Creamy Lemon Orzo with Spring Peas


This recipe is an irresistible bowl-scraper. It's fragrant and flavorful from the shallots, garlic, lemon and tarragon, and creamy from cream cheese. Plus, with the addition of low-sodium broth, the orzo cooks in the same pan as the rest of the ingredients—no extra pot or strainer necessary. You can have this easy, comforting spring dish on your table in about 30 minutes.

Creamy Lemon Orzo with Spring Peas
Photo: Photographer / Brie Passano, Food Stylist / Annie Probst, Prop Stylist / Holly Raibikis
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup finely chopped shallot

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Zest of 1 medium lemon

  • ¾ teaspoon dried tarragon

  • 3 ¼ cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat orzo

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces and at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more if desired

  • Grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, lemon zest and tarragon; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to high and stir in broth, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and add orzo. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peas, cream cheese and lemon juice. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with Parmesan, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

260 Calories
10g Fat
35g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 2/3 cup
Calories 260
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 8g 16%
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 21mg 7%
Vitamin A 987IU 20%
Vitamin C 8mg 9%
Vitamin D 6IU 2%
Vitamin E 1mg 4%
Folate 19mcg 5%
Vitamin K 7mcg 6%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Magnesium 11mg 3%
Potassium 111mg 2%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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