BLT Orzo


Tonight, with my parents out for the evening and my little brother satisfied after a bowl of Cap’n Crunch, I set out to make dinner for my sister and I. My mom had suggested we make some BLTs, and though that sounded more like lunch than dinner, the idea stuck.

When I saw some orzo pasta in the cupboard, I decided it would be perfect for a warm and hearty reinvention of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

I crisped the bacon, then cooked tomatoes and garlic and wilted some arugula in the sauce just before tossing it with the pasta and serving with a little parmesan. To me, it was exactly what I wanted from a dinner adaptation of the lunch classic.

BLT Orzo

Original recipe serves 2

  • 1 cup dry orzo (or something like fusilli or farfalle)
  • 3-4 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
  • 1 cup arugula (or try spinach)
  • salt and pepper

Bring pot of salted water to a boil, and add orzo when ready. Cook about 9 minutes, then strain.

In the meantime, arrange bacon slices in a pan over high heat and cook on both sides to desired crispness. Transfer bacon to a dish lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease. Reserve some (but not necessarily all) bacon grease in the pan.

Add tomatoes and garlic to pan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that bacon could be salty. As tomatoes cook, add 1/4 cup or so of water to the pan (using the pasta water is a good idea). You want some moisture, but you’re not exactly creating a sauce. Turn down heat and simmer a few minutes.

Cut or tear the bacon into pieces (larger than bits), and add to the pan. When tomatoes are soft, add arugula and stir until wilted.

Toss in orzo and turn off heat. Serve with grated parmesan cheese if desired.

3 Replies to “BLT Orzo”

  1. My wife and I prepared this meal with leaf spinach (it was on-hand) and really enjoyed the result. The orzo keeps it light enough for lunch, but still satisfying and delicious!

    We took your suggestion and added about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan – between the cheese and the pasta water there was a nice, light sauce to it all. Thanks for a great recipe!

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