Baked Orzo with Zucchini

I don’t know about y’all but I love a good pasta dish…especially a baked pasta dish. I discovered this dish about a year ago and I went through a phase where I made it 2-3 times a month. I loved it! With it being summer, I haven’t made it in a while. I decided I would make it Sunday and boy am I glad I did. Here’s the recipe.

Baked Orzo with Zucchini

  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large red pepper (it calls for it to be roasted but I’ve used frozen pepper strips in a pinch)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (I like mine in half moon shapes)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 or 2 plump garlic cloves (to taste), minced
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil, and add the orzo. Cook eight minutes, or until it is cooked through but still firm to the bite. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the diced pepper and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, wide skillet. Add the zucchini and cook — tossing them in the pan — until just cooked through and lightly colored, about five minutes. Scrape into the bowl with the orzo.

Return the pan to the heat, add the final tablespoon of oil and the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds, and add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and smell fragrant. Taste and adjust seasoning. Scrape into the bowl with the orzo, add the Parmesan, and mix everything together. Add pepper to taste, and adjust salt. Transfer to the baking dish.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is just beginning to color.

You can also assemble this several hours, even a day, before baking.

It’s a fantastic recipe (especially with fall approaching) and really needs nothing else to make it a meal. It’s also a great dish to customize and play around with. So if you’re new to cooking, it’s great because it’s easy and can be used a lot and still stay fresh if you change out veggies or the type of canned tomatoes you use. Or if you’re an old pro at cooking, it’s great because you already know what you like and don’t like (more than likely) and are probably thinking of a million ways you can customize it already. Plus you can look like you slaved over it all day when in reality it’s one of the easiest things you’ll ever make.


One response

  1. […] week I decided to do something a little different with my favorite baked orzo […]

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