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This orzo is creamy, spicy, and full of flavor. I love orzo but wanted to do something different than the standard mediterranean orzo salad I have (which is delicious by the way!) so I decided to play around with it. And boy am I glad I did!
Fennel has a delicious licorice taste without being so powerful and combining it with the onions and caramelizing them was just the perfect way to give this orzo a sweet flavor to balance the spice.
I did top this with a piece of chicken for the husband but you can make it vegan by omitting the chicken! So easy to make it work either ways.
If you do use the chicken, you can either bake one if you have the time or use a rotisserie chicken as a hack to cut the time.
Perfect for the upcoming autumn season, try this delicious bowl of orzo and bring a little sweet and spicy to your soul!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!
**To make this a vegan/vegetarian dish, omit the chicken.
For the orzo:
- 1 c orzo
- 2 c water
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
For the Creamy Fennel:
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1/2 c coconut cream
- 2c veggie broth
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 ground black pepper
- 1/2 crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 rotisserie chicken thighs
For the orzo:
- In a medium saucepan, add water, orzo and salt. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the water has boiled off.
- Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes.
For the fennel broth:
- Heat a skillet on medium flame, and add oil to it. Add fennel and onions slices and let cook for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and you get a sweet caramelized aroma.
- Add veggie broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
- Cook for another 5-7 minutes until liquid is thick in consistency.
- Reduce heat to low and add coconut cream and smoked paprika. Mix until you have a smooth texture.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Add the cooked orzo to the creamy fennel and toss so that all of the orzo is covered in the sauce.
- Divide between 2 bowls and top with chicken thigh.
- Drizzle Chimichurri sauce over the orzo and chicken.
- Serve hot!
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