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A white skillet filled with tomato lemon orzo on a table with smoked paprika, feta, and water glass in the background.
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5 from 1 vote

One Pot Tomato Harissa Orzo Pasta

This flavorful one pot pasta bake is perfect for weeknight dinners! It's made with fire-roasted tomatoes, spinach, white beans, and orzo pasta. Crumbled feta gets sprinkled on top and browned in the oven. Leftovers make for a yummy lunch the next day. (Vegetarian, Vegan option)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegan Friendly, Vegetarian
Servings: 5
Calories: 445kcal
Author: Bri

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (more for garnish, optional)
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons harissa paste (see note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (see note 2)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (28 fl oz/796 ml) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (see note 3)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 oz dried orzo ( cups)
  • 1 (19 fl oz/540ml) can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar), diced
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (see note 4)
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
  • Flaky salt, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Cook onions: Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large broiler safe skillet over medium heat (see note 5). Add red onions and cook until golden brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, 2 red onions, diced
  • Add other aromatics: Push onions to the edges of the skillet. To the middle of the skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and tomato paste, then stir to mix. Cook until tomato paste darkens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, harissa paste, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring frequently, until spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, ¼ cup tomato paste, 4 cloves garlic, minced, 2 to 3 teaspoons harissa paste, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Bring to a boil: Pour in vegetable broth, tomatoes, and salt. Use a stirring spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid (or baking sheet) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    2 cups vegetable broth, 1 (28 fl oz/796 ml) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Cook orzo: Add orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until orzo is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
    12 oz dried orzo
  • Prepare oven: Meanwhile, position an oven rack so that the top of the skillet will be 6-inches (15 cm) from the broiler. Set oven to broil.
  • Combine and broil: Once orzo is al dente, remove from heat. Stir in beans, spinach, and red peppers. Top with feta and lemons. Broil until the feta is golden brown, 4 to 8 minutes (watch carefully as broil times vary!). Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and flaky salt, if you'd like.
    1 (19 fl oz/540ml) can cannellini beans, rinsed, 2 cups chopped spinach, 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar), diced, ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, 1 lemon

Notes

  1. Harissa paste: Depending on the brand you're using, spice levels vary so adjust as needed. As written, this recipe has a mild to moderate heat. If you like things spicy you can add more, but add in small increments— it is easier to add heat than remove it! In a pinch, you could use red pepper flakes instead of harissa (start with  ½ teaspoon and add more to taste).
  2. Smoked paprika: This recipe calls for smoked sweet paprika. If a smoked paprika package isn't labelled "hot" or "picante", it's usually smoked sweet paprika.
  3. Fire-roasted tomatoes: Or 2 smaller (14 fl oz/398 ml) cans. If you can't find fire-roasted tomatoes, substitute with the same sized can of whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano ideally) and crush the tomatoes with your hands as you add them (and their juices) to the pot.
  4. Vegan option: To make this vegan, use a vegan feta substitute or omit. If leaving out the feta, garnish with flaky salt and extra lemon juice to compensate (feta is both salty and tangy)
  5. Skillet selection: Use a 12-inch skillet (or a braiser/casserole/Dutch oven with at least 3.4L capacity) for 1x batch of this recipe. We recommend using a stainless steel or enamelled cast iron pan—or another material that is well suited for acidic dishes. (Note: raw cast iron can be sensitive to acidity, see post above for more details). 

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 1185mg | Potassium: 520mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1964IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg