It’s been a while since I had Orzo, and wandering the supermarket isles the other day for inspiration, my gaze fell across a packet of these beautiful pieces of pasta disguised as rice. While I’d love to give you a more exotic story, that really was where this Bacon & Spinach Orzo with Pesto recipe started to come to life.
I also had some pesto that needed eating in the fridge so the rest of the recipe was a natural choice. I love easy recipes. And I love easy recipes that use up leftover food even more!
This is a great dish that is super easy to make. Less than 30 minutes – including washing up! As soon as you get the pan on for the bacon you start cooking the Orzo and then after that everything is thrown into one frying pan. It’s also not ‘too’ unhealthy. Incorporating a couple of portions of lush green veg, cherry tomatoes and just enough bacon to give the dish a smoky kick without immense amounts of fat or grease. The dish comes in at around 600 calories so it’s not the lightest of light but you won’t need any sides with it since it incorporates protein, carbs and veg all in one!
Since it’s so easy and quick it’s a great choice to cook for one person. But you can easily cook up two portions (as I did) and then reheat in the microwave. It’s a great dish for bringing leftovers to work the next day. You can also mix in some salad with the leftovers and eat it as an orzo salad – much nicer than a plain old leaf salad.
T-fal Nonstick Pan
GoEat Salad Box
Lazy Wooden Spoon
Bacon & Spinach Orzo With PestoCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
This Bacon & Spinach Orzo with Pesto is a beautiful dish – with vibrant green veg, soft cherry tomatoes and smoky bacon. All combined with pesto and fresh basil leaves.
50g streaky bacon, cut into small pieces
75g dried orzo
100g frozen peas
2 handfuls spinach (around 40g)
50g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp pesto (20g)
4 or 5 fresh basil leaves
- Put a small saucepan of water on a high heat to bring to the boil. Meanwhile add a drizzle of olive oil or a few sprays of light cooking spray to a non-stick frying pan. You won’t need much as the juices from the bacon will release.
- Once the frying pan is hot add the bacon pieces and toss around the pan regularly to cook evenly. You want to cook the bacon for around 10 minutes – until brown and crispy.
- After the bacon has been cooking for 2 minutes add the orzo to the saucepan. Cook the orzo for 4 minutes and then add the peas to the water. Cook for a further 2 minutes and then drain. This is likely a couple of minutes less cooking time than the packet will say, but we are going to add it to the frying pan and cook a little more so you don’t want it to be overdone.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, orzo and peas and spinach to the frying pan. Toss everything together and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. The tomatoes should be softened and the spinach wilted.
- Stir the pesto and basil leaves through the pan. Season with pepper and salt if you wish. (I don’t think extra salt is needed because of the bacon and pesto which already have quite a bit of salt in). Serve immediately or portion into containers to refrigerate.