Pesto Orzo with Meatballs


I mean, come on. Pasta, meatballs, pesto, melted mozzarella and herbs. What’s not to like in this?

This recipe was actually meant to be made with quinoa, but I quickly discovered when you add pesto to quinoa, you get a pretty unappetizing color, so the switch to orzo was made along with the addition of some turkey meatballs which are packed with flavor on their own.

Did I mention this is a one pan meal? If melted mozzarella didn’t catch your attention, that most certainly did.

Serves 5

262 grams per serving

437 calories | 45 carb | 17 fat | 29 protein

Search Rushing to the Kitchen Pesto Orzo with Meatballs on Myfitnesspal.

Pesto Orzo with Meatballs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz 93/7 ground turkey raw weight
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 62 grams red onion finely diced
  • 10 oz orzo raw weight
  • 1/4 cup pesto I used Barilla rustic basil
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock or water
  • 84 grams mozarella pearls chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a bowl, combine the ground turkey, garlic, red onion, oregano, rosemary, 1 tbs of the basil and plenty of salt and pepper. Roll into small balls.
  • Place a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, shallots and meatballs.
  • Allow meatballs to brown slightly on all sides. We aren't cooking them throughly yet, just browning the outsides for some golden color.
  • Add in the dry orzo and chicken stock (or water) and pesto.
  • Cover, place into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed and orzo is cooked.
  • Remove from oven and add mozzarella pearls and top with remaining fresh herbs. Salt and pepper to taste.

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