Dinner Tonight: Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers, and Lemon Recipe

I've become a little obsessed with the dried pasta brand Rustichella d'Abruzzo. Though it costs two to three times more than normal brands, it makes every pasta dish I attempt taste better. Pasta sauces impractically cling to its rough, delicious surface. Occasionally, I can find it on sale, as was the case for orzo this week.

Orzo is very small, only a tad larger than a rice grain, and cooks much the same way. This recipe reminds me a lot of risotto. The pasta is cooked in broth, sucking up the rich flavor while retaining a nice al dente bite. The dish is then embellished with some simple and traditional Mediterranean flavors. But make no mistake—it's still the pasta that shines the brightest.

My only complaint with this dish is that it all feels a little too polite. I suppose that's what I get for using a recipe from the Mayo Clinic website. Adding one-fourth of a teaspoon of red pepper flakes with the garlic and tomatoes would have added a subtle warmth.

Recipe Facts

Cook: 25 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serves: 2 to 3 servings

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 cup orzo

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained and minced

  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, chopped

  • Small handful grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Dump in the tomatoes and the garlic and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes become a little soft, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

  2. Pour the chicken stock and orzo into a large pot. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 7 minutes. Turn off the and let the pot sit, covered, for an additional 3 minutes.

  3. Stir in the thyme, capers, pine nuts, cheese, lemon zest, and the cooked tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
257 Calories
10g Fat
32g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 729mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 501mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)