Cajun Dirty Orzo

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Cuisine: Cajun, American
Recipe Info

What happens when you want to make Cajun Dirty Rice but there’s no rice in the pantry? Make Cajun Dirty Orzo instead! This is definitely a “fusion” recipe (read – total mish mash) that combines the addictive smoky flavor of Cajun seasoning with beef and orzo pasta. Sort of homemade Hamburger Helper with Cajun spices, kind of Louisiana Dirty Rice minus the rice and Definitely all kinds of delicious! Everything cooks together in one pan so the yumminess is off the charts – seriously, everyone will come back for seconds.

1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 green onions (or 1 onion), finely diced
2 bell peppers, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T Cajun seasoning
1 t celery salt
1 t garlic powder
2 t dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb (500g) ground beef, I used lean ground beef/pork mix.
2 tbsp tomato purée (or concentrated tomato paste)
1½ cups (300g) orzo pasta
3⅓ cups (800ml) beef broth (or beef stock made with two bullion cubes)
3 tbsp cheddar cheese grated plus extra, to serve
1 Jalapeno sliced, to serve (optional)
Fresh thyme, to serve (optional)

Heat the butter and oil in a pan, and add the onions, chopped pepper. Sauté over medium-low heat for five minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, and seasonings. Turn up the heat slightly, and add the beef, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, so that it starts to brown. Add the orzo and continue to stir until the beef is nicely browned and orzo is a bit toasted. Stir in the tomato paste and finally the beef broth/stock. Bring to a rolling boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat off, and stir in the grated cheese, so that it melts into the dish. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Garnish with fresh thyme. Serve with sliced jalapeno, or dried red chili flakes for an extra bit of heat, plus more cheese (can you ever have enough?). SUPER YUMMY!

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