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Orzo with Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Orzo with Roasted Garbanzo Beans

We are trying to adopt the Meatless Monday mantra at our house. For those of you who don’t know about Meatless Monday, it’s a pledge to eat meat-free one meal per week as a way to improve our health and the health of our planet. If you’ve never tried this before, summer is the best time to give meat-free eating a go as there are so many alternatives for eating well. One of our favorite Meatless Monday meals this time of year is this Orzo with Roasted Garbanzo Beans. 

My kids called orzo “rice” for the longest time, and I can’t blame them. It looks similar, but it’s actually pasta that’s been cut short and shaped like a large grain of rice. Garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas) are a staple in Middle Eastern dishes. They are great sources of fiber and protein, making them a reasonable alternative for a meatless meal. I roasted the garbanzo beans with some cumin and chili powder to give them a crunchy contrast to the orzo. Fresh oregano, lemon juice and goat cheese round out this dish which can be served warm, cold or at room temperature – perfect for dinner one night and leftover lunch the next day. I love meals that pull double-duty like that. 

Orzo with Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Looking for more Meatless Monday inspiration? Check out these tasty options: 

Orzo with Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


A summer pasta salad with protein-rich garbanzo beans, goat cheese and oregano.
Serves: 4-6

  • 1½ cups dried orzo
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (or more to taste), crumbled
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain. Rinse with cold water if not serving immediately.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cayenne (if using) and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add garbanzo beans and stir to combine. Spread coated garbanzo beans on a baking sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes, until the beans are golden and crunchy. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano. Add the orzo and garbanzo beans and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in the goat cheese. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature



  1. This looks wonderful. I love roasted garbanzo beans!

    • Roasting garbanzos is new to me, but I love the crunch!

  2. I love a simple meal like this. Great flavors!

  3. I could devour so much of this. You’re totally right, it’s all about the double-duty meals!!
    Todd @ HonestlyYUM recently posted…Cherry Brandy and Elderflower CocktailMy Profile

    • Thanks, Todd. I get so excited when I open the fridge and realize there are good-looking leftovers!

  4. Ok, this looks amazing girls and the roasted garbanzo beans, yum! I have yet to roast garbanzo beans, but it’s been on my to-do list along with a bunch of other things :) I’m heading to Minneapolis next week, so I will be sure to email you and see it works for us to get together! We will be west of the Twin Cities. xoxo, Jackie
    jackie @ marin mama cooks recently posted…Marin mama’s weekly dinner menu for July 28thMy Profile

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