Creamy one-pan lemon orzo and salmon is a delicious and nourishing weeknight dinner. It comes together in just a few simple steps, and is packed with zesty flavor.
One-pan Lemon Orzo and Salmon
Cozy one-pan meals are my favorite weeknight dinners to make. This lemony orzo and salmon skillet packs in carbs, fiber and protein all in one, and is full of delicious zesty flavor.
The salmon fillets are seared in a blend of spices and then finished off in a creamy lemon orzo made with coconut milk, peas, shredded kale and a few simple seasonings.
It’s simple enough for a weeknight meal and can easily be adjusted to your spice preference.
My one-pan coconut orzo salmon was one of my most popular recipes of 2023, so I had to create a newer version before the end of the year.
The lemon adds the perfect flavor to this skillet meal, and I love that it packs in so many nutrients in one dish. You can make this recipe with salmon or chicken depending on your preference. There’s really no going wrong with this one!
What you’ll need to make lemon orzo and salmon
Here’s what you’ll need for this one-pan dish:
- salmon fillets, about 4-6 oz each. I removed the skin but you can keep them on if preferred
- spices: paprika, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili flakes, salt & pepper
- canned coconut milk– I always opt for full-fat coconut milk for extra creaminess
- low-sodium vegetable broth
- lemon juice and zest
- shallots and garlic
- shredded kale and peas– for extra veggies and added greens
- olive oil
- butter, vegan or dairy
- Start by seasoning the salmon fillets in paprika, garlic powder, smoked paprika and salt & pepper then searing them in olive oil for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Remove the salmon from the pan and soak up any excess oil using a paper towel. Add in the butter with the shallots and garlic, then add in the orzo with the lemon zest and spices
- After a couple of minutes, add in the broth, coconut milk, kale and peas and let the orzo cook for 10-12 minutes
- Mix in the lemon juice and add the salmon fillets back into the pan. Finish cooking everything on a low flame for another 5-6 minutes
- Garnish with fresh parsley and extra lemon juice when ready to serve
Tips and modifications
1-Like many recipes, this dish is best when served right away. If you are preparing this ahead of time and reheating at dinner, I suggest following steps 1-5, but removing the pan from the flame once you add all of the liquids. 20 minutes before dinner time, you can simmer the pan to cook the orzo for 10-12 minutes, then add the salmon back into the pan to continue cooking.
2-If you prefer to have your salmon fully cooked through before adding it back into the orzo, you can cook each side for about 5-6 minutes on medium heat during step 1
3-I prefer this dish with a little heat from the chili flakes and black pepper. You can scale down on the amount depending on your spice preference
4-To change up the protein, this recipe can easily be made with chicken thighs or breast using the same methods.
This recipe is simple, yet flavorful, and truly elevates your weeknight dinner. I can’t wait for you guys to try it!