Cook This Tonight:
Zucchini and Tomato Orzo

Welcome to Cook This Tonight! Every week we’ll bring you an original Plated recipe fresh off our menus to help lessen the effort of last-minute weeknight dinner planning, so you can make time for what’s worth it.

There’s a reason this super speedy, veggie-packed dish is a Plated customer favorite. It’s a fun twist on traditional, twirlable noodles, includes creamy, tangy goat cheese, and is topped off with garlicky Parmesan breadcrumbs. Oh, and did we mention it’s ready in under 30 minutes? You’re welcome.

Zucchini and Tomato Orzo

(Serves 4)

12 ounces zucchini
1 lemon
¼ ounce parsley
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1½ cups orzo
1 pint grape tomatoes
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
⅛ ounce thyme
4 ounces goat cheese
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

Cooking with a helper tonight? They can pick the parsley leaves in Step 1, stir the orzo in Step 5, and garnish the finished bowls in Step 6.

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Halve zucchini lengthwise; cut into ¼-inch half-moons, discarding ends. Halve lemons. Pick parsley leaves, discarding stems. Peel shallots, halve, and thinly slice. Using the flat side of a knife, gently crush garlic cloves.

2. Cook orzo and tomatoes Season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in orzo and cook for 6 minutes. While orzo is shaped like a grain, it cooks like a pasta. We haven’t indicated the amount of water because you’ll drain the orzo and tomatoes once cooked. Then, add whole grape tomatoes and continue cooking until orzo is al dente and tomatoes soften and begin to burst, 4–5 minutes more. Drain orzo and tomatoes and place in a large bowl, reserving pot for Step 4.

3. While orzo cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add breadcrumbs, half of Parmesan, and 1 crushed garlic clove and toast, stirring constantly, until golden, 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Remove and discard crushed garlic.

4. Heat pot from orzo to medium high with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add whole thyme sprigs, zucchini, shallots, and remaining crushed garlic clove; sauté, stirring, until softened, 4–5 minutes. Remove pot from heat; remove and discard whole thyme sprigs and crushed garlic. The whole thyme sprigs and garlic clove will infuse the zucchini with flavor, but won’t be pleasant to bite into. We recommend removing them before adding the orzo. Season zucchini with ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.

5. To pot with zucchini, still off heat, add orzo and tomatoes, juice of 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to combine, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon. Stir in goat cheese and remaining Parmesan to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

6. Divide zucchini and tomato orzo among serving bowls, garnish with Parmesan breadcrumbs and parsley, and dig in!

Cooking for a smaller crowd? Check out the 2-serving version of this dish.

Did you know Plated also offers dessert? Try it today!

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