Salty bacon, bright Brussels sprouts and toothsome orzo combine in this easy Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Orzo recipe.
As a food writer, I am always watching food trends. When everyone was raving over oven pasta sauces involving blocks of cheese, I was curious. When oversized and overflowing milkshakes were a thing, I sent info to friends headed to New York so they could try them. I don’t often work on anything related to food trends, but I try to stay aware of them.
To be honest, I am not any more interested in the recipes made popular by TikTok, than I was years ago when the trend of making monster desserts — pie inside brownies inside cake, for instance — became super popular. But I love a good sheet pan meal and one-pan and one-pot dishes (like the ones in my cookbook One-Pot Pasta!) are something I love. They are simple, easy and low-stress.
Two commonalities I do see from food trends though is a desire to make things easily and a desire to make them interesting. These don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but they often are.
Cooking in such a singular way — like one pot meals — isn’t always the best for optimal flavor and texture. Sometimes you need duality in the process to render something really, really good.
That’s the case with this Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Orzo recipe.
This recipe is still quick and easy, but it also demands a little more nuance in cooking.
To make this you will use two cooking processes to achieve a simple, satisfying meal. This allows each part of the dish to be cooked for optimal flavor and texture, creating a better final dish.
First, there’s the roasting. Brussels sprouts are halved and mixed with chopped bacon, diced onions and a bit of seasonings. Although a lot of recipes that show you how to roast Brussels sprouts with bacon also use olive oil, I don’t. It’s unnecessary because the bacon renders enough fat for this dish.
Second, there’s the cooking of the orzo. You could, of course, simply boil orzo and mix it with the roasted mixture. But for a greater flavor punch, you want to make that orzo shine. That’s why you cook the orzo in stock and wine with a touch of garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Then it’s finished off it with fresh thyme.
And then, once both components are made, you combine them, bringing all those flavors and textures together in a single, satisfying dish. It’s perfect for make-ahead meals. But its also lovely for lunch or dinner anytime.
Try it. And as always, I recommend you make it as written the first time. After that, tweak it to your heart’s content!
One-pan and one-pot dishes are great when you are busy. But sometimes a dish just needs more than that.
- 4 cups halved Brussels sprouts (about 1.5 lbs)
- 1 1/2 cups diced sweet onion (about 1 small)
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry orzo
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a nonstick baking sheet or a baking sheet covered with nonstick foil.
- Combine the Brussels sprouts, onions and bacon on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake, undisturbed, for 25 minutes. Stir and return to the oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts and bacon are browned.
- Meanwhile, combine the orzo with the white wine, chicken stock, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 12-15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat, stir, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- In a large serving bowl, stir together the Brussels sprouts mixture, orzo mixture and fresh thyme. Serve hot.