One-pot orzo with beetroot, thyme & orange

This orzo cooks all in one pan to a satisfying deep purple with the spoonable feeling of a risotto. You can use any colour of beetroot you like here; I love the deep magenta of the red ones but yellow and pink work well too. I make this orzo with different vegetables as the seasons change.

a bunch of beetroot (around 650g), peeled and grated
300g orzo pasta
a small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
3–4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for finishing
1⁄2 vegetable stock cube or 2 teaspoons stock powder

zest of a small unwaxed orange or clementine
4 handfuls of rocket
100g feta or vegan feta-style cheese, crumbled (optional)
a few handfuls of toasted chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts will all work well)
a drizzle of olive oil

Put the grated beetroot, pasta, thyme leaves, garlic and vinegar into a medium lidded pan with 1 teaspoon of sea salt, the 2 tablespoons of oil and 850ml water. Crumble in the stock cube or add the powder. Place the pan over a high heat, cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked and all the water has been absorbed.

Stir it every minute or so to make sure that the pasta doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. If the orzo looks a little thick (you want it to be the consistency of risotto) add a little more hot water.

Spoon onto warm plates and finish with some orange zest, peppery leaves, a crumbling of feta (if using), some toasted nuts and a good drizzle of oil.

Image: Issy Croker
Recipe from: One


Posted: 25.03.21 7 Comments


Posted by M at 9:05 on the 29.03.21

Looks great! Would the cooked beetroot that comes in plastic wrap work for this recipe? Or does it need to be uncooked?

Posted by Victoria at 6:16 on the 01.04.21

Very tasty and such a quick meal. Fab way to use up beetroot from my veg box!

Posted by Sophia at 9:19 on the 02.04.21

Cooked beetroot works too and doesn’t disintegrate to mush.

Posted by Lady K at 6:45 on the 06.04.21

I made this dish the other evening and it was so simple and indeed delicious. Thank you Anna. I didn’t have orzo pasta in my cupboard so I used risotto Arborio rice ….outcome was fabulous. My hubby suggested some toasted pine nuts to sprinkle on top and that was a perfect addition, along with the feta, rocket and a drizzle of olive oil .. will certainly make again .. a perfect easy simple and effective dinner party meal too

Posted by Danielle at 9:22 on the 04.07.22

Kia Ora (Hi) Anna!

Wondering if buckwheat groats or quinoa would work instead of the orzo for gluten free/non pasta lovers?

Many thanks
Danielle 🙂

Posted by sarah at 2:20 on the 15.10.22

What do you mean by orzo pasta? Here in Italy orzo is a cereal which translates as barley

Posted by Sue Lewis at 10:08 on the 19.05.23

Absolutley stunning recipe.
I did a radicchio and watercress salad with ricotta to accompany.

5 stars from me

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