Orzo with Roasted Chickpeas is a light yet hearty side or main that delivers on bold flavors with lemon, roasted peppers and fresh parsley. It is brimming with different textures and savory goodness, from the crispy chickpeas to chewy olives and vegan feta. Plus, it’s so simple to make and times out really well, for an easy dish that’s ready in around 30 minutes!
What’s Great About This Dish: Orzo with Roasted Chickpeas
Orzo is one of those pastas that’s really versatile to use as an appetizer, side dish or main. It’s amazing in pasta salads that are room temperature (hello, backyard barbeques!) or as a warm and cozy dish like this. You can really get creative with orzo, and one of my favorite ways to serve it is with lemon and lots of herbs. This Orzo with Roasted Chickpeas is Mediterranean-inspired and uses simple ingredients, and the flavors really shine.
Tips for Making It
This recipe uses roasted red peppers, and you can use either the jarred variety or roast your own (The Simple Veganista has a great article on this). We just need around 3/4 cup roasted peppers for this recipe, which was 1 bell pepper that I roasted in the oven separately (de-seeded then peeled the skin). If using the jarred kind, simply drain away any excess liquid and chop or slice.
If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can use an extra 1/2 to 1 tsp of dried parsley to taste. Or, you can try other fresh herbs like dill or basil. Both of those would be delicious in this recipe.
We roast the chickpeas in this recipe, but you can certainly use chickpeas that aren’t roasted. If going with roasted, you’ll get the best result if you are eating the dish right away. If you’re making this for leftovers, the chickpeas will still taste great but they won’t have crisp. So, you can skip the chickpeas roasting process and just add in some additional salt/pepper/garlic powder straight to the dish. If you’re out of chickpeas altogether but still want to make the dish, you can use cannellini bean or great northern beans, just without the roasting part.
I love to add some additional fresh lemon juice just before serving, partly because it adds extra flavor and partly because I’m obsessed with lemon. You can also drizzle a bit of olive oil just prior to serving.
How This Dish Comes Together
Making Orzo with Roasted Chickpeas is super simple (big surprise!) like all of my recipes. The different components cook at the same time, making it easy to multi-task.
- Getting ready: Preheat the oven (for roasting the chickpeas) and put on a pot of water to boil for the orzo.
- Preparing the chickpeas: drain the canned chickpeas and rinse, then pat dry and season them up for the oven.
- Making the dressing: simply whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
- Chopping the add-ins: the shallots, fresh parsley, olives, roasted peppers will need a quick chop.
- Putting it all together: drain the orzo, get the chickpeas out of the oven. Combine and serve!
The timing works out really well here, among the different steps. While the water on the stove / orzo cooks once it boils, the chickpeas are in the oven. So while those two are cooking away, it’s the perfect time to do your chopping for the other ingredients, and to whisk up the simple dressing.
I like to mix the following into the cooked orzo: the dressing, shallots, parsley (reserving a bit to sprinkle over top), olives, and roasted peppers. Then I transfer the orzo to a serving dish and sprinkle the chickpeas, vegan feta, and remaining parsley over top. You can also squeeze in some additional lemon juice at this point.
Other Delicious Light Dishes Like This One
If you give this recipe a try, I would love to know! You can comment here or tag me on Instagram @janetsmunchmeals!
Orzo with Roasted Chickpeas
- 1/2 lb. orzo
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- Around 1.5 tsp oil, and generous dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder for roasting chickpeas
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 shallot finely chopped
- 3/4 cup roasted peppers chopped
- 1/3 cup olives coarsely chopped
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup crumbled vegan feta to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp each dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, kosher salt, garlic powder
- 2 tsp agave or maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees convect/fan. Boil 4 cups of water in large pot for the orzo. When boiling, drop in orzo and salt the water (optional). Cook according to package directions and drain.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas and dry them off as best you can with a kitchen towel and set them out on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with the oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in oven. Bake for 15 min, toss, bake another approx 10 min until crisp.
- While orzo and chickpeas are cooking, in a bowl whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano. Also use this time to chop the roasted peppers, shallots, fresh parsley, olives, and vegan feta.
- When orzo is done and drained, put it in a mixing bowl or large serving dish and add the dressing, shallots, roasted peppers, and the chopped fresh parsley, and stir through. Serve and top with the olives, roasted chickpeas, and vegan feta.