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A Simple Celebration Meal: One Pot Lemon Orzo “Risotto” with Prosciutto and Peas

These past couple of weeks have been full of big life events: My grandma’s passing at 91, my birthday (it was a big milestone year) and this week, Easter. My grandma’s family was from Northern Italy, and recipes for simple, hearty dishes like risotto, polenta and gnocchi have been passed down through the family in various forms for the past several decades. Since her passing, I haven’t had much of an appetite, but when I saw Terri McLeish‘s reel for One Pot Orzo Risotto on Instagram, my mouth started watering, and I knew it was the perfect thing to make to commemorate my grandma, and celebrate entering a new decade. (This would also be a wonderful one-pot meal for Good Friday, Passover or Easter.)

I modified the recipe to be free of the top 8 allergens, and wasn’t sure if the gluten-free orzo I used (I love Andean Dreams’s Organic Orzo Quinoa Pasta) would soak up the flavors and liquid the way traditional arborio rice does, but it did, without the constant stirring required, and while maintaining a nice, al dente bite.

Frying up the prosciutto at the beginning and sautéing the vegetables and grains in the drippings throws the flavor profile right over the top – add some spring peas (frozen or fresh), a squeeze of lemon and julienned basil, and celebrate the fact that you only have one pan to wash. Enjoy!

One Pot Lemon Orzo “Risotto” with Prosciutto and Peas

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 thin slices prosciutto, torn into small pieces (check ingredients for soy, gluten and other allergens before using)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, removed from tough stems
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups gluten-free orzo (I love Andean Dream's Organic Orzo Quinoa Pasta)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I use Kitchen Basics)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 2 tbsp Soy-free Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free oat milk (I used Oatly)
  • 1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, julienned


  • Heat olive oil in skillet for about 30 seconds, then add torn prosciutto.
  • Cook prosciutto until brown and crispy, then carefully remove to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving drippings in the pan.
  • Add shallot, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper to the pan with the drippings, stir to coat, and allow to cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add orzo and stir to combine, then cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  • Carefully pour in white wine, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, place lid on pot and cook for about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove lid, raise heat a bit and stir until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Fold in peas, Earth Balance and Oatly.
  • Add squeeze of lemon juice, garnish with basil and prosciutto and serve.
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Hey there, I'm Liz!

As a former food editor and everyday home cook, I’ve spent the past 15+ years testing, tasting and saving delicious, Octofree recipes for my family. It’s with lots of love that I share the best of the bunch with you, along with tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

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