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Mediterranean Baked Orzo
and steamed artichokes / pesto aioli

Active: 35 minTotal: 1 hr 10 min
20170529 mediterranean baked orzo nm 6.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

This baked pasta dish is made with rice-shaped orzo, cheese and a Mediterranean tomato sauce. Because orzo are so small, they don't need to be pre-cooked before baking.
Smarts: Steaming artichokes can take 30-60 minutes. If you're short on time, substitute a simple green salad or serve the hearty orzo on its own.



Mediterranean Baked Orzo:
  • Onions, medium - 1, chopped
  • Bell peppers, fire-roasted - 3/4 cup, chopped
  • Cheese, fresh mozzarella - 5 oz, cubed
  • Zucchini - 1 lb, chopped
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
  • Pesto, store-bought - 1/4 cup
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
  • Pasta, uncooked orzo - 1 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1 3/4 cups
Steamed Artichokes with Pesto Aioli:
  • Artichokes - 4, trimmed
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp + 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf (opt) - 1
  • Pesto, store-bought - 1 Tbsp
  • Mayonnaise - 1/4 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Artichokes - If prepping right before cooking, get water boiling so that you can start steaming artichokes before continuing with prep. Trim artichokes. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  2. Onions / Bell peppers / Cheese - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Zucchini - Chop zucchini.


  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees.
  2. Fill a large stockpot with 1" / 2.5cm of water. Season with some salt and add the first portion of lemon juice and bay leaf (if using). Place a steamer basket (if you don't have a steamer, you can simmer the artichokes directly in the water) over the water. Put the lid on the stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. When water is boiling, reduce to a simmer. Place artichokes, stem-side up, over simmering water. Cover and allow artichokes to steam until the leaves can easily be pulled from the choke, 35 to 60 minutes (depending on the size of the artichokes). Check the artichokes every 10 minutes or so and add additional water, if needed. (Watch this video to see how to steam artichokes.)
  4. While artichokes steam, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and then onions and zucchini with a pinch of salt. Saute until very tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add bell peppers, tomato paste, pesto (the portion for the orzo), Italian seasoning and orzo. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour stock over top and bring to a simmer. Stir in mozzarella and cover with a lid. Bake, covered, until orzo is tender, 13 to 16 minutes.
  6. While artichokes and orzo cook, make pesto aioli. Combine pesto (the portion for the artichokes), mayonnaise and the second portion of lemon juice.
  7. Serve artichokes with pesto aioli for dipping (again, check out this video for tips on enjoying every last bite of an artichoke). Enjoy with orzo on the side.

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This meal has 48 reviews

The only thing redeeming this dish was the yummy pesto aioli. Otherwise, we were underwhelmed. Everything seemed like more work than the modest, somewhat flat flavor was worth.

By: Amanda
Posted: Aug 23, 2017
Diet: Original

This felt like a lot of work, though it was very good

By: Jenna
Posted: Jul 27, 2017
Diet: Original

Added bottled artichokes to the baked orzo. Might be good with some mushrooms. Quick and yummy.

By: Julie-Ann
Posted: Jul 11, 2017
Diet: Original

Loved! We just added canned artichokes to the main dish and skipped the pesto mayo. Super tasty! My husband, the carnivore, liked it a bunch too!

By: Sara
Posted: Jul 11, 2017
Diet: Original

I followed the other suggestions and used canned artichokes and added them to the sautee. I used baby spinach instead of zucchini which is what I had. The orzo was a real crowd pleaser. Favorited.

By: Namrita
Posted: Jul 07, 2017
Diet: Original

My kids are this up!

By: Kathleen
Posted: Jun 19, 2017
Diet: Original