Marry Me Chickpeas and Orzo: A Flavorful One-Pot Wonder

Introduction

Are you craving a dish that’s not only delicious but also incredibly easy to make? Look no further than Marry Me Chickpeas and Orzo! This one-pot meal combines hearty chickpeas, creamy orzo, and vibrant vegetables into a satisfying dinner that’s sure to impress. Perfect for busy weeknights or when you need to whip up something special with minimal effort.

Ingredients Overview

This recipe uses simple, wholesome ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. It’s the kind of dish that feels gourmet but can be made in under 30 minutes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: Minimal prep and cooking in one pan.
  • Nutritious: Packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins.
  • Versatile: Easily adaptable to different dietary needs.
  • Delicious: Bursting with flavors from Italian seasoning, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil.

Ingredient List

Here’s everything you need to create this delightful dish:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Step-by-Step Directions

Sauté the Aromatics

  1. Heat Olive Oil: In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add Shallot, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes: Sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallot is soft and the garlic is fragrant.

Simmer the Ingredients

  1. Add Chickpeas and Broth: Pour in 1 can of chickpeas and 3 cups of vegetable broth.
  2. Add Orzo and Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Stir in 1 cup of uncooked orzo pasta and 1/2 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Season: Add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and stir to combine.
  4. Slow Cooking: Once the mixture starts to simmer, lower the heat to a medium-low level. Continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the orzo is just shy of al dente (about 8–10 minutes).

Add the Remaining Ingredients

  1. Add Cream and Spinach: Stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach. After two to three minutes, the spinach should be soft.
  2. Add Parmesan and Basil: Mix in 1/2 cup of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil.

Season and Serve

  1. Season: Taste the dish and season with fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste.
  2. Serve: Serve hot with an extra twist of black pepper on top.

Tips for Perfect Marry Me Chickpeas and Orzo

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh garlic and basil enhance the flavor significantly.
  • Don’t Overcook the Orzo: It should be al dente to keep the dish from becoming mushy.
  • Stir Frequently: This helps prevent the orzo from sticking to the pan and ensures even cooking.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Gluten-Free: Substitute orzo with gluten-free pasta or rice.
  • Vegan: Use coconut cream instead of heavy cream and nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan.
  • Add Protein: For extra protein, add cooked chicken or tofu.

Serving Suggestions

  • With a Salad: Pair with a crisp green salad for a balanced meal.
  • Crusty Bread: Serve with a slice of warm, crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • Wine Pairing: A glass of chilled white wine complements this dish beautifully.

Storing and Reheating

  • Putting away: For up to three days, keep leftovers in the fridge in a container that won’t let air in.
  • Reheating: Reheat gently on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a splash of broth if needed to loosen the sauce.

Conclusion

There you have it—Marry Me Chickpeas and Orzo, a quick, nutritious, and incredibly flavorful dish that’s sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or guests, this recipe is bound to impress. Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of this one-pot wonder!

FAQs

1. Can I switch out the pasta? Indeed, it is possible to replace orzo with any diminutive pasta, such as italini or even rice.

2. What can I use instead of heavy cream? You can use coconut cream or a dairy-free cream alternative to make it vegan.

3. How do I make this dish gluten-free? Use gluten-free pasta or substitute with rice for a gluten-free version.

4. Can I add other vegetables? Absolutely! Bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms would be great additions.

5. How do I store leftovers? Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, and reheat gently on the stove top.

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