Smoky Orzo with Brussels Sprouts and Tomatoes


Lately I’ve been lazy about making grocery lists and end up going to the store empty-handed. Me going to the store without a plan is not good. I need a list or at the very least, meal ideas. Otherwise, I walk around aimlessly in circles thinking—what am I here for? Then I come home with a bunch of random produce and whatever else I happened to find on sale or that looked good while wandering around willy-nilly.


As such, we seem to be perpetually stuck in this state of not having the right combination of foods to make a logical meal yet having too much food to justify another trip to the store. And I’m no good at playing Iron Chef in my kitchen—maybe if I mix this half used can of chipotle peppers with this half of a cucumber and some quinoa…hmm, what would Morimoto do?


Occasionally, the pantry and produce stars align and our dwindingly food supply magically dwindles down into a non non-sensical meal. Β This dish used a two-for-one orzo deal I nabbed during an unplanned grocery haul. Β I channeled my inner Iron Chef and mixed it with smoke seasoning, leftover cherry tomatoes and brussels sprouts. The result was a meal that looked and tasted like it was planned, like I meant it! In addition to it tasting good, it was easy to prepare and required only one pan and one cutting board.


Smoky Orzo with Brussels Sprouts and Cherry Tomatoes


3-4 servings

  • about 30-40 brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 1 diced scallion
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • about 20 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 3/4 cups veggie broth (+ up to one cup extra as needed)
  • half a box of orzo (about 1/2 pound or 227 grams)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3-5 tsp of a smoky seasoning mix (I used East Nashville Spice Company’s 37206 smoke mix. If you don’t have a pre-mixed blend, consider using paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and liquid smoke)



  1. In a large pan, saute the scallions and brussels sprouts in the olive oil on medium heat for about 8 minutes. The brussels sprouts should be mostly cooked before adding the orzo.
  2. Add the tomatoes and saute for another minute.
  3. Add the 2 3/4 cup of veggie broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the uncooked orzo, lemon juice and seasoning mix and give everything a good stir.
  5. Turn the heat down and let this simmer for about 20 minutes, until orzo is tender. Stir every now and then to make sure there is enough liquid to keep the orzo from sticking to the pan. If this happens, add veggie broth. Only add a little at a time because the excess liquid should be absorbed by the time the orzo is cooked.

So in the words of the Iron Chef’s chairman’s uncle…Allez Cuisine!



37 thoughts on “Smoky Orzo with Brussels Sprouts and Tomatoes

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Ha Ha! I used to love watching Iron Chef when we had Food Network, especially when they featured food was some kind of fruit. Morimoto is my favorite iron chef.

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks! Yeah, it is an endless cycle because I inevitably forget something and have to go back to the store without a list and so it starts all over again πŸ˜›

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      They are the best aren’t they? My love for brussels sprouts only began a couple of years ago. I never liked them as a kid but now I can’t get enough of them because they go with everything and are so easy to make. I remember the first time I saw them on stalks, I was blown away b/c I was only used to the freezer ones my mama had.

  1. cookeasyvegan

    This is exactly the way I like to cook! I love your meal solution β€” great combination of ingredients. The smokey seasoning looks delicious.


    Sounds like a yummy dish including the orzo (I love orzo salads and always bring them on international flights while airline foods taste like crap)! As for the smoky seasoning mix, I recommend Grills Gone Vegan cookbook’s BBQ flash seasoning (it’s pretty good!). I posted it few weeks ago. If you look up Grills Gone Vegan on my blog, I think you will find it! I wish I can love brussel sprouts…they kind of make me bloated after an hour! 😦 😦

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Ooh, thanks for the heads up. I will check the seasoning mix on your blog right now. I have heard a lot of great things about that cookbook. It sounds like it is the perfect summer cookbook. I am sorry that brussels sprouts make you bloated, but luckily there are so many other interesting fruits and veggies available for you to love πŸ™‚


        Yes! There are so many veggies and fruits that marry well with this smoky orzo dish πŸ˜‰ Definitely give a cookbook a try! I only like a few of the recipes (the one I posted in public on my blog), and some of the others are okay (not too wowed by).

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Ha ha, thanks! Neal is definitely much better at Iron Chef-ing it up in the kitchen. I am so not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, though I try sometimes.

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Hey! For some reason, wordpress spammed this comment and I just checked my spam folder and unspammed/approved it. I know, 98 out of 101 ain’t great but it is still pretty rad πŸ™‚

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a gluten free option out there. I went to the store the other day and noticed that gluten free pasta options are becoming more readily available.

  3. Cadry's Kitchen

    This sounds so good! The smoky flavors put me to the mind of jambalaya. I always forget about orzo! I’m much more apt to grab a grain from the cupboard. Aren’t Brussels sprouts the best? I generally just roast them, but I bet they’re terrific with this smoky flavors!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Yeah, I never usually use orzo. It really was just a good deal, so I thought–enh, sure, why not!

      And Brussels sprouts are awesome! I love roasting mine too.

  4. chow vegan

    Yup, I’ve learned my lesson not to do the wandering around the grocery store without a plan. I forced myself to make a list or don’t go to the store. Although you certainly pull off an amazing looking meal for random ingredients. πŸ™‚

  5. Mihl

    That looks fantastic! Such a great easy summer meal. I am the same when I go grocery shopping. I totally need a list or I’ll just buy some cookies.

  6. el chino latino cocina

    What a great combination! Brussels sprouts and smoky flavors. I’ll have to try this with some pimentΓ³n (smoked paprika). This would be good with wheat berries in place of the orzo too. I love raiding the pantry. Thanks for getting the ideas rolling!

      1. el chino latino cocina

        Wheat berries are the wheat kernel without the hull. You cook them like any other grain, but they take a bit longer than most. They have an earthy flavor and a chewy texture. I like to toss them with grilled or roasted vegetables, some fresh herbs and a little bit of vinaigrette. Your recipe reminded me of that. Like I said, your recipe has a great flavor combination.

        Cooked Wheat Berries
        What are wheat berries?

  7. Maggie Muggins

    You’ve done Morimoto proud with that meal :)I’m the same way, I need a plan otherwise I end up with a bunch of random things, it’s the same reason we now have 8 cans of kidney beans in the pantry.


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