Quick and Easy Pork {or Chicken} Mediterranean Orzo Skillet

Quick and easy (healthy, too!) this amazingly fresh and delicious mediterranean orzo skillet recipe (with pork or chicken!) is a weeknight wonder!

Stainless pan filled with Mediterranean orzo skillet with pork.

Some meals are just so unexpectedly delicious, I can’t stop thinking about them. And when that happens, I shove all the other recipes in the queue waiting to be posted to the side and get the recipe-of-my-dreams in front of you ASAP.

{Don’t worry, I promise those world famous cinnamon rolls are coming…SOON…just have to take a few more step-by-step pictures this weekend.}

Such is the case with this little Mediterranean orzo skillet. 

It looks kind of unassuming. And actually a bit of a jumbled mess, if we’re all being honest with each other. But bring on the jumbled mess, I say, if it means I can dig into something this crazy delicious. 

White bowl filled with orzo, spinach, bell peppers and pork.

Here’s another reason why a loaded skillet meal like this is so appealing: there’s not a lot of need for fussy or unnecessary side dishes since this orzo dish already has the yummy basics. 

Protein. Pasta. Vegetables. Cheese. 

I’ve posted a lot of recipes over the years wherein the phrase “greater than the sum of its parts” is appropriate, and that certainly applies to this Mediterranean orzo skillet. For such simple ingredients, the flavor is amazing. And also, I just really love orzo. Anyone else an orzo lover out there? After devouring this meal (and hoarding the very small amount of leftovers), I told my inner self very firmly that I do not eat orzo often enough. 

Belated new year’s resolution: eat more orzo. {A few other favorite orzo recipes here to help me with this worthy goal.}

Mediterranean orzo skillet with serving spoon.

Let’s talk about a few details and logistics of this meal. 

It can be yours in 30 minutes if you hustle. Like, get your multi-tasking pants on and go to town. Start the water boiling right before you get the skillet hot to start cooking the pork and veggies. If those two things can happen nearly simultaneously, you’ll be golden. 

Keep in mind the spinach gets a quick dunk in the pasta water right at the end as the orzo finishes cooking, and it all gets tossed in the same colander to drain. No hassle there. And since I know many of your brains work like my {nerdy} brain, I tried twice to make this a one-pot wonder. And it just didn’t work. Things got overcooked and undercooked and the texture was just wrong. 

I’m not telling you to let the idea go, I’m just saying that I can firmly attest that this orzo skillet meal as written is significantly and more amazingly delicious than when I tried to go the one-pot/one-skillet route. 

Stainless pan filled with Mediterranean orzo skillet with pork.

Also, some of the ingredients are really adaptable! I love this Mediterranean orzo skillet with pork tenderloin (so tender and delish), but chicken would work well, too. Either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or more tender chicken thighs. You could also leave it meatless easy peasy for a still-hearty main dish or a slam dunk side dish. 

As for other ingredients? Change up the type of bell pepper or sub in zucchini or yellow squash or a variety of other veggies. Olives would be delicious in here, too, somehow someway.

And if I could influence you in just one small other way, if you can find a block of feta cheese to crumble yourself, I highly, highly, highly recommend doing so. The creamy factor goes through the roof compared to the pre-crumbled feta. My local grocery store (Winco) carries block feta by the other cheeses and it’s also at Trader Joe’s (and I’m sure lots of other places). 

Let me just leave you with these parting thoughts: your life will be infinitely more sad if you don’t make this. Ok, I’m done now! 

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One Year Ago: Easy 7-Layer Greek Hummus Dip
Two Years Ago: Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili
Three Years Ago: Brownie Pudding
Four Years Ago: Chicken Tikka Pizzas: Another 20-Minute Meal
Five Years Ago: Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper White Bean Chili {Instant Pot Directions Included}

Quick and Easy Pork {or Chicken} Mediterranean Orzo Skillet

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Quick and Easy Pork {or Chicken} Mediterranean Orzo Skillet

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces orzo pasta (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups dry pasta)
  • 5-6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork tenderloin or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use coarse, kosher salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (I use coarsely ground black pepper)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
  • 1 to 2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Start the water for the orzo heating in a large pot (we're multi tasking here to make this a quick meal!). When it comes to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and cook the orzo one minute less than the package directions. Add the spinach to the pot and cook until wilted, about a minute or so. Drain the pasta and spinach together in a colander.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large 12-inch nonstick or stainless skillet over medium heat. Add the pork or chicken, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and cook until golden on the outside (it will finish cooking in the next step). Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, oregano and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes burst and the meat is cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the drained orzo and spinach (you may need to break up any clumps of spinach) and heat through. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in half of the feta cheese, sprinkle the other half on top. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source: inspired by this recipe at Taste of Home (added different ingredients/changed up amounts/varied the cooking method quite a bit to add flavor)