Aug 09, 2021 2 min read

Another summer pasta recipe is always welcome, and even better when it is healthy. This Low-Carb Zucchini Orzo with Pesto is easy to make on a weekday, and leftovers are good for lunch or a picnic. It is filling and hearty, but healthy at the same time.

It is a great way to use some summer vegetables. The recipe calls for zucchini and cherry or grape tomatoes, which are abundant in summer, especially if you get to pick them from a garden. You can swap yellow summer squash or eggplant for the zucchini and the tomatoes are optional if you prefer not to use them. Sun-dried tomatoes work well, too.

With Great Low Carb Pasta (Orzo), it is chock-full of fiber and protein. Each serving of the pasta has half the calories as regular pasta and has 18 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. Consider the healthy fats from almonds and olive oil, the calcium and protein from parmesan cheese, and antioxidants in garlic, onion, tomatoes, and zucchini, and you can see that this is a nutritious choice! If you like, you can add cooked chicken breast, shrimp, or tofu to bump up the protein in the recipe.

This recipe is packed with flavors, starting with chicken broth and Italian herbs seasoning the Great Low Carb Pasta Rice (Orzo) as it cooks. You can make your own pesto sauce if you have a favorite recipe, but the recipe below calls store-bought pesto to save time. Garnishes of parsley or basil and toasted almonds finish it off with some brightness and crunch.

Recipe for Low-Carb Zucchini Orzo with Pesto

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 1 package of Great Low Carb Pasta Rice (Orzo)
  • 3 ½ cups of chicken broth, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • ¼ cup of pesto sauce
  • (Optional) 1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • (Optional) 2 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) of grated parmesan cheese
  • Optional garnishes: ½ cup of chopped parsley or basil, ¼ cup of slivered toasted almonds


  1. Bring 3 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add the Great Low Carb Pasta Rice (Orzo) and Italian herbs. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. Add more broth as needed. Turn off the heat when the orzo is cooked and the liquid has cooked off.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the cherry or grape tomatoes if using, and the pesto, and mix. Set aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and zucchini. Cook until the garlic and onion soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini mixture, ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Plate the pasta and top with remaining cheese and any optional garnishes. Serve and enjoy!
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