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Pesto Orzo And Vegetables

For a taste of summer, Pesto Orzo and Vegetables a simple, healthy dish with pesto, spinach, green beans and tomatoes. Packed with flavor and ready in 20 minutes.

I planted a lot of basil in my garden this summer, so I made several batches of fresh pesto and found a few new ways to use it.  If you’re a pasta and pesto lover, you can’t go wrong with this vegetarian recipe. I like it served warm, but room temperature is good too.

pesto and vegetable orzo. Green beans, spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese make this a super healthy and tasty side dish.

Needless to say, you can choose your preferred veggies.  The recipe is versatile.  And it’s really quick to make even if you choose to make your own pesto. 


I used our Classic Basil Pesto for this pesto orzo dish, but if you have another favorite – even a store bought pesto – feel free to use that. It’s a great make ahead recipe for a potluck or buffet dish.  Try serving it with Sweet and Spicy Salmon or Mediterranean-Style Marinated Chicken.

If you love basil, and have a ton growing in your garden, check out a few of our fresh basil recipes

Tailor to your Taste

  • Use any type of pesto you like.
  • Instead of orzo, use any small pasta like small fusilli.
  • Choose your preferred veggies. For example, instead of baby spinach, try baby kale. Instead of green beans, try small broccoli or cauliflower florets or even chopped asparagus.  (If you do, cut the cooking time by a couple of minutes).
  • Substitute the goat cheese as a garnish with ricotta or feta (or no cheese at all).
  • Add chopped pitted black olives, chopped green onions or matchstick radishes for some crunch.

Shortcut for Pesto Orzo

  • Use a good store bought fresh pesto.

Make Ahead

  • Great served at room temperature. Or make ahead then rewarm for a couple of minutes in the microwave. If you prefer, add the cheese after it has been warmed.

pesto,orzo tomatoes, beans, spinach, goat cheese, lime

orzo and green beans boiling in pot

drained orzo, beans and spinach in mixing bowl

pesto and vegetable orzo ingredients in a bowl ready to be mixed together

forkful of pesto and vegetable orzo

pesto orzo and vegetables p4

pesto and vegetable orzo in a bowl with vine tomatoes beside bowl
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4.52 from 31 votes

Pesto Orzo and Vegetables

A taste of summer, Pesto Orzo and Vegetables is a super flavorful, healthy dish with pesto, spinach, green beans and tomatoes. Ready in 20 minutes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: main, sides
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 cup orzo
  • large handful green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cup baby spinach or kale, roughly chopped
  • 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoon pesto, bought or homemade (Note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or 2 tbsp)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: splash of lemon or lime juice
  • Garnish: goat cheese and/or Parmesan cheese


  • BOIL ORZO AND GREEN BEANS: In a medium pot, bring water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add orzo and boil for 5 minutes. Add green beans. Continue boiling for about 5 more minutes until orzo is soft and beans are tender, but both should still have a bit of 'bite' (al dente). Drain well, then add back to pot.
  • FINISH THE DISH: Add chopped spinach to orzo in pot and toss well until slightly wilted. Add tomatoes, pesto and enough oil to achieve the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper to taste. And mix in a squeeze of lemon or lime juice if you like. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with goat cheese and/or Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or at room temperature.


  1. Pesto: Use any pesto you like or our Classic Basil Pesto recipe: Process in food processor until smooth: 1 cup packed Basil leaves, 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/4 olive oil. (makes 1/2 cup)
  2. Make Ahead: Great served at room temperature. Or make ahead then rewarm for a couple of minutes in the microwave. If you prefer, add the cheese after it has been warmed.  
Nutrition values are estimates and do not include garnishes. 


Nutrition Facts
Pesto Orzo and Vegetables
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 422mg18%
Potassium 362mg10%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 2740IU55%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This recipe was previously published in 2017. We’re re-publishing it again for pesto season!



  1. 4 stars
    This was absolutely delicious and super easy to make! If you would like to add some protein, you could always add chicken.

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