This Chickpea Orzo Skillet includes orzo that has been simmered in a broth flavored with smoked paprika, herbs and sautéed garlic then topped with toasted chickpeas. An easy vegan dinner that cooks all in one pan in under 30 minutes.
A Balanced Easy Vegan Dinner
Orzo is my favorite pasta and as much as I love it in this Lemon Chickpea Orzo Salad, I really love the smoky flavors infused into this one skillet meal. It’s warm, comforting and is kind of like the perfect transition to fall for me. So if you’re feeling just as reluctant as I am about the change in season, then this one will keep you going, I promise.
How Is Pasta Balanced?
Pasta is surprisingly nutritious because the flour used to make it is actually different than regular white flour. A serving of regular orzo for example provides 6 grams of protein as well as 2 grams of fiber. So if you pair this along with other nutritious foods like chickpeas and other vegetables, you can use the pasta as a really great solid base to help up nutrition in a meal. And you can always make some other changes to make it even more nutritious. You can get more fiber in by opting for whole wheat orzo.
What I do suggest, is make sure you enjoy it! While swapping for more nutritious ingredients will absolutely make a dish more nutrient dense, if it is at the expense of your enjoyment, you might end up disliking a lot of the original nutrient dense components in the dish. If regular orzo makes you enjoy eating your veggies, then go for the regular orzo in this chickpea orzo skillet, it will still nourish you.
- Orzo: Regular orzo works perfect for this meal. If you feel you need a gluten-free substitute, Banza makes a great rice-like pasta out of chickpeas. That substitution will also provide more protein, which is a bonus. Note the cooking time might vary, so adjust liquid and cook time accordingly.
- Chickpeas: I used canned chickpeas that I rinsed and drained.
- Spices & Herbs: Smoked paprika, adobo seasoning, oregano, basil, and thyme.
- Vegetables: Feel free to change these up, but I opted for some mushrooms, red bell pepper and spinach in my skillet.
How to Make This Easy Vegan Skillet
Start by toasting up your chickpeas. Add the chickpeas along with some of your favorite seasonings and stir occasionally to brown them and crisp them up, then set them aside. If you want your chickpeas to be more crispy, make sure to dry your chickpeas really well in a towel before adding them to the skillet.
Now layer in your flavors. Cook down the onions and mushrooms first, then add in the garlic and artichokes. Stir in the red pepper next, and once they begin to soften, add in the orzo along with the remaining seasonings.
Toast up your orzo for a few minutes then add in the broth and allow the mix to simmer until the orzo has absorbed the liquid. Stir in any extras like spinach at the end to help it wilt. Then serve with the toasted chickpeas on top.
Tips for the Perfect Chickpea Orzo Skillet
- Toast your orzo before simmering. I like to toast the orzo in the pan for a few minutes to give it a nutty flavor before throwing in the broth.
- Use a medium-low heat to continuously simmer your orzo. This will help maintain the perfect condition for cooking your orzo all the way through. No need to cover your pan while simmering, you do want the liquid to cook off.
- The oil in this dish helps to prevent the orzo from sticking together. It also helps make the ingredients more fragrant and infuse more flavor into the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Allow any leftovers to completely cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. You can freeze this dish too for up to 1 month. Make sure to allow to completely thaw before reheating.
You might have your heat too high. Make sure your heat is at a medium low heat as it is simmering. You also want to make sure when adding the broth that it is completely coating the orzo. If you run out of broth and the orzo is not fully cooked, add in an extra 1/2 cup of water, stir well and allow to simmer again for another few minutes.
Both the orzo and chickpeas will provide a decent amount of protein in this meal. But if you’d like to bulk up your meal, I highly suggest adding some tofu, soy curls, tempeh or even some seitan to the mix to make it even more filling.
More Easy Vegan Dinner Ideas
- Smoky Sweet Potato Chickpea Sheet Pan
- Sautéed Garlic and Cauliflower Red Lentil Stew
- Sriracha Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli
- Chipotle Orange Chickpeas
- Miso Sesame Lentils
This Chickpea Orzo Skillet includes orzo that has been simmered in a broth flavored with smoked paprika, adobo, herbs and sautéed garlic.
- 1–2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1, 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp adobo seasoning, divided (I used Loisa)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 1/2 cups dry orzo
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dry basil
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 sprigs of thyme or 1/2 tsp dry thyme
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Add half your oil to a large skillet and set over medium heat to warm through. Dry your chickpeas in a kitchen towel and once the oil is warm, add in your chickpeas, fennel seeds and 1/2 tsp of adobo seasoning. Stir your chickpeas occasionally until they are slightly browned and golden, and then set aside.
- To the same pan add in your onions and mushrooms along with a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions have become translucent.
- Add in the remaining oil and add in your garlic and artichoke hearts, sautéing for a minute to allow the garlic to become golden and fragrant.
- Stir in your peppers, allowing to cook for another minute then add in your orzo along with the remaining seasonings (including the remaining 1/2 tsp of adobo). Toss to coat and toast your orzo for about 2-3 minutes, allowing the herbs and spice to become fragrant.
- Pour in your vegetable broth and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Allow the orzo to cook for 15 minutes uncovered until the orzo is al dente. If your mixture appears to be boiling, reduce the heat to ensure it is at a rapid simmer.
- Once the orzo has absorbed most of the liquid, you can add in a few handfuls of spinach if desired. Allow the spinach to wilt then remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Top your orzo with the toasted chickpeas and serve.
Toast your orzo before simmering. I like to toast the orzo in the pan for a few minutes to give it a nutty flavor before throwing in the broth.
Use a medium-low heat to continuously simmer your orzo. This will help maintain the perfect condition for cooking your orzo all the way through. No need to cover your pan while simmering, you do want the liquid to cook off.
The oil in this dish helps to prevent the orzo from sticking together. It also helps make the ingredients more fragrant and infuse more flavor into the dish.
Keywords: easy vegan dinner, chickpea orzo, chickpea orzo skillet
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