I love pasta – perhaps a little too much! Having pasta in my home has been a weekly ritual and to be honest, I am okay with that. Pasta is one of many food items that I regularly stock my pantry with because it’s so versatile and helps me create different dishes. Aside from also being budget friendly, it’s very easy to make – just boil water and let the pasta cook. Easy right? If you need ideas for a pasta dish other than the common spaghetti and tomato sauce, try this orzo dish.
Orzo is a short-cut pasta that can often times be mistaken for rice because of its grain-like appearance. A good thing about orzo is that it’s very versatile. You can add it to soups and salads, have it as a hot or cold dish, or use it as a main dish for your meal. There really is no wrong way of having orzo.
A nutritional benefit of orzo is that it’s high in thiamin, a B vitamin that is involved in metabolizing carbohydrates, involved in our nervous system, and even our muscle function. Because it’s used in many different functions in our bodies, it’s important we get adequate amounts. You can find thiamin in many other food sources, such as legumes, whole grain cereals, and rice. About ¼ cup of dry, uncooked orzo provides roughly 30 – 35% of your daily value.
For this recipe, I used tomatoes and a green bell pepper as the vegetables – mainly because that’s what I had in my fridge. Feel free to use your favorite vegetables, fresh, frozen or roasted. I’m sure it will come out just as tasty!
Simple Veggie Orzo
Servings: 5 - 6
Total Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Meal Type: Lunch or Dinner (side dish)
- 1.25 cups of orzo
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 1 garlic, minced
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp basil
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp. vegan shredded cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper
In a large pot, bring water to boil and add the orzo. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes or until orzo is cooked. Remove from heat and drain in a colander.
Chop all vegetables (you may also do this while orzo is cooking to save time)
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat and add onion and garlic. Stir until fragrant.
Add tomatoes, bell pepper, basil, paprika and salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 5 - 8 minutes or until vegetables have soften.
Add drained orzo and vegan cheese (optional) to the saucepan and mix well.
Serve as a side dish with your favorite protein of choice and enjoy!