, plus check out the bottom of this post for exciting giveaway details.
We’re kicking the week off with something savory that I know you’re going to love. This 30 minute grilled veggie orzo is filled with flavor from sweet & grilled vegetables, tangy goat cheese and warm toasty, nutty brown butter and garden fresh basil. It’s a little bit of a hybrid between my incredible Brown Butter Pistachio Pesto Pasta and my Spinach Garlic Parmesan Orzo but with a summer veggie twist!
It’s a wonderful pasta dish that’s packed with veggies and perfect for adding your favorite proteins (omg could you imagine this with chicken or shrimp?). Sidney gobbled it up when I made it for dinner and Tony and I even enjoyed it cold the next day (still incredible). Get this delicious grilled veggie orzo on your dinner menu this week and don’t forget to see below for details on entering the #AKZucchiniWeek giveaway!
Fall in love with orzo
If you haven’t cooked or eaten orzo, get ready to fall in love with this little grain. Although orzo looks like a form of rice, it’s actually a rice-shaped pasta! You can actually cook it like you do traditional pasta, or you can cook it the same way you would rice. I find that orzo recipes like this healthy grilled veggie orzo are delicious both hot and cold, so they’re the perfect weekday lunch or dinner.
Everything you’ll need to make this grilled veggie orzo
Summer veggies, rich brown butter, delicious pasta and plenty of goat cheese. What more could you ask for?! This vegetarian grilled vegetable orzo is seriously bursting with flavor but so simple to make. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Veggies: we’re using red and orange bell peppers, sweet yellow onion and of course, a zucchini!
- Seasonings: you’ll need some garlic powder, salt & pepper.
- Pasta: it’s an orzo party, baby! I love the texture of orzo in this dish, but you can feel free to use any pasta you’d like, even gluten free.
- Butter: the secret ingredient that makes this grilled veggie orzo truly magical is beautiful brown butter. YUM.
- Goat cheese: delicious goat cheese crumbles get all nice and creamy when mixed into the orzo.
- Herbs: add plenty of basil leaves for the perfect freshness in every bite.
Add a boost of protein
We love serving this grilled veggie orzo with chickpeas or white beans to keep it vegetarian, or grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp! Seriously I think some grilled shrimp would be INCREDIBLE.
Keep it gluten free
Feel free to simply use your favorite gluten free pasta! I like Banza pasta.
Perfectly grilled veggies: 2 different ways
The grilled vegetables add such a wonderful flavor with the delicious char they get when grilled. Here are two ways to do it (and get all of our tips & tricks for grilling vegetables here!)
- Use a grill basket. Preheat your grill to 400 degrees F, season your chopped veggies and add them to a grill basket. Grill them for 10-15 minutes until they’re tender and have a slight char, and be sure to flip them halfway through.
- Use a foil pack. The foil pack method is another super easy way to grill your vegetables. Place your chopped veggies onto a large piece of foil, then add another large piece of foil on top. Seal the edges and use a fork or knife to poke a hole at the top of the foil to allow some steam to escape. Grill the whole foil pack for approximately 10-15 minutes or until veggies are just fork tender.
No grill? No problem!
If you don’t have a grill or would rather roast your veggies for this grilled vegetable orzo, you absolutely can. Simply roast the veggies with olive oil on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender — be sure to flip halfway through, too!
How to brown butter
The brown butter is essential for creating a nutty, savory, delicious flavor in this orzo recipe.
- Heat the butter. Add your butter to a large saucepan or skillet and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to crackle, and then eventually foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process.
- Whisk it well. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.
- Cool it. Immediately remove from heat and set aside.
Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. To reheat simply do so in a microwave safe dish with a splash of milk or water. You can also reheat on the stovetop with a splash of milk/water.
More zucchini recipes to make this week
Get all of our zucchini recipes here to make this week, share on social, and be entered into our giveaway! Remember to sign up here to get our FREE Zucchini E-Book with even more inspo.
This year we’ll be selecting 2 lucky AK readers to win an Our Place Always Pan in the color of their choice! To enter:
- Post a photo of any Ambitious Kitchen zucchini recipe you make in your Instagram feed, in IG stories, or in the Ambitious Kitchen Community Facebook Group with the hashtag #AKZucchiniWeek.
- The more you post & share your recipe photos, the greater chance you have to win! **Please note, your Instagram profile must be public so that we can see your zucchini creations.
- Winner will be announced on Wednesday, 8/11 and notified via DM on Instagram or in the Facebook group. Must be 18 or older, USA only.
I hope you love this 30 minute grilled veggie orzo recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
30 Minute Brown Butter Goat Cheese Grilled Veggie Orzo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Delicious 30 minute grilled vegetable orzo with rich brown butter and creamy goat cheese. This easy and flavorful veggie orzo recipe is the perfect way to use up fresh summer produce! Enjoy as-is or with your favorite proteins for a wonderful weeknight dinner or lunch.
- For the grilled veggies:
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper, halved or cut into ½” thick strips
- 1 medium orange bell pepper, halved or cut into ½” thick strips
- 1 sweet yellow onion, peeled and quartered (or cut into thick slices)
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ½” thick rounds or strips
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the pasta:
- 8 oz orzo pasta (1 cup dried orzo)
- 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
- Optional: 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 8-10 large basil leaves, julienned (about 1/3 cup packed basil)
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
First grill your veggies: preheat grill to 400 degrees. Place veggies in a large bowl, then drizzle them with olive oil, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper.
GRILL BASKET OPTION: Grill veggies in a grill basket for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are tender and slightly charred; be sure to toss them halfway through cooking. Once the veggies are done cooking and have cooled a bit, you can chop them up to your liking. I like to chop the bell peppers, slice the onions and quarter the zucchini slices.
FOIL OPTION FOR GRILLING: Place chopped veggies onto a large piece of foil, then add another large piece of foil on top. Seal the edges by folding a piece of foil together. Use a fork or knife to poke a hole at the top of the foil to allow some steam to escape. Place over direct heat on the preheated grill and grill for approximately 10-15 minutes or until veggies are just fork tender.
While your veggies are grilling you can make your brown butter: add butter to a large saucepan or skillet and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to melt, crackle, and then eventually foam. Make sure you stir constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan, this usually happens right when it foams. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Set aside to cool a bit (keeping butter in the pan but removing pan from heat) while you cook your pasta.
Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.
Once pasta is done cooking, reserve 1/3 cup pasta water and set aside, then drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the brown butter. Give it a nice stir to coat all the pasta with the brown butter, then immediately add in the goat cheese and reserved pasta water; stir until nice and creamy and the goat cheese has melted. Finally, add in all of the chopped grilled veggies, and generously season with salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of black pepper!). Finally fold in the fresh julienned basil. Serve immediately. This pasta is excellent served warm or cold.
If you don’t want to grill your veggies, or don’t have a grill: roast the veggies with olive oil on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender.
We love serving this with chickpeas, grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp for more protein.
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Saturated fat: 9.8g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats