orzo pasta and vegetable dish


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final orzo dish

I was born and raised as a meat eater. It’s hard to avoid that in Nebraska and I wouldn’t change it for a thing. Even so, it’s better for me if I use red meat as a treat rather than a necessity at every meal. This is a perfect introduction to a vegetarian friendly meal and while it’s mostly vegetables, you won’t be left unsatisfied with the orzo pasta that fills in this dish.

I’ll be honest and tell you I’ve never used saffron before. Seriously. What’s saffron anyway? Wikipedia tells me that it’s a spice that comes from the crocus flower, but all I know is that it makes this dish amazing! Do yourself a favor and spend the extra money on a good Spanish saffron.

Second day? This dish is at its best.

What you’ll need:

  • 2¾ cup vegetarian broth (1 cube of this and the water, microwave it in your pasta cooker’s base and set it aside)

Knorr's vegetable broth

  • minced garlic, about 2 cloves
  • Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. saffron threads


  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced, fire roasted tomatoes, drain the liquid into a bowl and save for later.
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
orzo pasta

Giada saves the day! Only orzo I could find at Super Target…

  • ¼ cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups frozen cauliflower (I used a california mix with carrots and broccoli)
  • 8 green onions, cut into thirds
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets (I used frozen)
  1. Grab the broth you’ve prepared in your pasta/rice cooker base. Stir in your garlic, Italian seasoning, saffron and the tomato liquid you saved when you drained the fire roasted tomatoes.
  2. In your large skillet, coat with a little cooking spray, add your olive oil and set the heat to medium-high.
  3. Add your tomatoes and cook 3-4 minutes until they are slightly browned and most of the liquid is gone. Remove the tomatoes and transfer to a bowl or plate.


    browning the tomatoes

  4. Next, add the cut bell peppers to the pan and sear for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Transfer them to the same plate/bowl with the tomatoes.

    bell peppers

    searing the bell peppers

  5. Sprinkle the orzo pasta into the empty skillet and stir for about a minute.orzo
  6. Stir in the broth mix and peas and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  7. Add the california mix/cauliflower florets on top of the orzo along with the green onions, tomatoes and bell pepper. all the veggies together
  8. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it sit for 10 minutes (don’t stir it)
  9. Add broccoli florets on top, turn the heat off and cover again to let it finish cooking. The orzo should absorb all of the liquid and the broccoli should be slightly crisp.

original recipe and seriously  better pictures from Vegetarian Times

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