TexMex Turkey and Orzo

Well it has been a hot minute since my last post… Big news is that we had a baby in July 2022, which has been an absolute joy, and has also taken up most of my energy. Baby has now become a toddler (that happened so fast!), and I’m experiencing all the challenges of feeding a family. I continue to work full-time as an oncology dietitian as well. I don’t expect to be posting very frequently, but I do enjoy having my own recipes to reference, so that’s what this will be – a collection of the recipes I want to make again before I forget how I made it. If you’re looking for some mealtime inspiration I highly recommend the Didn’t I Just Feed You podcast. They’ve got tons of great ideas for whatever type of cooking you’re doing.

I’ve been making this recipe for Creamy One-Pot Beef Orzo pretty frequently but using ground turkey instead of beef. Toddler likes it (he’s a big fan of anything tomato-y), and it’s pretty simple. This week however I had a bunch of green bell peppers from Hungry Harvest that I needed to use up, so I started to make a stuffed bell pepper casserole type dish, but then that felt complicated, so I ended up making a hodgepodge of the two recipes and this creation was born. It was delicious, used up 4 bell peppers, and got both Husband and Toddler to eat bell peppers (which neither would normally choose to eat). Such a win that I found some motivation to write it down before I forgot all the adaptations I made.

TexMex Turkey and Orzo (A Seat at the Table)

TexMex Turkey and Orzo
Serves 6-8
Adapted from The Kitchn Creamy One-Pot Beef Orzo

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste (or about 3 garlic cloves minced)
  • kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1 (14.5oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.5oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5oz) can vegetable stock (I used the tomato sauce can filled with water and added a tsp of bullion)
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Before you begin, wash your hands with soap and water.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat in a large, deep skillet. Brown to ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Season with salt and garlic paste while cooking, then remove turkey from pan and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the now empty pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the diced onions, let cook for a couple minutes until beginning to get some color, then add in the bell peppers. Let cook for several minutes until the bell peppers have softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add in the spices.

Add in the orzo, black beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock. Stir regularly until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the cooked turkey back to the pan. Continue to cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the orzo is done. If the orzo is still a little hard, add about 1/4 cup more liquid at a time until it’s cooked all the way through. When the orzo is cooked, stir in the shredded cheese. Serve as a one pot meal or pair with a side vegetable. Feel free to top with hot sauce, scallions, and/or more cheese.

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