Comfort food is not my typical recipe of choice for the blog, but we all could use a little extra love right now with the environment the world is in as I write this post, March 20th, 2020 – so I give you, Cajun Orzo with Sausage and Peppers. Orzo is so small that it’s perfect to blend in a saucy recipe like this one. While it appears extra creamy looks are deceiving. The base of the recipe is vegetable broth, with a splash of cream at the end. You can play around with the veggies in this recipe too. Maybe try some sauteed spinach, carrots or even broccoli if you’re feeling it.
Choose your favorite sausage for this meal. I like chicken sausage and Nature’s Promise brand makes some fun blends, like sweet apple, kale, cheese and garlic etc. Cut the sausage into small 1-inch pieces to cook.
Sauteeing these ingredients build on each other. First, add 1/2 tsp. of oil to the pan, then add diced onions for about 3-4 minutes, then add the sausage for about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly. Then add the chopped peppers for about 5 more minutes. Its a nice layering of each ingredient to ensure everything is cooked and not overcooked! If you add the peppers in for too long, I find they get limp. If you add the onions in last, they won’t get the crispy fragrance that adds to the body of the dish.
Timing is another key to this recipe. After the meat and veggies are cooked you’ll add 3 cups of vegetable broth and seasoning and the orzo. Make sure to stir frequently, as the orzo will sink to the bottom and stick to the pan. More importantly, don’t overcook the sauce. Once you add the broth, cook for about 12 minutes. Some liquid should still remain, so the mix doesn’t get dry and lose its creamy texture. The simmering will deceive you. So after 12 minutes, take a taste test of the orzo to make sure it’s cooked and then remove from the heat. It will condense when it cools, and you want all the creamy sauce to be still in the pan, not evaporated (a lesson I learned the hard way by accidentally overcooking!)
Be well and let food be your energy!
- ½ teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion
- 2 Multi-Colored Peppers
- 1 lb. Sausage (chicken, pork or other)
- 3 Cups Vegetable Broth (low sodium)
- 1 Cup Orzo Pasta
- ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Chili Spice Powder
- 1 tsp. Cajun Spice Powder
- ¼ Cup Light Cream
- In a large saucepan, add ½ teaspoon olive oil and onions and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Cut sausage into 1-inch pieces or smaller. Add to saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 8 -10 minutes until mostly brown, but a little pink is ok.
- Chop peppers into 1-inch pieces and add to pan for about 5 minutes. Stir regularly.
- Add 3 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth,1 cup of orzo and all spices to pan.
- Let simmer on medium heat for 12 minutes. Srit frequently, to avoid orzo sticking to bottom of pan.
- Add ¼ cup cream and stir for 1-2 minutes. Then remove from heat.
- Allow mixture to settle for about 5 minutes and then serve hot. Enjoy!