Toasted Orzo with Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms is a delicious and simple meal that’s full of flavor. Roasted red peppers and mushrooms are tasty and the orzo is comforting as only pasta can be. This is great to make for dinner and only takes about 30 minutes. I’ve added some browned tofu to the top, but the orzo on its own is a one-pan affair.
Toasted Orzo with Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms is Delicious and Simple
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a little rice-shaped pasta. Traditionally, it’s made of semolina flour, which is wheat, like most other kinds of pasta. Use your favorite brand and type here. I use a gluten-free version of orzo from Delallo that’s made from corn and rice flour and I really like it. I find it funnier than is called for that it’s rice-shaped pasta made, in part, with rice. Think about it.
How to Toast Orzo
Orzo is pretty tasty simply cooked like any other pasta, but toasting it brings out a nutty flavor. This is simple, too. Just heat some oil or plant-based butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Then cook the orzo in it, stirring frequently, until it’s lightly browned. Easy.
Roasted Red Peppers
Roasted red peppers add a lot of deep flavor to this dish. You can make your own by charring red bell peppers over a flame and then peeling or rubbing away the blackened skin. I went with the much less labor-intensive option and bought a can of them. They come in water or in oil. I got the ones packed in water but oil is fine, too.
Fresh or canned is fine here. I used canned this time because it was what I had. Fresh would be great, too.
How to Make Vegan Toasted Orzo with Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms
A stainless steel pan like this one works really well to saute vegetables and also is great to toast the orzo. Over medium-high heat, I sauteed the red peppers, the mushrooms, and some onions in a bit of oil first until they were lightly browned. Then added the dried orzo to the pan and stirred frequently. It takes about 3 minutes for the orzo to take on some color. At that point, pour in the water and add spices.
Oil is Optional
Start by sauteeing the roasted red peppers, onions, and mushrooms until they start to brown. Add the orzo to the pan and get it toasty. For both of these steps, oil is optional. It’s totally possible to water sautee the vegetables and then toast the orzo in a dry pan. I think it would work best that way if done in separate pans. I did use oil but probably won’t the next time I make this.
Once the vegetables are sauteed and the orzon is toasted, simply add water, some seasoning, and let it all simmer until the water is absorbed and the orzo is soft.
I made some sauteed tofu with some lime juice and a touch of maple syrup and lots of pepper and it was great on top of the orzo.
- oil or plant-based butter for sauteeing (optional, see above)
- 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
- 6 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 12 oz orzo pasta (gluten-free or regular wheat)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons vegan Better Than Bouillon paste or other bouillon paste or powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon Thai red chili paste (optional)
- handful of fresh spinach
- 12 oz tofu, cubed and sauteed with lime, maple syrup, and pepper
- tomatoes, fresh basil, or other herbs for garnish
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil (optional) and roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Sautee, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to brown.
- Add the orzo to the hot pan and toast until the orzo begins to brown lightly and smell nutty.
- Add the water, bouillon paste, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and the optional Thai red chili paste, and let simmer, stirring quite frequently to prevent sticking, for about 10-13 minutes until the water is absorbed and the orzo has softened (taste testing can help here). In the last few minutes of cooking, stir in a large handful of spinach and stir in until wilted.
- Serve with sauteed tofu and add some tomatoes, basil leaves, lime, or whatever seems tasty..
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Hello! I’m Lisa, a vegan artist, photographer, author, Vegan Life Coach Educator, and RYT 200 yoga teacher. I love showing others how simple and delicious a plant-based diet can be. I draw and paint, cook, write, take lots of pics, eat lots of chocolate, and practice gratitude daily.