One Pot Lemony Kale Orzo Pilaf is a flavorful and nutritious side that does dual duty as a quick weeknight dinner side and the next day can be turned into a cold orzo salad for lunch.
With a few pantry staples and your choice of fresh garden produce this all-in-one side with bright flavor is hearty enough to accompany any protein you grill, roast or fry up!
This post sponsored by DaVinci Pasta. All opinions are mine alone. #EndlessPastabilities #ad
Double-duty, easy meal
For dinner tonight, I’m making this easy Lemony Kale Orzo Pilaf with braised chicken thighs. And tomorrow I will pack it up with cold chicken and turn it into a perfect lunchbox meal.
My fabulous mother in law, bless her heart, drove halfway across the state to pick up our boys for a few nights. We have had a nice relaxing couple days. Hanging around at the beach, jet setting between dinner reservations and fancy events.
I mean, I do love beaches and nice restaurants. But I really have been doing nothing but working since they left. Working sans kids is amazing too! Maybe not warm-beach-with-cocktail-in-hand-and-not-a-care-in-the-world amazing, but still very grateful for the time.
Well, I don’t know if you were ever a child who went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the summer. But if you were you know that there is an unspoken pact that parents drive one way and grandparents drive the other. Yep, that’s right, tomorrow’s our trip to pick Fletch and Nash up. And we are looking at a five hour day date in the car together. I have a few pit stops planned to make the most of our last kidless day. But I also like to pack up some yummy food to keep us from making irrational food stops in the middle of nowhere.
And this double duty recipe is just the thing to prevent hunger from derailing my road trip.
Delicious and flavorful lemon, orzo, scallions, kale and parmesan really hit all the right notes for a well rounded lunch on-the-go. Especially with the addition of chicken.
What is orzo?
Orzo is rice shaped pasta that makes it easy to mix up your standard side dishes. Perfect warm or cold, it’s super versatile and delish however you serve it!
When my daughter came in the kitchen and saw what I was cooking, she gave me the typical teenager ‘what’s for dinner?’ I explained to her that it’s pasta that looks like rice. She called it an ‘impasta’.
Since I’m usually the butt of her jokes I usually don’t appreciate her level of wit 😉
It’s such a versatile pantry staple and DaVinci Signature Orzo is my favorite. Made in Italy with the finest ingredients, DaVinci pasta is the perfect canvas for creative meal ideas. Any day of the week! Look for it in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store.
How to make
This is a great method that can easily be adjusted to whichever greens and aromatics, liquid and pasta you have on hand. For this recipe we’re using kale, scallions and garlic, chicken stock and orzo. But it can be made with whatever combination of ingredients you have on hand.
- In a large pot over medium heat add aromatics (scallion whites and garlic) and cook until fragrant.
- Throw in greens (kale) and cook until wilted.
- Add liquid (chicken stock) and bring to a boil.
- Stir in pasta (orzo) and cook, uncovered, until soft.
- Top with citrus, herbs, cheese and serve.
Make it your own
Get creative and mix up the ingredients! This is such a great method that you can use with whatever you have on hand. Different greens, herbs, aromatics, citrus and proteins. There are really endless possibilities!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 small bunch scallions sliced with whites and greens separate
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 medium bunch of kale washed well and torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 small lemon zested and juiced
- 1 32 ounce box low sodium chicken broth 4 cups
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 16 ounce package orzo
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium. Add scallion whites only and cook until soft, about 1 minute.
- Add garlic, red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds before adding kale. Fry until wilted, about 1 minute.
- Add chicken stock and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in lemon zest and orzo before reducing heat to medium. Simmer uncovered until orzo is tender, about 8 minutes. Stirring a few times to keep from sticking.
- Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and cool about 5 minutes. Then add paremesan and top with scallion greens.
Awesome! Just finished making this and I’m in love 🙂 I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs & cooked them in my deep Le Creuset braising pan, then removed them until I finished this recipe. I deglazed the pan with some white cooking wine & I added some finely minced shallots with the green onions – other than that, I pretty-much just followed the recipe. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any fresh Parmesan to use (that would’ve been so much better) so used grated Parmesan from a container 🙁 I used more fresh lemon juice than called for because I love lemon. When the Orzo was done, I used my food shears to cut up the chicken thighs, stirring them into the Orzo mixture.
Really wonderful recipe that I will definitely be making again! Thank you!
Ahhhh, thank you for sharing! I will for sure be making mine with chicken and deglazing with white wine next time too!