Lemon Chickpea Orzo, a simple one-pan vegan recipe filled with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas, and kale. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal!
This recipe was inspired by the One-Skillet Lemon Butter Chicken from Half Baked Harvest. But I decided to throw my own vegan twist on it :-), while highlighting all those great Mediterranean flavors like sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and lemon. Get the most out of your lemons - check out our post on using the whole lemon.
I love to prepare Mediterranean-style dishes because they’re often quite simple, very flavorful, and generally boast a high-quality nutrient profile. I also love to satisfy my tomato cravings with sun-dried tomatoes when regular tomatoes aren’t in season, like late March. In Colorado, prime tomato season spans from July through September. Check out this awesome seasonal guide to see when tomatoes are in season where you live.
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How to Make One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo
1 - First, sear the lemons. Heat your skillet over medium heat. I recommend using a cast iron skillet - our 12-inch Lodge cast iron travels with us just about everywhere we go! Once the pan is hot, it’s time to add the oil.
You'll want a hot pan, but don’t let the oil start smoking. Smoking oil means it's breaking down and releasing free radicals, which are definitely not good for your health. This is why I recommend heating the pan, adding the oil and immediately adding the lemon so the oil doesn’t have time to start smoking. Sear both sides of the lemon, them remove them from the pan and set aside.
2 - In the same skillet, add shallots, garlic, kale stems, and orzo. You may need to add in a bit more oil at this point (try using the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes!).
3 - Sauté until the garlic and shallots are fragrant and the orzo is toasted. Add in ½ cup broth to deglaze the pan. Then add the kale, lemon juice, and remaining broth. Let the mixture simmer until the orzo is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
4 - Once the orzo is cooked, add in chickpeas, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, lemon zest, and parsley. Time to enjoy this delicious dish!
One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo: Tips, Tricks, and Tools
Invest in a cast iron skillet - Our 12-inch Lodge cast iron is the perfect size and clean up is a breeze. Although any non-stick skillet should work just fine.
Choosing an oil - I don’t recommend using an expensive cold-pressed oil here, as those tend to be very delicate (with a low smoke point) and are not great for cooking at higher temperatures. They also tend to have more flavor, making them much better suited as a salad dressing. I recommend a neutral oil, like canola oil. Or you can always use butter instead of oil.
Save the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes! Save the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. It adds great flavor and takes advantage of part of the food that would often go unused. It works great as an olive oil substitute in salad dressings, with eggs, on top of pizzas, or in this Lemon Mediterranean Orzo. Yay for reducing food waste!
Chop up the kale stems - The tough stems of kale are often discarded, but wait, they're edible! Simply separate the stems and leaves, then dice up the stems and add them to your meal. You can roast them, add them to a salad, or try them out in our Lemon Mediterranean Orzo.
Make enough for lunch the next day - Double up on this recipe to keep in the fridge for lunch tomorrow. It's an easy, and healthy dish that reheats well. Store leftovers in a glass container for 5-7 days.
Feel free to change it up! I LOVE adding feta to this meal. You can also add olives, use spinach instead of kale, or add chicken as your protein.
We hope you love this simple One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo!
It’s quick, simple, and perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
Love this simple Mediterranean recipe? Check out our other delicious Mediterranean-inspired recipes like this Easy Mediterranean Naan Pizza or our One-Pot Mediterranean Pasta.
Did you enjoy this Lemon Mediterranean Orzo as much as we do?
Comment below! And rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out! Not cooking today? Save this One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo for later by pinning it to your Mediterranean Board and make sure to tag us at The Crooked Carrot Instagram to show us your One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo creations!
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
One-Skillet Lemon Mediterranean Orzo
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes!
- 1 Meyer lemon sliced
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup whole wheat orzo
- 3 cups broth / stock divided
- 1 lemon juice + zest
- 1 bunch kale tough stems diced, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 jar (8 ounce) sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 jar (12 ounce) marinated artichokes
- 1 can (15 ounce) chickpeas drained + rinsed
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- parsley for garnish
- Sear lemons: Heat a medium cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet. Add oil, let it heat up briefly, then add lemons and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove lemons and set aside.
- Saute: In the same skillet, add shallot, garlic, kale stems, and orzo (adding more oil if needed). Cook the mixture until the garlic is fragrant and the orzo is toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Cook orzo: Add ½ cup broth to deglaze the pan. Then add kale leaves, lemon juice, and remaining 2 ½ cups broth, bring to a boil, and let simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Serve: Add chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, raisins, and lemon juice. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!
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