Weeknight dinners call for easy recipes like meatballs and mushroom orzo. This hearty one pan meal is ready in less than an hour. You can swap out the beef for these turkey meatballs to make this meal a little bit lighter.
One pan meals are a favorite around here. Weeknights are hectic and a simple dinner that only requires one pan to wash is always appreciated.
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Meatball and orzo one pan meal
You guys, this might be my new favorite. It is so easy and so full of flavor. Besides the fact that it’s delicious, it doesn’t take me an hour to clean up the kitchen afterwards.
Minimal cleanup is definitely a factor when I’m deciding what to make for dinner. Weeknight cooking is all about ease.
This includes the amount of dishes to wash as well as the actual recipe.
Basically, I have a certain criteria that weeknight meals need to meet, and if I can have leftovers, it earns bonus points.
- Ready in under an hour
- No more than 10 ingredients
- Minimal cleanup
This easy recipe is customizable to suit your dietary preferences, and also to what you might happen to have on hand. For example, the stock. Use what you have – if you have chicken stock, use it. Vegetable stock? No problem, use it.
I used my beef meatball recipe, but you can switch it out for turkey or chicken meatballs. You can even use veggie meatballs to make it a meat-free dinner.
The whole point of easy weeknight cooking is that it should be easy. Use what you have and make this dish your own.
How to make meatballs and mushroom orzo
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta, and it’s ideal for this dish because it cooks quickly. You can use any type of pasta that you have in the house. There is no need to make a special trip to the store.
Another substitution for the orzo would be farro. I love the nuttiness of this grain and it’s great if you are tryng to avoid pasta.
For the mushrooms, I prefer cremini – also called baby bellas, instead of the white mushrooms pictured here. Unfortunately, the creminis didn’t look great, so I opted for the regular mushrooms.
If your family doesn’t like the flavor of onions, you might consider shallots. They are still in the onion family, but have a milder flavor. I had shallots that needed to get used up, so I used them instead of onions.
This one pan meal is made by browning meatballs, then adding in the aromatics (onions and garlic). Finally, the orzo, stock and cream go into the pot and it simmers until the pasta and meatballs are cooked.
Make ahead meal to the rescue
Last week, when I made my easy weeknight meatballs recipe, I froze half of the batch and pulled some of them out to make this dinner. That’s a big time-saver and I highly recommend it.
Whenever I make meatballs, I always freeze some for meals like this.
If you don’t have any stashed in the freezer, no worries. They are quick and easy to make.
They key to making sure they are all uniform in size is a small cookie scoop. You can make the beef meatball recipe with any type of ground meat that you have.
As you can see, there are quite a few options for changing up ingredients to make it your own. Whether you choose to make it as is, or substitute an ingredient, I hope it is one you come back again and again.
More one pan meals
- One pot creamy chicken pasta
- Sheet pan chicken sausage dinner
- One pan baked salmon niçoise
- Roasted chicken and veggies sheet pan supper
- Creamy Dijon chicken pasta
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- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced (or 2 shallots)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
- 2 1/2 cups stock - chicken, beef or vegetable
- 1/2 cup light cream or half & half
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped herbs - parsley, oregano, or marjoram (optional)
- In a wide, shallow pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add meatballs and brown on all sides, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add diced onions and cook for 3 - 4 minutes, then add mushrooms and garlic.
- Season with salt and pepper, then cook another 6 - 8 minutes, until mushrooms have started to soften and give up some of their liquid. Scrape the bottom of the pan as they cook to incorporate all of the browned bits (called fond - this is FLAVOR, don't rinse out the pan).
- Add orzo to the pan and stir to combine.
- Pour in the stock and cream, stir to combine and season with another pinch of salt and pepper.
- Return meatballs to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid and lower heat to medium-low.
- Cook for 10 minutes, or according to directions on box of orzo. (It should simmer, not boil.)
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese over meatballs and orzo, stir to combine cheese into orzo.
- Top with herbs, if desired.
Sub farro for orzo - increase cooking time to 20 minutes. You may need to adjust stock as well.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 529Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 717mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 37g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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