It can be a struggle to come up with innovative #MeatlessMonday dishes for fall — especially when you have to entice your omnivore family members to dig in. Though one-pot pastas are quick, easy and tasty AF, it sure is easy to grow tired of them. Putting a vegetarian spin on a meaty classic is always fun, but some weeknights… ain’t nobody got time for that. This is where orzo comes in. Orzo is a happy in-between for pasta and rice, and it’s just different enough to shake things up. These 14 meatless orzo dishes will get you out of your rut and mega inspired.
1. Cheesy Broccoli and Pepper Baked Orzo: Broccoli and cheese have BFF status — we learned this as kids after drizzling hot cheese all over our mini trees. This dish caters to that childhood fave, but with the addition of crisp bell peppers, sweet red onions and scrumptious orzo. (via Oh My Veggies)
2. Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Orzo: Nothing screams best of both worlds quite like a creamy dish that doesn’t even have cream in it. (Score.) In fact, this gooey orzo dish is jam-packed with nutrients. BONUS: It also qualifies as a one-pot meal for truly easy eating. (via Recipe Tin Eats)
3. Orzo and Wild Rice Salad: This versatile salad can be served warm or chilled. It makes a great side dish to any dinner and, because it travels well, it’s a perfect way to pack a healthy lunch for the week. Cashews add an amazing crunch, while the orange and balsamic dressing throw a punch of sweetness and acidity. (via Bessie Bakes)
4. Italian Orzo Tomato Spinach Soup: Soup season is here, and we couldn’t be happier to eat soup all day, every day. With a medley of orzo, tomatoes and spinach, this vegetarian beauty is full of Italian flavors. (via Little Spice Jar)
5. Vegetable Orzo Paella: Though the name “paella” is used loosely here, most of the ingredients and cooking methods are similar. This dish is delicious in its own right, and it’s definitely something you’ll want to dig into over and over again. (via Two of a Kind Cooks)
6. Orzo With Marsala Mushrooms, Spinach and Hazelnut: The sweet and tangy flavor of Marsala cooking wine isn’t limited to chicken marsala — case in point: this bomb dish. Mushrooms add some heft, while hazelnuts bring a nice crunch. The addition of cheese doesn’t hurt either. (via Orchard Street Kitchen)
7. Greek Orzo With Spinach, Olives and Feta: Putting a Greek spin on anything is always a great idea. You truly can’t go wrong with the addition of some healthy spinach, tangy feta and Kalamata olives. Serve this as a side or dig into it as a light entree. (via Cooking Chat)
8. Toasted Orzo With Sage: Bring on the fall feels with toasted pasta and earthy sage. Akin to risotto in both flavor and texture, this dish is elegant and easy. Get ready to add it to your weekly meal rotation. (via Nerds With Knives)
9. Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Orzo: This one is for the cheese and pasta lovers (so basically everyone who exists on earth, right?). If you love garlic, great — you can add a lot of that too. This rich and creamy dish serves as a main or a side, but let’s be real: We won’t be leaving room for anything else. (via Creme de la Crumb)
10. Vegan Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup: If chicken noodle soup is for the soul, what the heck is a vegetarian or vegan to do when feeling under the weather? Eat *this* soup, that’s what. Filled with veggies, chickpeas and orzo, this comfort food staple offers bright and bold flavors to conquer those chilly-weather blues. (via Delish Knowledge)
11. Orzo With Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers: Coming up with an exciting entree is easy peasy, but being innovative with a starchy side dish is a whole other story. This orzo is a great way to switch things up, and it only takes 15 minutes to make. (via Recipe Runner)
12. Orzo Pasta With Preserved Lemon, White Beans and Caramelized Mushrooms: This refreshing orzo dish offers a nutritious balance of grains, veggies, beans and nuts. You won’t get bored of this medley with all of its fun textures and bold flavors. (via She Cooks, She Gardens)
13. Orzo Salad With Roasted Cauliflower, Pine Nuts and Parsley: This enticing orzo salad simply involves tossing roasted veggies and vinaigrette in with the pasta. Cheeses and nuts are optional. This version boasts a flavor profile that is refreshing yet rustic, making it ideal for fall. (via The Kitchn)
14. Creamy Orzo With Buttered Breadcrumbs and Mushrooms: Sometimes you just need to #TreatYoself by digging into a bowl of rich and gooey pasta covered in buttery breadcrumbs — even if you’re vegan! This recipe is also GF. Seriously, everyone gets to dig in. (via The Pretty Bee)
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