Tri-Color Orzo with Zucchini & Cherry Tomatoes*

My Dad has a saying that goes “If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough.” Growing up he said this to me every day, sometimes twice a day a lot. I understood what it meant, but didn’t really know how true it was until I started encountering some of America’s finest. For starters, today I read a story about a woman who put a frozen chicken into her dryer to defrost it. Seriously, I couldn’t make that up if I tried. This my friends is the perfect example of “If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough”. But personally I like the guy at Lowes today who combined being stupid and a pig all at once…

Lowes Guy:ย  “Hey little lady, need some help?”

In my head: Did he just say little lady? What an ass. That’s so chauvinistic. But maybe he meant I looked skinny! Cause I totally have been sticking to my Weight Watchers lately! Wow how sweet of him to notice! :::giving him a huge smile since maybe he thinks I look little:::

Lowes Guy: “So uh, your husband let you come in here all alone huh?”



Me: Soo ya no, he totally doesn’t think I look ‘little’. He is just a major asswipe. “No but my partner did. She doesn’t like to do all the manly stuff.”

Him: “..Oh……..Thats, uh cool. Well thanks for shopping at Lowes.”ย  :::darting off down the paint aisle:::


Again, If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough. And just for the record, I am not claiming to have never been on the receiving end of this saying. For example, a few years ago I accidentally responded ‘to all’ on an email to my entire team at work, including my boss, about how annoying the boss was. As soon as I saw it sent to everyone all I could think was “If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough”. So true, so very, very true. (Luckily I was able to play it off as a sarcastic joke…I seriously have no idea HOW I managed to pull it off.)

This recipe was created on one of those nights where I just tossed everything I could find together…and it turned out delicious. We have had it (on purpose) 3 times since then! We love the flavors together and it goes wonderfully along side grilled chicken or even as a stand alone dish.



Tri-Color Orzo with Zucchini & Cherry Tomatoes

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Note: I use Better Than Bouillon to boil the orzo in. If you have a bunch of extra chicken stock lying around, use it instead! I use Better Than Bouillon because it is much more cost effective and really gives great flavor to the orzo. Also, to make this dish vegan just substitute the Better Than Bouillon, Chicken for Vegetable flavor, or Vegetable stock. Or of course you can always just use water in a pinch!


1 cup tri-color orzo
8 cups water
1 tbl Better Than Bouillon, Chicken
Cooking Spray (or Olive Oil in your Misto)
1 lg zucchini, chopped
12-15 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 lg shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
salt and pepper


Begin by bringing water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Once boiling, whisk in your Better Than Bouillon. Add orzo and cook according to package, or until al dente. Drain, set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, coat with cooking spray (or Olive Oil), and add zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot and garlic. Saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.

Remove from heat and add thyme, salt and pepper, stirring well. Then toss with orzo until well combined. Serve immediately.

Source: A Novice Chef Blog Original

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18 Responses to “Tri-Color Orzo with Zucchini & Cherry Tomatoes”

  1. 1

    notyet100 — January 11, 2011 @ 2:18 am

    one pot meal is always delicious for me,..

  2. 2

    14k Tri Color — January 11, 2011 @ 5:05 am

    […] Tri-Color Orzo with Zucchini & Cherry Tomatoes ยป The Novice Chef Blog Tri-Color Orzo with Zucchini & Cherry Tomatoes. Posted in Uncategorized. My Dad has a saying that goes “If you're gonna be stupid, you better be tough.” Growing up he said this to me every day, sometimes twice a day a lot. […]

  3. 3

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — January 11, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    I’ve never had orzo but after seeing this recipe, I’m dying to try it! This looks delicious as a side dish or a full dinner. Great job!

  4. 4

    DeAnna — January 11, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    OMG! What a grease ball. Your comeback was priceless.

  5. 5

    Kocinera — January 12, 2011 @ 1:49 am

    I love all the colors in that orzo salad! Zucchini and cherry tomatoes definitely make it even yummier. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. 6

    Amy at TheSceneFromMe — January 12, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    With garlic, shallots and orzo there is no bad meal! Looks warm and hearty plus delicious!

  7. 7

    Healthymamma — January 12, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    That’s hilarious! Poor guy will think twice b4he opens his mouth next time….prob not.
    Love Orzo! This looks great. I just made a Greek Orzo last night!

  8. 8

    Anna Johnston — January 13, 2011 @ 12:21 am

    Love the Orzo, so colourful. Man, you were seriously lucky with that boss.., you must have had one heart stopping moment with that blunder girl but great comeback :)

  9. 9

    melissa — January 13, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    Love that story! And your dad’s sayng is great!

    That orzo looks so yummy. I’ll have to give it a try!

    On a side note, your posts don’t show up in my blog reader. Clearly, not your problem but do you have any idea why that might be? I have your website listed as a blog I follow and I used to get them…not sure what happened. If you have any ideas, that would be great. If not, I’ll just look for your post updates on Twitter and Facebook! :)

  10. 10

    Katie — January 13, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    Oh my goodness girl – this looks insanely delish!!!!!!!

  11. 11

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — January 17, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    Jessica, I made this over the weekend (Served it with red snapper in a tomato sauce – yum!) and it was absolutely wonderful. So flavorful and delicious, especially with those chunks of vegetables. My husband and I both couldn’t stop eating it (maybe defeating the purpose of “ass-friendly”, but hey). I think I’ll add some lemon zest next time, just to punch up the bright flavors even more. Thanks for the recipe – it’s a definite keeper!

  12. 12

    Jorge Segarra — January 17, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    Melissa, her blog may not be showing up in your reader because she had a little mishap with her blog during the transfer of hosts. The updated feed is

    • Jessica replied: — January 23rd, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

      Thanks Jorge! Yes I had issues in the past with the feed, but it is corrected now!

  13. 13

    Samara Link — April 7, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

    This is on my menu tonight. Thanks for the inspiration! I had some fresh zucchini and new I could find a good idea for it here. Sure ‘nough. I found this, and as it turns out, I have everything for it already at the house. I think I’ll add a little lemon. Looks delightful.

  14. 14

    Samara Link — April 7, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

    Jessica, I just made this, and it’s wonderful! I used tomatoes that I canned earlier in the week, and I included three zucchini because I had them and didn’t want the other two to go to waste. I’m making some organic pork sausage for my husband’s portion. The orzo, vegetables and these flavors go so well together. You’re a genius.

    • Jessica replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 3:24 am

      I am so glad you enjoyed it Samara! We have it at least once a week at my house! And I love the idea of adding some pork sausage, I bet it will be fabulous! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. 15

    So much Zucchini and Squash! - Recipes - — June 11, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    […] […]

  16. 16

    amy @ fearless homemaker — July 25, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

    Made this tonight + it was fab, Jess! I made some changes (adding a bit more garlic, adding lemon juice, etc.) but otherwise kept the recipe the same. thanks, chica!

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